• Literacy Development
     
    Literacy encompasses five skill areas:  phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  Students need to develop proficiency in all of these areas in order to be successful readers. 
     
    Phonemic awareness:  the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken language. 
     
    Phonics:  teaches the relationship between the letters of written language and the individual sounds of spoken language.
     
    Fluency:  the ability to read a text accurately and quickly.  When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically.  Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly using expression.  Their reading sounds as if they are speaking.  Readers who have not yet developed fluency read in a choppy, slow way, word by word.  Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.  A fluent reader concentrates on comprehension while a less fluent reader focuses on figuring out the words. 
     
    Vocabulary:  words we must know in order to communicate effectively.  Oral vocabulary refers to words we use in speaking or recognize in listening.  Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print. 
     
    Comprehension:  the most important reason for reading.  Students who can read words, but do not understand what they are reading are not really reading.  Good readers think actively as they read.  They use their experiences, knowledge of vocabulary and language structure, and their knowledge of reading strategies.  They self-monitor and know how to resolve a problem whey reading.