Teaching Strategies and Examples: Reading Connected Text
Instructional Design Considerations
- A primary goal of beginning reading instruction is to prepare learners to read passages in order to communicate that print has purpose and meaning.
- Once students can accurately decode CVC and VC word types, these words should be introduced in short, highly controlled passages.
- Do not assume that learners will automatically transfer from reading words correctly in lists to reading words in passages. When introducing passage reading, they will need prompts and procedures for transferring word recognition skills to passages.
The explicit teaching procedure consists of two components:
- In the first component, teachers provide direct wording for students to "figure out the word, say the sounds in the word to yourself." This component generally lasts 1-2 weeks.
- The second component of transitioning to passage reading involves a modified prompt where teachers give a direction at the beginning of the passage. For example, the teacher says, "Figure out the first word" and then asks students to read the word. Note the prompting to say the sounds is eliminated.
- A final technique is to increase the pace of word reading. In initial passage reading exercises, allow 3 seconds of "think time" per word. As students become proficient (i.e., reading the passage with no errors), reduce the think time to 2 seconds and later to 1.5 seconds.
When introducing passage reading, it is important to:
- Ensure students can read the words in lists at a rate of one word per 3 seconds.
- Include only words students can decode in passages.
- Include repeated opportunities to read passages to develop accuracy and fluency.
- Make clear the connections between sounding out the words in lists and reading those words in passages.
- Progress from the highly prompted sight reading strategy to the less-prompted strategy.
- Reduce the time for sight reading words from 3 seconds to 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
- Teach words first in word lists before integrating into passages.
- Use both the sounding out strategy and sight reading strategy for a few weeks to communicate their connection.