The Latest from Reading Research

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I am a veracious reader of reading research. In my blog and newsletter I hope you will be pleased to find tidbits of reading research to support working with your child on reading skills as well as suggestions to ponder. I do this a lot! Sometimes I feel as if I am on a merry-go-round as reading research seems to always come full circle!

This week Reading Research Quarterly provided several articles in their July/August/September 2010 journal edition which I felt were particularly interesting and would be welcomed as a discussion item this week. Reading Research Quarterly is a published by the International Reading Association (IRA) believed to be the leading organization on reading research. I am a huge fan!

The two articles I wanted to touch upon are listed below. Should you choose to subscribe to the journal or see if you can find them on GOOGLE to read more!

Silverman, R., & Crandell, J. (2010, July/August/September). Vocabulary Practices in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Classrooms. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(3), 318 340.

Kirby, J.R., Georgiou, G.K., Martinussen, R., & Parrila, R. (2010, July/August/September). Review of Research: Naming Speed and Reading: From Prediction to Instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(3), 341 362.

The major take away from the first article was you can NEVER do enough reading aloud to your children. You should ask about related story vocabulary while reading, using words they already know, and connect this vocabulary to their experiences. Additionally, try to connect new vocabulary words in meaningful contexts outside of the story.

What does this look like? You may do the following while reading Jack and the Beanstalk’s The giant devoured the meal his wife set before him. You may ask, “Do you know what the word devoured means? The child might respond, “No.” You may share, “Devoured means to eat something quickly. Have you ever eaten something quickly?”

The next time your child wolfs down an ice cream cone share, “Did you devour that thing or what!” HAHA!

The major take away from the second article was naming speed is gaining momentum in the reading research world of being highly correlated to a child’s reading fluency and their reading comprehension skills. This would transfer to automatically recognizing groups of letters when reading that make the same sounds. A weakness in naming speed has been shown to be a leading factor in a child’s continued need for reading intervention. This makes sense because if you are struggling with sounding out words you are not going to be able to focus on the meaning of text.

How can you help your child with this process? Think about memorizing facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and take those games and repetition drills into the reading arena. Repetition does pay off as you can focus on the meaning of text instead of struggling to sound out the words.

You can also develop groups of letter sight flash cards as one strategy and/or use the games in my BEYOND THE BOOKS member link to memorize these frequent letter patterns as we do with memorizing sight words. Remembering that the group of letters “ight makes the /ite/ sound is worth knowing by sight. You can train your mind to recognize it as automatically as you would 2+2= 4. Practicing naming speed will help improve a child’s fluency and reading comprehension skills.

That’s it for now!