What constitutes "Reading"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, here's where the newbie gets all annoying and bursts out her zillion questions blahblah.gif  shy.gif

 

Reading...In my mind, a child is "reading" when they can pick up a new book (on their level) and read it on their own.  But reading back through the threads I am seeing some reference and discussion of  "Reading" being defined as a child recognizing a certain number of words?   Does anyone have any further information or links on this topic?

 

I would say dd is *not* reading because she can't pick up an unfamiliar book and read the story....but she would certainly recognize a number of the words in that book and has had quite a few words she has recognized and could spell since she was about 2 (or earlier, I don't know...she' really didn't start speaking until she was 2)

 

I would just be interested to know how this is determined in assessments, by teachers etc.


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#2 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 09:31 PM
 
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I think the most enthusiastic teachers and cheerleaders of early literacy (i.e. some parents) tend to start measuring reading skills at their most rudimentary starting points. For instance, some school literacy assessments measure dozens of levels that precede what I personally would call reading. My personal definition is similar to what you described, except that I tend to say the child is "learning to read" until he or she can read simple short paragraphs of unfamiliar text with reasonable oral fluency. 

 

I don't think there's any real agreement on what constitutes reading in a child who is learning. It's in the eye of the beholder to a great extent. 

 

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#3 of 9 Old 02-19-2013, 11:20 PM
 
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I agree with Miranda. Personally, I don't see a child as being a "reader" until at least the 3rd/4th grade level. Before that level, they are "learning to read." It has become common to consider a child with a collection of site words as a reader but who accepts that marker varies.

 

My youngest was like yours... started picking out words by 2. At 4, could read almost any word on it's own. However, for several reasons, struggled to read multiple sentences and paragraphs comfortable until 7. I don't tell people he started reading at 2 because he really wasn't.


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#4 of 9 Old 02-20-2013, 01:41 AM
 
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As PP said, I wouldn't consider a child a fluent reader until he/she can read with high accuracy and comprehend across many content areas at 4th grade level. It actually isn't that unusual for children to hit that mark in K or 1st grade, putting them 4 or 5 years ahead of grade level. I know of a school where if your child in first grade isn't reading at 4th grade level, you get called into a conference and be advised that your child needs help "catching up" to his class (btw, that boy who was "only" reading at 3rd grade level at 1st grade went on to become a fulbright scholar).  eyesroll.gif

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#5 of 9 Old 02-20-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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I usually say my child is reading bob books, or easy readers, or at this grade level when posting on forums like this.  I don't tell anyone IRL for various reasons.  No, he can't pick up a high school text and read it, but he can pick up a frog and toad book and read and understand it.  So, I consider that a reader - at the second grade level :)

 

There's also some kind of eye tracking visual maturity needed to fluently read.  Big print is easy for DS to follow from one line to the next, but small print tightly spaced on a page is very difficult for him to follow.  He'll skip words, or skip lines and just give up.  I think when his eyes mature there will be a dramatic jump in his reading level.  He's been to the eye doctor and everything is fine for his age - meaning he is far sighted like a preschooler should be.  That should correct to about 20/20 around 5 to 7 years old.


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#6 of 9 Old 02-20-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

There's also some kind of eye tracking visual maturity needed to fluently read.  Big print is easy for DS to follow from one line to the next, but small print tightly spaced on a page is very difficult for him to follow.  He'll skip words, or skip lines and just give up.  I think when his eyes mature there will be a dramatic jump in his reading level.  He's been to the eye doctor and everything is fine for his age - meaning he is far sighted like a preschooler should be.  That should correct to about 20/20 around 5 to 7 years old.

 

Most likely. This is what happened with my DS. We had his eyes checked in 1st grade and they weren't quite tracking properly. At 7, it resolved itself and he went from stumbling through Dr. Seuss to reading high level novels. It was not lack of ability that held back his fluency. His body just needed to catch up. 


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#7 of 9 Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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As a teacher in a standard classroom:

 

a small sight word collection, recognition of sound/letter relationships, and maybe a memorized text was all 'emergent reading or preliteracy' . Most kids it is 3-5. (Preschool- start of of 1st)

 

'transitional reading' was a large sight word vocabulary and ability to decode unfamiliar words that are CVC/ CVCV/ CVVC (c for consonant and v for vowels), use picture clues, and read beginning readers such as  Bob books and/or predictable text. Often reading a few lines at a time. Most kids this is ages 4-6 ( PreK- end of 1st), retell a story heard or read

 

Then it is often labeled independent readers-- when the child can figure out new words that may or may not follow a pattern from context clues,  recognize and use nontypical spelling patterns to decode unfamiliar words, read simple (or complex) chapter books or picture books with lengthier paragraphs or high level vocabulary. Can read most things placed in front of them and able to retell simple plot lines or identify/define new vocabulary. retell reading and give details from text (1st to start of 3rd)

 

 

The age to hit independent reader is often 5-8. Most kids have reached it by the end of 2nd grade when it switches to 'reading to learn'-- K-2 is 'learning to read'. Of course, kiddos that are early reader or self-taught often hit these stages earlier. =] Kiddos with reading disabilities (regardless of giftedness or not) or difficulties often hit them later.

 

All the stages overlap a bit but that is the general progression regardless of age.

 

Some kids that seem to be independent but cant move past single sentences stage or that prefer larger print often some maturity or time allow the eyes/brain/attention/ print size and interest level to meet up. But it is not uncommon to have kids that really want to read more, read longer, read smaller text, etc but physically are unable due to visual tracking, eye maturity, attention span, or other developmentally appropriate reasons.

 

One of the first things we do if a child seems to struggle to read (think  1 st grade-ish  6-7 yr old) is check vision. Sometimes it is just a matter of a vision correction and/or eye maturity. You would be surprised at how many kiddos get picked up for glasses and/or tracking issues at Kindergarten screening!

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#8 of 9 Old 02-20-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!!  That is very helpful!!  


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#9 of 9 Old 03-07-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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To me, reading is more than just being able to recognize the words on a page. Comprehension, fluency, analysis, all have a part in it as well. I considered DD a reader when she could read chapter books on her own, decoding new words, and not getting stuck on more than 3 words per page. She just happened to hit that independent reader level at an earlier age - 4. 

 

Although, this doesn't mean she can decode all new words! For example, the other day she kept talking about 'cha-melons' and we couldn't figure out what she was referring to (I thought she was talking about a type of melon you eat). Then she mentioned how 'cha-melons' change color and if we had a pet 'cha-melon' would our cats eat it? Turns out, she had been reading a book at school about reptiles, and that's how she decoded the word chameleon. Even cuter, she was convinced that 'cha-melons' and chameleons were two distinct species. lol.gif


 

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