For struggling students, we spend so much time working to build phonological awareness and phonics skills that we rarely get to the higher-level skills of building vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. We assume those skills will come naturally once a child has the necessary foundational skills required to decode. But the problem is that for many students, those higher-level skills don’t come. And we’ve spent so much time building the foundation that we’ve missed critical time that we should have been focusing on drawing in and connecting those semantic skills we need to comprehend what we’re reading.
There is no doubt that phonological awareness and phonics instruction are critical components but we also need to be drawing in language development and comprehension skills from the very beginning. We need to be building a reading foundation that supports all of the bases of the literacy processing triangle from the very beginning.
What we need to be doing is supporting language development and comprehension from the very beginning. We can even use the literacy processing triangle to help struggling students begin to make this connection. When we begin to ask students to verbalize their understanding of this connection it solidifies the entire neural process (completion of the triangle) required to read and we begin systematically reinforcing vocabulary development and comprehension skills from the very beginning.
This Freebie is a quick and easy assessment that you can use to get a snapshot of your student's semantic abilities at the sound, word, and/or sentence level.
Be sure to watch the video for directions using this new assessment tool!