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In all my years of teaching, I have found that teaching phonics to children is the best way for them to develop as a reader. Once the child learns all the consonant sounds one can begin to teach the patterns and rules for each vowel. This simple, explicit teaching then sets up a child to learn blends, digraphs, diphthongs and chunks of root words. These can be taught simultaneously with Dolch sight words. When the child has mastered these concepts, they are ready to begin practicing what they have learned. Daily practice for at least twenty minutes is needed for the child to develop mastery at reading. Once the child has gotten good at name calling, comprehension skills can be taught. This is why comprehension is not introduced until the end of first grade when they are asked to read the text and tell who and what happened in the story. I have taught many children to read. Some with disabilities and some without, but despite the issues each child was facing, I have found this... read more

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