Key Principle: Target Appropriate Skills

Learning literacy skills is a complex process that requires the integration of knowledge and skills in various domains, including:

  • Language skills (i.e., knowledge of vocabulary, syntax or sentence structures, and written genres such as narratives or expository texts)
  • Background knowledge
  • Phonological awareness skills such as sound blending and sound segmentation
  • Letter sound correspondences
  • Decoding and encoding skills
  • Sight word recognition and spelling of irregular words

Students must learn to integrate these basic skills fluently to read a wide range of texts with comprehension and to write/type to serve a variety of purposes.

Typically, at any point in time, we are working with each learner on a small group of skills, starting with those that are the most basic and gradually moving on to more complex skills as they develop their competencies in basic skills.

What skills did we target first with Anna?

Initially, we targeted the following skills with Anna:

  • Reading books to Anna and talking about the books to build language skills and world knowledge
  • Phonological awareness skills, specifically sound blending skills. Sound blending is essential to reading; the learner must listen to the sounds in a word said slowly and then blend them together to determine the word
  • Letter sound correspondences, that is knowledge of the sounds that letters make and the letters that are used to represent specific sounds.

To target appropriate skills

  • target skills that are known to advance literacy learning
  • target 3-4 skills at a time

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