Presentation on theme: "Our Goal For Our Students"— Presentation transcript:
1Our Goal For Our Students All students will read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade.While current district and state assessments don’t give grade level equivalents, we do have data to examine our students’ growth in reading..Teachers should be encouraged to look at their DIBELS and AIMS data to see how their students are progressing toward their goals.Presenters should also have their schools’ ITBS and WASL data to share.
2More than 40% of 4th graders are below the basic reading level, including 30% of the children in middle-class suburbs.For poor, minority children who attend low-performing urban schools, the incidence of reading failure is astronomical.African-American, Hispanic, ELL students, and those from impoverished homes have failure rates from 60 to 70 percent.National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1992, 1994(Data on 4th Graders)Significant numbers of students continue to fail. Despite our best efforts, the effects are variableFailure as a student often leads to struggles for adults. The US Office of Technology reports that 25% of adults lack basic literacy skills which leaves them ill-prepared for life. Poor readers make up a high percentage of those people who struggle in life; school drop-outs, incarcerated individuals, unemployed, and underemployed adults.Without effective instruction and well-planned intervention, the achievement gap will continue to grow.
3GOALSTo gain knowledge of all the components of phonological awareness and decoding.To understand why teaching phonological awareness and decoding skills is important.To learn and practice effective strategies for teaching phonemic awareness and decoding strategies and skillsRead through the goals for this module. Explain that we will be looking at the research and the strategies for teaching phonemic awareness and decoding.
4The strength of reading comprehension, like a rope, depends on different factors:• Strength of the individual strands• Strategic integration of all strands• Effective binding or connecting of strandsStructural AnalysisVocabularyFluencyThe strands in the graphic represent the skills that children need to learn to read: students should learn the fundamentals of phonological awareness prior to formal reading instruction. More advanced phonological awareness continues parallel with alphabetic understanding and decoding. Automaticity and fluency occur after students become more proficient with decoding.ComprehensionPhonological AwarenessPhonics
5Why should you be knowledgeable about teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, and structural analysis skills and strategies?Activity Directions:Have teachers pair off.Brainstorm two minutes.Write down their answers.Don’t share out. Have them hold on to their answers.
6Learning to read is not natural or easy for most children Learning to read is not natural or easy for most children. Reading is an acquired skill. American Federation of Teachers 1999Oral language develops naturally as a biological progression; reading is not tied to a student’s developmental stage.Researchers have established that certain aspects of learning to read are highly unnatural. Students must translate phonemes from speech to letters and letter patterns.Liberman, 1992While the home and community factors may contribute to a child’s success in reading, classroom instruction is the critical factor.
7Why Teach Phonemic Awareness & Decoding Well designed and delivered phonemic awareness and decoding instruction is necessary, but not sufficient.To facilitate reading, teachers must provide a program that integrates knowledge of the alphabetic principle, teaching for meaning, and opportunities to practice.A preponderance of evidence clearly shows that students who receive systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and decoding outperform those who don’t.In order to build the strongest program, students need reading instruction that includes:writingactivities that enhance meaningappreciation of literature andthe explicit teaching of skills and strategies.
8Looking At The Evidence That direct instruction in alphabet coding facilitates early reading acquisition is one of the most well established conclusions in all behavioral science (Stanovich, 1994)Systematic phonics instruction produced significantly greater growth than non-phonics instruction in younger children’s reading comprehension.(National Reading Panel, 2000)“ There is little evidence that children experiencing difficulties learning to read, even those with identifiable disabilities, need radically different sorts of supports than children at low-risk, although they may need much more intensive support”( Snow, Burns, and Griffin, 1998)What Are They Trying To Say Activity:Have 1’s explain to 2’s the implications of Stanovich’s quote to the classroom teacher.Have 2’s do the same with the National Reading Panel’s quote.Share out responses.
9Looking At The Evidence Older struggling readers benefit from systematic & explicit decoding instruction that focuses on teaching high utility skills and correcting non-functional strategies (Hasbrouck, 2003)Poorly developed word recognition skills are the most persuasive and debilitating source of reading challenges. (Adams, 1990, Perfetti, 1985, Share & Stanovich, 1995)The ability to decode long words increases the qualitative differences between good and poor readers.(Perfetti, 1986)Both beginning and older struggling readers benefit from PA and Decoding instruction. Teachers and students in Tacoma have not previously had curriculum, materials, and instruction to support their teaching and learning in this area. We are changing that.Have participants go back to their original ideas about the importance of teaching PA and Decoding and compare them to the information that has just been covered.
10Explicit Instruction Model Lead Test Corrective Feedback Modeling involves a kid-friendly explanation and a teacher demonstration.Lead involves guiding the students through the strategy or activity and doing it with them.Test allows students to demonstrate the skill independently or as a group.Corrective feedback should be timely and specific.
11Systematic Instruction A thoughtful plan and purpose for instruction includes:Scope- Key skills identified.Sequence- The order in which skills are introduced.(Hasbrouck, 2003)Teach the most common sounds and high frequency words, strategies that can be generalized.Begin with easy to more difficult skills.For Example – Identifying sounds in isolation then in words and separate possible confusions such as /b/ and /d/.
12Scaffolding Instruction I DO ITTEACHER SUPPORTSTUDENTINDEPENDENCEYOU DO ITWE DO ITScaffolding instruction includes both the way we instruct and the sequence of what we instruct.Good instruction includes kid-friendly explanations, modeling, practice, and corrective feedbackThe teacher may need to model many times ( I Do It) and provide extensive guided practice (We Do It) before students are released for independent practice (You Do It)TIME
13Scaffolding Phonics Instruction Even well-designed phonemic awareness and decoding programs may not get all students to grade level so scaffolding is often necessary.When well-designed materials are not available, teachers must have the knowledge to provide students with strategies and skills to efficiently decode and become successful readers.Knowing how to scaffold phonics instruction helps a teacher plan excellent first instruction as well as intervention for students who have not learned or incorrectly learned decoding skills.Currently all first and second grade teachers should be using explicit and systematic phonemic awareness and decoding programs that have been provided to them. Houghton Mifflin materials don’t provide systematic and explicit phonemic awareness or decoding instruction. SIPPS is used at the majority of our schools while a number of schools are using ReadWell or Reading Mastery.Kindergarten and third through fifth grade teachers don’t yet have materials readily available to them. That’s why it is all the more important that we learn about the best way to teach decoding skills.
14How To Scaffold Decoding Instruction Teach in sequenceRead and practiceBegin with common high frequency itemsPrograms like SIPPS and ReadWell have a well designed sequence that gives careful consideration to when elements are introduced.A common sequence for introducing phonetic elements is in the appendix.When students learn a new skill or strategy, make sure they have the opportunity to practice first in isolation, then in lists, and finally in connected text.When working with beginning readers or older struggling readers introduce skills and strategies that will have the widest application.
15Integration of Reading PhonemicAwarenessBlendingSegmentingLetter SoundsLetter SoundsRegular Word ReadingSounding out Sight ReadingReading in TextPrompted Independent ReadingIrregular Word ReadingLess Complex More ComplexThe chart above gives examples of when different skills are generally introduced. Phonemic Awareness is the precursor to later skills, by building a solid foundation in each of these skill areas students can become confident, competent readers.Advanced Word Recognition SkillsLetter Combinations Structural ContextualComplex vowel combinationsAdvanced Reading in TextDecodable Less Decodable Wide ReadingFluencyK12345
16When Should Phonics Instruction Begin? “Although conventional wisdom has suggested that kindergarten students might not be ready for phonics, this assumption was not supported by data. The effects of systematic, early phonics instruction were significant and substantial in kindergarten and first grade, indicating that systematic phonics programs should be implemented at those grades.”(National Reading Panel, 2000)Considerable controversy remains about teaching reading in kindergarten. However, the new Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for reading clearly indicate that kindergarten students must be provided with effective phonics instruction if they are to achieve the expectations by the end of kindergarten.Our students deserve to have appropriate materials and instructional methods provided to them. To meet this challenge we will need to work together.
17End of the Year Kindergarten Skills Alphabet RecognitionPhonemic AwarenessCommon Consonants & Short VowelsDecoding in Isolation & TextSight WordsExpectations for our kindergarten students have changed and increased over the years.Reading research has demonstrated that young students benefit from early instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics.In order for our students to become successful readers and learners and to meet the expectations of high-stake benchmark assessments, we must begin appropriate instruction early.Refer to the GLEs
18Are They Ready To Read? YES! In the past the belief was that to develop reading readiness kindergarten students were taught to hop and skip, cut with scissors and name the colors. These are worthwhile activities but skill in doing them shows negligible relationship with learning to read and often times delays reading instruction.What the child who is least ready for systematic reading instruction needs most is ample experience with oral and printed language.
19Phonological Awareness is something you can do in the dark. Phonological Awareness Activity:Turn out the lights before starting…Direct audience to close their eyes. Read aloud a story that lends itself to rhyme, alliteration, and rhythm but does not have a complicated plot. After reading, ask “what did you notice about the words while you were listening? What kinds of word patterns did you hear?” Chart their responses.Lead the discussion towards:listening – discriminating sounds in the environment, rhythm, rhyme, words that began with the same sound, predicting words.Put up overhead/slide of “PA is something you …”. And lead group to understanding that Phonological awareness is connected to the sounds of words (not the letters/graphemes).
20Phonological Awareness (PA) Anticipation Guide PA can be taught and it helps children learn how to read and spell.Older, disabled readers cannot benefit, in terms of reading, from PA instructionFocusing on one or two PA skills produces larger effects than teaching many PA skills at once.The results of PA research are not ready for implementation in the classroom.Phonological Awareness Anticipation GuidePass out the anticipation guide and put up slide/overhead. Have participants do a Think Pair ShareThink Direct each person to read each statement and code a T for agree and a F for disagree.Pair Participants discuss their decisions with a partner.Share Leader will read correct responses…discuss areas of disagreement.1. True False True False
21Five Levels of Phonological Awareness Phonemic AwarenessPhoneme Blending & SegmentingPhonological AwarenessOn set- Rime Blending & SegmentingMore complexSyllable Blending & SegmentingPhonological Awareness Continuum“Phonological Awareness” is an umbrella term that encompasses all of the above terms (phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness).This illustration shows what tasks in Phonological Awareness are more complex than others. Areas are NOT taught in isolation, and one shouldn’t wait until a student masters one to teach the next (e.g.., a student was stuck on rhyme – rather than working only on rhyme activities, move ahead with more complex skills but continue to work on rhyming). Several areas can be taught at the same time.Activity:1’s & 2’s work together to write a brief description of their understanding of each term.At the end of about 10 mins. Put up the “Phonics Awareness Terms” overhead and uncover each level (one at a time) so that participants can check for understanding.Sentence SegmentingRhyming & AlliterationLess complex
22Phonological Awareness: Theory Is a primary indicator of early reading successIs acquired through a continuum of skillsNeeds to be taught explicitly first, then in contextNational Reading Panel, 2000 and Snow, et al, 1998Discuss:PA is second only to knowledge of letter names as a predictor of later reading success.The English language is seamless, thus children are not naturally exposed to discrete phonemes in language (e.g.. The /k/ sound in cat). This is why we need to teach it explicitly first, then we need to bring it back into context for students to see how it is applied to both reading and spelling.Acquisition of phonological awareness is an important factor in learning to read and spell.This collection of skills can be taught prior to and during reading instruction.Phonological awareness will facilitate children’s learning of the alphabetic principle by drawing their attention to the sounds that are related to individual letters.
23Phonological Awareness Helps Young StudentsUnderstand that spoken language is made up of separate words, words are made up of syllables, and words can be broken down into separate sounds,Read and spell words,Grasp how the alphabetic system works,Move from sounds to letters (preparation for phonics instruction).Discuss each briefly.By breaking down the spoken language first into words, syllables, onset and rime, and finally phonemes, children learn the basic components of how the alphabetic system works and how they can transfer information (e.g.., bat and ball begin the same).Once students are able to discriminate between phonemes in words, they can apply this knowledge to reading and spellingStudents should simultaneously be taught letter names and phonological awareness skills. Once they can discriminate between many phonemes, they are ready to apply this knowledge to the symbolic level (phonics).
24What is a phoneme?The smallest part of spoken language that makes a difference in the meaning of words.“To learn an alphabetic script, children must learn to attend to that which they have learned not to attend to.”Adams,1990Phonemes are the smaller-than-syllable sounds that correspond roughly to individual letters. Although every speaker has functional knowledge of phonemes, lending conscious awareness to them would interfere with listening comprehension: To understand speech, it is necessary to attend to the sense of words and not the sounds ... Having learned phonemes well enough to produce and listen to oral language, there is almost no reason whatsoever for children to give them conscious attention – no reason, that is, unless they need to learn to read an alphabetic script.Emphasize the final statement. It just reiterates the point made in the beginning about our language being seamless and the necessity of discretely teaching phonological awareness.
25Why Teach Phonemic Awareness? Helps children learn to read,Help children learn to spell,Facilitates children’s learning of the alphabetic principle by drawing their attention to the sounds that are related to individual letters.Discuss each:Phonemic awareness instruction is an important factor in learning to read and spell.Phonemic awareness instruction is most effective when children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet.Phonemic awareness instruction is most effective when it focuses on only one or two types of phoneme manipulation, rather than several types.This collection of skills can be taught prior to and during reading instruction.
26How Do We Teach Phonemic Awareness? Manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet.Focus on only one or two types of phoneme manipulation, rather than several types.Skill learning takes place prior and during reading instruction.Phonemic awareness instruction makes a stronger contribution to the improvement of reading and spelling when children are taught to use letters to manipulate phonemes than when instruction is limited to phonemes alone.Teaching sounds along with the letters of the alphabet is important because it helps children to see how phonemic awareness relates to their reading and writing. For example: Learning to blend phonemes with letters helps children read words and learning to segment sounds with letters helps them spell words.Children who receive instruction that focuses on one or two types of phoneme manipulation make greater gains in reading and spelling than do children who are taught three or more types. It is more effective to focus instruction on segmenting and blending phonemes.
27Effective Phonemic Awareness Instruction Teaches students to manipulate phonemes by:BlendingWhat word is this …/sh/ /oe/?What sounds do you hearin bus?SegmentationRhymingWhat rhymes with cat?These are some of the activities that can be used to teach phonemic awareness. Rhyming, blending and segmentation are the most effective.There is a strong link between blending and segmentation. Research has shown that it is faster to teach blending and segmenting simultaneously than to separate them.How many sounds are inthe word box?Phoneme CountingWhat is left if the /t/ soundwere taken from cart?Phoneme Deletion
28National Reading Panel, 2000 IMPORTANT!!!!!Initial instruction is auditory followed by association of sounds to letters.Teach phonemic awareness in conjunction with letter names.Focus on one or two skills at a time.Tailor instructional time to students’ needs based on assessments.Some children will need more instruction than others.National Reading Panel, 2000Give the following example: Before applying it to the symbolic level, students first learn to segment the sounds in a word, /t/ /o/ /p/ for top. Then students can do this when faced with seeing the word top or trying to spell the word top.Both types of activities can be taught on the same day. One does not need to teach all letter names before beginning phonemic awareness activities or vice versa.Again, it is important to focus on only one or two skills at a time, knowing that if a child gets stuck in one area, it is okay to move forward to the next skill and revisit later.Since all students come to us with varying needs, it is important to differentiate instruction and to constantly assess students to determine if mastery has been achieved.
29PHONIC ANALYSIS STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS DECODINGPHONIC ANALYSISSTRUCTURAL ANALYSISCONTEXTUAL ANALYSISThis portion of the presentation will focus on research, rationale and instructional strategies in the area of Decoding, and the subcategories of Phonics, Structural Analysis and Contextual Analysis. We know that competent readers automatically and rapidly recognize thousands of words by sight. In a text that is read with fluency and accuracy, the reader has only a few words to analyze, the rest are known. Also, in the beginning stages of reading, children recognize certain words by sight, and these words help them figure out that letters and sounds are related (Ehri, 1991).
30DecodingThe ability to utilize letter-sound associations and structural elements to determine the pronunciation of unknown words.Decoding is translating printed words into a representation similar to oral language (i.e.: reading---either silently or aloud--- ”I am hot” for the words I am hot). Understanding this representation is comprehension and successful readers must be proficient in decoding to comprehend.. “Since the English language is not a highly phonetic language, decoding instruction needs to be done not only in the beginning reading stages but at the intermediate levels to continue the building of the foundations of future learning.” (Carnine, Silbert & Kameenui, 1997)
31Strategies For Teaching Decoding Phonic AnalysisStructural AnalysisContextual AnalysisThese strategies will teach children to analyze the letters of the written language and the individual sounds of spoken language.By Phonic Analysis we mean teaching students the relationship between the sounds they hear and the letters that represent those sounds.Structural Analysis is teaching the students to look for and use structural elements to decode unknown words.Contextual Analysis is a useful tool in helping students to decode irregular words.It should be used as a confirming strategy rather than a primary strategy. Irregular words are words students can’t decode because they contain letter sound correspondences students have not yet learned or don’t represent the most common sound.“The goal of these strategies is to help children recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, thus contributing to the ability to read words in both isolation and in connected text.” (Carnie, Silbet, Kameenui)
32Group Activity:Have table groups generate a list on a “T” chart which reflect the traditions/myths/practices that have evolved over time in the area phonics.After groups have had processing time, do a group share out and create a “T” chart.Have ELI presentors filter out group responses listening for: Sullivan, Modern Curriculum Press, Schaffer ect.This chart will be revisited after slide #37.
33PHONICS“Approaches in which systematic code instruction is included along with the reading of meaningful connected text result in superior achievement overall for both low-readiness and better prepared students.” (Adams, 1990)Read and discuss this quote from Adams stressing these key points:Letter recognition skills are strong predictors of reading success.Phonics is knowing the relationship between specific printed letters and spoken sounds.Systematic and explicit phonics instruction significantly improves word recognition, spelling and comprehension through repeated opportunities to read. (Put Reading First)
34What Is Phonics?“Teaching students the relationship between the sounds they hear and the letters that represent those sounds.”Phonics defines the set of relationships between written letters and the spoken sound that those letters represent. This quote by Marilyn Adams (1990) answers the question on the slide, “The deep and thorough knowledge of letters, spelling patterns, and words, and of the phonological translations of all three, are of inescapable importance to both skillful reading and its acquisition. Instruction designed to develop children’s sensitivity to spellings and their relations to pronunciations should be of paramount importance in the development of reading skills.”
35Why Is Phonics Instruction Important? Significantly improves word recognition and spelling,Improves reading comprehension,Helps children from various social and economic levels,(Put Reading First, 2001)Beginning readers must become familiar with the printed code in order to equate it with oral language. Young children can understand and enjoy a book if someone reads the text to them; however, in order to understand and enjoy the book on their own, they must learn to recognize printed words as the equivalent of what was read to them (Sticht & James, 1984). It is important to emphasize these key points:Systematic and explicit phonics instruction significantly impacts reading acquisition.Systematic phonics instruction results in better growth in children’s ability to comprehend what they read. The ability to read the words in a text accurately and quickly is highly related to successful reading comprehension.Phonics instruction should not be reserved for children of a specific economic status or ethnic group. It helps children of various backgrounds make greater gains in reading than non-systematic instruction or no phonics instruction.
36Why Is Phonics Instruction Important? (CONTINUED) Benefits children who are having difficulty learning to read and who are at risk for developing future reading problems,More effective than non-systematic or no phonics instruction.(Put Reading First, 2001)Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is instrumental in helping to prevent reading difficulties among at risk students and in helping children overcome reading difficulties.It also makes a bigger contribution to children’s growth in reading than instruction that provides non-systematic or no phonics instruction.In order for children to read & appreciate written text independently they must develop word identification and decoding skills.
37Effective Phonics Instruction EarlySystematicExplicitApplication of SkillsThe topics on this slide are the components of effective phonics instruction. When presenting this slide for each bullet use the following elaborations :Phonics instruction should be a part of every kindergarten program as addressed in the EALR’s.When Phonics Instruction is systematic the plan of instruction includes a carefully selected set of letter-sound relationships that are organized into a logical sequence.When Phonics Instruction is explicit the program provides teachers with precise directions for the teaching of these relationships.Children are instructed how to relate letters and sounds, how to break spoken words into sounds, and how to blend sounds to form words.Children have numerous opportunities to apply their knowledge of phonics as they read words, sentences and text. They also apply what they have learned about sounds and letters to their own writing.(Pikulski, 2001)
38Phonic Analysis Letter-sound associations consonant & vowel letters consonant combinationsvowel combinationsSegmenting & BlendingSight WordsLetter-sound associations: utilize a well-organized, systematic sequence to introduce the most common associations, provide explicit instruction, differentiate between continuous and stop sounds, teach to a high level of mastery.As students learn letter/ sounds correspondence , students need explicit instruction to blend these sounds to read words and segment these sounds to write words.There are words that cannot be decoded using phonics rules and letter sound relationships. They must be read “on sight” and committed to memory. These words should be high utility and daily cumulative review should follow introduction. Limit the number of sight words introduced in a week and teach highly similar words (i.e.: was/saw, thought/though) in separate lessons.
39Structural Analysis Inflectional Endings Prefixes Suffixes Root Word ContractionsCompound WordsOnset-rimeMultisyllabicWe learn about words by comparing, contrasting, and combining them. As teachers we need to make word study active, so that students not only expand their knowledge of words but understand the internal structures of words and meaning.Students can read many new words if they are able to identify their structural elements: inflectional endings (ing, s, ed), prefixes (un,re,in,im), suffixes (tion, ly), compound words, root words and onset-rime.Multisyllabic words are often content words that carry the meaning of the passage. The number of multisyllabic words dramatically increases in the 3rd. Grade. From 5th grade on average students encounter approximately 10,000 words a year that they have never previously encountered in print (Nagy & Andersen 1984). Most of these new words are longer words having 2 or more syllables (Cunningham, 1998).
40Contextual Analysis Used For Irregular Words Syntax (word order) Semantics (word meaning)Contextual analysis is a useful tool in helping students to decode irregular words.Syntax (word order) limits the number of possible words that can come next in a sentence. For example the next word in the sentence “John ran to the ________” might be any of several nouns (e.g.: store, shore, station) but could not be a verb (e.g.: stay, shave) or adverb (e.g.: slowly) or pronoun (e.g.: she).Semantics (word meaning) further limits the number of words that can come next in a sentence. For example “Though the next word in the sentence (Alice threw away the blank __________) must be a noun, only certain nouns make sense.
41English Language Learners Some languages do not share the same systemAlphabetic( English, German, Spanish, Russian), Logographic (Chinese), Syllabic (Japanese)Some phonemes are not represented in ELL’s native languageNot all languages share the same linguistic characteristicsb,c,d,f,l.m.p,q,s,and t similar in English / SpanishVowels are more challengingAcquisition of English hinges on how literate one is in their native language. This is especially difficult if they have limited literacy in their primary language and then have to move to a different language system in which to learn reading.This may make it difficult for a student to pronounce and distinguish certain sounds.Vowels in English and Spanish look the same, but do not have the all the same sounds.It may be helpful to provide more instruction in new phonemes, word patterns to help the ELL student bridge the gaps in their understandings. (Language Transfer for Teachers, Rigby)These examples represent not simply the challenges in teaching ELLs to read in English, but also illustrate that teachers can effectively teach phonics and all of the reading components if they are armed with knowledge about their students and their native language. ( Adapted from Directions in Language & Education , Spring 2002, No.15)PA and Phonics instruction can begin beforeELLs have achieved oral language proficiency
42Struggling LearnersLimited experience and exposure with language play.Skills that prevent poor reading can be taught but they need to be taught early in school.Early intervention is the key to reading success.Children raised in poverty, those with limited proficiency in English, those from homes where the parents’ reading levels and practices are low, and those with speech, language, and hearing handicaps are at increased of reading failure. (G. Reid Lyon, 1997)Language play develops an awareness of sound structure and language patterns. Limited experience in these areas can result in reading deficits as the student enters school.Students who have phonological deficits can benefit from Phonemic Awareness, letter sound knowledge , oral language development work up until 5th grade.Prevention studies commonly show that 70-90% of at risk children in K-2 learn to read in average range if they have had early intervention in PA.
43How Do We Support Struggling Learners? Explicit instruction is crucial.Activities that involve segmenting and blending phonemes, sound symbol relationships, songs, poems are important.The use of background knowledge helps bridge students’ understanding of words in the text.Develop meaning for words while tying in PA and phonics for increased success.ELL and other diverse learners respond well to meaningful activities such as language games and word walls, especially when the activities are consistent and focus on particular sounds and letters. Songs, and poems, with their rhythm and repetition, are easily memorized and can be used to teach phonemic awareness and print concepts to ELLs. (Hiebert, et al., 1998)Use of artifacts and realia are helpful in building background knowledge and schema for struggling learners.Beginning reading programs should allot sufficient instructional time to the teaching of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension. All the components of reading are necessary to read and should be taught in an integrated context and given ample time to practice in text. ( Adapted from statements made before the Committee on Education and the Workforce, US House of Representatives , Washington, D.C, July 10, 1997)Repetition is the key to instruction. Students need lots of practice, first in limited exposure then generalized into broader context.