Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. Phonemic Awareness instruction includes building proficiency with rhyming, blending sounds, and segmenting sounds in words. Phonemic Awareness is a building block of early reading. Instruction mainly takes place in primary grades and should be firmly developed in older students.
Phonics is the process of linking sounds in spoken language to letter symbols of written language and combining them to make real words. In primary grades, phonics instruction focuses on the spelling patterns for all consonant and vowel sounds in the English language. Children work on developing these skills so they can decode words automatically. In intermediate grades, the instructional focus is on word parts and word origins.
Fluency is reading with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Instruction includes modeling and guided practice with students reading familiar texts. Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding words and can focus attention on what the text means.
Vocabulary includes the words we must know to communicate. Instruction includes both oral and reading vocabulary. Vocabulary knowledge enables students to comprehend text.
Comprehension is the process of constructing meaning from text. Instruction includes explicit teaching of reading strategies and skills using a variety of texts and media.
Writing is the ability to communicate ideas effectively. Instruction focuses on producing various written products using the writing process and incorporating the 6+1 Traits. The rules of grammar, spelling, and handwriting are modeled, guided, and practiced throughout the grades. Strategies for developing effective listening and speaking skills are infused throughout the Language Arts curriculum.