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Reading Curriculum

Reading is the most important thing a child learns to do in school; So many things in life center around the ability to read. As a result, the reading curriculum is packed full of key components to help every child master this fundamental skill. As an elementary classroom teacher, there are four basic reading structures that your reading curriculum should include in order to help your students on their journey to being solid readers. These four basics are shared reading, guided reading, independent reading and reading aloud. Including these four key pieces of the reading curriculum into your daily reading lesson plans will ensure success for most students.

It is important to read aloud to your students every day. This opens their eyes to new genres, allows them to hear a fluent reader read with expression, and works on their listening skills as well. Students of all ages enjoy listening to stories read aloud, whether short picture books or longer chapter books. In addition, it is also important to allow your students time to read books of their choosing during an independent reading period. Some teachers call this Drop Everything and Read or Sustained Silent Reading. This independence allows the students time to practice skills they have previously learned and take time with books that interest them in particular.

Shared reading involves the entire class or small group of students, reading and rereading a poem or a story together, usually several times during the week. This repetition helps them build fluency and accuracy. Big books are a wonderful way to incorporate shared reading into a primary classrooms reading curriculum.

Guided reading is where the nuts and bolts of teaching reading really come in. Students work in small groups under the direct supervision of a teacher, all working on the same book. The teacher highlights key vocabulary and comprehension for the students to focus on, and the students practice reading independently with the guidance of the teacher and the group. Including each of these four key fundamentals into your reading curriculum will give your students a variety of ways to interact with text and reading, and provide them with a strong foundation for being life long learners!

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