Chris and Alex

In the “Foundations of Literacy” module, we learned about two children entering kindergarten, Alex and Chris. Alex had a childhood full of books and reading. She showed up to school already well versed in the mechanics of reading. Alex knew how to hold a book, and that we read from left to right in English. She also had a grasp of phonemes, knowing which letters make what sounds and able to write her name over and over. We don’t know about Chris’ upbringing, but we do know that he doesn’t show the same enthusiasm. He has poor phonological awareness and he struggles with the idea that a symbol on a piece of paper can be matched with a sound. It is critical to recognize these early signs that indicate Chris may struggle learning to read.

  • Dyslexia
    a learning disability characterized by poor spelling and difficulties with word recognition and word decoding. It is unrelated to intelligence, motivation, or school experience
    Explicit instruction
    systematic and direct teaching that takes into account students’ prior knowledge
    Phonics-based reading instruction
    teaching focused on how letters represent sounds and how words can be sounded out by knowing letter-sound correspondences
    the brain’s ability to change as a result of experience