COnfusedThe Key To Learning is teaching for Understanding



Decoding is reading the words on a page quickly and accurately.

Language comprehension is attaching meaning to the words.


To learn to read students need a teacher who can:

Help define individual goals

Provide a nurturing learning environment

Plan effective reading instruction to meet specific needs

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Word Attack Skills for the Effective Reader

Apply  strategies and rules to help with decoding and spelling words in English


Teaching students how to decode may be considered the nuts and bolts  or the more  boring side of  teaching reading; however, decoding  requires several prerequisite competencies that include an understanding of the alphabetic principal and how the structure of the English writing system works.  This can be a very exciting and fun part of teaching reading if the strategy and approach is both  explicit , systematic and effective.

Below are short learning modules by Miss Joy that outlines specific reading and spelling strategies. Additional  resources provided with  tips and tricks to help educators turn the “boring” nuts and bolts of reading  instruction into an  interactive and fun  language learning experience.

Miss Joy’s teaching approach  to decoding English words is through the use of direct instruction of  several word attack strategies.   Children  learn to become conscious  readers by understanding  that most English words divide into syllables following one of the six basic patterns.

Practice on controlled word lists facilitates recognition of word patterns.  Reading controlled lists in patterning, reading words becomes an  easier task for children to  remember since instruction is  through application rather than isolated drills.

Reading Strategy Part 1:

WORD STUDY APPROACH“Understanding the Code”

To help students understand the complexity of words.  Students become comfortable applying decoding skills to known or unknown vocabulary thus increasing comprehension in all areas of reading.

Below are additional  strategies for developing and reinforcing Word Study skills that can be implemented easily and quickly in the classroom. Lessons created by Uthink, a teacher professional development resource.

Elkonin Boxes

Multisyllabic Spelling Boxes

Dictated Words/Sentences

six syllable types


Reading Strategy Part 2:





Syllable Division


Phonemic Awareness:

Phonemic awareness is strictly an auditory process. Children need to make the connection between print and speech. Phonemes stimulate the spoken language centers of the brain, not letters.

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Five Levels of Phonological Awareness Activities

Watch Video HERE

Effective  Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary:

Resources are provided by  UThink for teachers participating in the UThink programs as well as individuals involved in the education of students. Resources may be used for personal or classroom use only. Permission for use does not apply to general distribution or for creating new works or for resale. 


Concept Circles (Vacca & Vacca, 1996) help students understand the meanings of words by asking them to consider how a group of words are related. Students have fun thinking about the words while learning them.

Concept of a Definition (Schwartz & Raphael, 1985) is a strategy that helps students define vocabulary words and understand the components of a complete definition.

Personal Clues (Carr, 1987) is a strategy that helps students understand and remember the definition of an unfamiliar word, by linking it to their personal experiences. These links help students remember the meaning of new vocabulary words.

Possible Sentences (Moore & Moore, 1992; Stahl & Kapinus, 1991) is a strategy that gets students involved in discussing, writing, and reading key vocabulary words from the assignment for the day. This strategy prepares students to read, understand, and respond to the text.

Semantic Feature Analysis (Johnson & Pearson, 1984) is a strategy that helps students define vocabulary words and discover the unique characteristics of related words.

Reading is a perceptual process that involves both auditory and visual processes.

Reading is a special type of listening process. When we read our eyes act like a second set of ears.  Auditory processing refers to a set of skills related to how the brain recognizes and interprets information presented orally.  Children and adults with auditory processing difficulties can have difficulty with learning to read.  It is often difficult to recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. Find out more by clicking on the video below.

My Reading Mentor offers reading intervention support  for native English Speakers that struggle with Auditory processing issues.

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