While not everyone agrees that reading is one of life's pleasures, few would dispute that reading is an essential skill for a rich and full life. Certainly, without learning to read well, schooling becomes a lot more challenging. If you're not a good reader and writer, you will encounter many hurdles in a school environment.
There are five skills that we see in all good readers. These skills are necessary for readers to recognise words easily and quickly, focus on the meaning of the words they are reading and make sense of what they have read.
The idea for Helping children become better readers came to me many years ago when I was working in schools with parents and teacher aides helping children learn to read. It became clear to me that some of the prompts being used weren't particularly helpful.
We all know that reading is an essential skill, but many teachers struggle to fit it in with all the competing demands on their time. Rather than see reading as an extra thing to make time for, we need to see it as part of how we teach content and skills.
It makes sense that if there is no prior knowledge, then there is nothing to activate. Students often study topics they know very little about (that is why, after all, that they attend school!) and therefore teachers must think of ways of providing the necessary background knowledge quickly and efficiently.
The purpose of reading is comprehension; to make meaning from what is read, not just saying the words. When teachers complain their students read but don't understand the text, their students are decoding, not reading.