The Reading Stages – a good refresher

13 Aug

Reading Stages

(adapted from the State College Area School District Language Arts Continuum)

Emergent Readers

  • Display curiosity about books and reading
  • Pretend read and write
  • Rely on pictures to tell the story but are beginning to focus on print
  • May know some letter names and sound associations

Developing Readers

  • Can read predictable books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar or  The teeny Tiny Woman)
  • Can identify letters by names and know most letter sounds
  • Begin to use spaces between words in writing but not consistently
  • Will recognize familiar words such as labels and names of classmates
  • Can participate in books discussions, will use personal experiences to make connections to literature

Beginning Readers

  • Begin to apply reading strategies (sentence structure, meaning, phonetic clues)
  • Rely on print more than illustrations to create meaning
  • Understand  basic punctuation such as periods, exclamations, and question marks
  • Read a range of early-reader series such as I Can Read, Little Bear, and Amelia Bedelia
  • Can retell the beginning, middle, and end of stories,
  • Participate in discussions about the story’s characters, setting, events, and problems

Expanding Readers

  • Use a variety of decoding strategies independently (sentence structure, meaning, phonetic clues)
  • Read known and predictable favorites while also stretching into a variety of new materials: may choose to read a range of beginning  chapter and picture books such as: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Amazing Grace, and The Boxcar Children  books
  • Silent read for a longer period of time, perhaps 20 minutes or more
  • Participate in guided literary discussions and are able to retell settings, characters, problems, major events, and solutions of the stories they read or hear
  • Also read non-fiction materials such as New True Books, or Ranger Rick

Bridging Readers

  • Strengthen their skills by reading longer books with little repetition of vocabulary
  • Integrate sentence structure, meaning and phonetic clues to identify words
  • Independently read medium-level chapter and picture books such as James and the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web, Bunnicula, Murfaro’s Beautiful Daughters, The Babysitter’s Club books, and American Girls books
  • Increased knowledge of literary elements and genres may allow them to describe character’s traits and growth over time, understand the importance of the setting and plot in a story, and compare and contrast books
  • Broaden their interests by choosing a wide variety of material such as World Magazine, Eyewitness or Explorer books.

Fluent Readers

  • Can deal with more complex issues and topics
  • May read preadolescent literature such as Fighting Ground, Old Yeller, Stuart Little, My Side of the Mountain, Number the Stars, and Words of stone
  • Select and finish a wide variety of materials and silent read for 30 or more minutes
  • Participate in teacher-guided or student-led literary discussions
  • Can analyze and debate the relationships among literary elements

Proficient Readers

  • Avid readers who can silent read for at least 30 minutes
  • Independently select challenging and complex pre-adolescent literature such as the trilogy by Tolkein, Monkey Island, Early Thunder, and  Maniac Magee
  • Move between genres with ease, although they may have strong preferences
  • Can become deeply involved in complex literary discussions through literature circles
  • Can plan appropriate strategies for conducting information searches as they integrate information from various resources of material

Independent Readers

  • Select, read, and understand materials of a sophisticated and complex nature, such as The Giver, Jacob Have I Loved, This Boy’s Life, Watership Down, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Evaluate, interpret, and analyze literary elements in depth
  • Investigate related issues by generating ideas, questions and posing problems

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