As parents and teachers, we often wonder if our children are on track for reading. We usually think that once a child has learned letter names and their corresponding sounds that it must be ready to learn to read. This can be true, but not always. There are many more signs we can refer to when trying to determine reading readiness. It covers a set of competencies that are often forgotten about when considering if reading should be the next step of instruction. Some competencies to determine Reading Readiness are:
Physical Development – Children need to have strong bodies that can support sitting, since that tends to be the preferred position for reading a book. Children also need to have the fine motor skills that accompany writing and page turning.
Cognitive Development – In the case of reading readiness, children need to have a cognitive level where they can both visually and auditorily discriminate between letter shapes and different letter sounds. Visual discrimination includes the ability to see likeness and differences among letters. Auditory discrimination means that a child can hear the difference between similar sounds.
All of these competencies, and other social and emotional skills, are worked during the entire Kindergarten and eventually leads to starting to read. In our school the children in Infant 3 are working hard to develop their reading abilities and some children are already able to blend the sounds into words, like we could see when Infant 3A presented a reading of the Pete the Cat book “I love my white shoes” on our Weekly Assembly.