The Keys to Becoming a Lifelong Reader: Skills
Becoming a reader is a developmental journey. At each stage of this journey, kids face different challenges. To make progress with reading, they have to learn and master the right skills before they can move on to succeed with even more difficult texts.
The Reading Skills All Students Need to Learn
What are some of the skills that students develop on the path to becoming successful readers?
For beginning readers, learning phonics skills and strategies for decoding words is essential. As 2nd and 3rd graders master these decoding skills, they can start to build fluency, and their reading becomes smoother and more natural.
Kids have to learn and master the right skills before they can move on to succeed with even more difficult texts.
In 4th grade and beyond, students are expected to be able to read in order to learn new information. They have to develop strong comprehension and a robust vocabulary to get as much as they can out of everything they read. Middle and high schoolers then develop new analytical skills that help them think critically about the more complex fiction, nonfiction, textbooks they encounter as they advance through school.
Students who don’t get a solid foundation in the right reading skills for each grade can struggle, become discouraged, and fall behind. Contrast this to kids who consistently learn, practice, and master the skills to succeed with all of their reading assignments. Repeated success increases their confidence and helps them approach reading with greater motivation and excitement. Their eagerness to read and learn continues to grow.
A Positive Cycle for Building Reading Skills
Mastering the right skills gives kids the tools they need to have positive experiences while reading great books. As they discover that they like books, they naturally choose to read more for enjoyment. By reading more, they give themselves many opportunities to learn new skills and keep growing as readers.