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EARLY YEARS READERS!
Reading in Early Years
Reading is the process of constructing meaning from text, whether written or graphic, paper based or digital. At the core of reading is meaning. Meaning is what we search for as we read (our goal) and it is also part of what we use to reach that goal (our guide). In constructing meaning from a text, readers combine what they know about the world, the topic of text, the grammatical structure of the language in which the text is written and the way spoken language relates to the letter, words, visual elements and symbols on the page (winch et all pg 4).

Reading is the most important aspect to teaching literacy, without being able to read a student isn’t able to function in everyday life. We can see some examples with the following pictures;

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Selecting a Text:
In any literacy program it is important that all the students are engaging and learning from the text. In early years literacy, it is more important to select a text that the students will like and enjoy. Teachers want the reading experience to be fun and positive and it's important that the children find enjoyment in reading texts. When selecting text, teachers need to consider the students funds of knowledge. This will help ensure that the students will be interested in the text and find the literacy experience enjoyable.

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Fluency of Reading :
It is important that students are continuing to develop there fluency with reading, if a student is taking long pauses and is reading slowly they tend to have trouble understanding what they're reading, as Hill states “Fluency is important because it frees the child to concentrate on the meaning of the text“ (HILL pg168). A reading fluency rubric has been used to show the fluency of all the students. As you can see most of the students fall between level 1 and 2, this is because all the students were early years learners.

The Students combined Reading Fluency Rubric

Level 1
Working Towards
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Rate: reads smoothly at an appropriate pace
Student E : very little variation of rate

Student A ,Student C & Student D showed variation of rate to suit the text.
Student B pays attention to rate to suit the text.

Phrasing: reads in meaningful chunks or phrases

Student E
Student D reads mostly words by word but some 2 word phrases and perhaps 3 or 4 word phrases.
Student A, Student B & Student C student read a mixture of word by word reading and phrased reading.

Pausing: reflects punctuation
Student C & Student E showed very little awareness
of punctuation.
Student D
Student A & Student B
has some awareness of punctuation and layout to print


Stress: places emphasis on appropriate words
Student C showed no emphasis on appropriate words.
Student D
Student A & Student B has some awareness of emphasis on appropriate words to reflect the meaning of the text


Intonation and expression: varies the voice in tone, pitch and volume
Student C showed no change of voice in tone, pitch or volume.
Student D& Student E
Student A & Student B uses some expressive interpretation



Reading Comprehension :

Reading comprehension is the ability to read a never before seen text and understand the meaning of the text. Hill describes reading comprehension as the act of " simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning from the text" (Hill,2006). There are three key dynamics that make up comprehension: the reader, the text and the activity.

Hill explores the three dynamics,
"The reader consists of those aspects that make us all different: our cultural experiences, knowledge, capabilities, age and gender. The texts can be print or electronic form and of different genres from comics to information books. The activity has three dimensions: the purpose, the processes and the consequences" (Hill,2006 p.191).

When assessing reading comprehension teachers use 3 types of comprehension questions. Literal are referred to as on-the-line questions and they're for the reader to recall literal information that is written in the text. Interpretive are referred to as the between-the-lines questions. Children need to interpret information and make connections by reading between the lines. Inferential questions are referred to as beyond-the-lines questions. All these questions prompt the reader to think beyond the text to combine information and then provide a critical or creative response. Below is a table of our students that show the comprehension skills and their ability to answer the comprehension questions.

Table of all the students comprehension skills:

Was able to answer literal questions about the text?
Is able to answer interpretive questions from the text?
Can answer inferential questions from the text?
Teaching Implications
Student A
Very well student B answered the literal questions quickly and with confidence
Student A was able to answer literal questions based on the text. Student A was able to answer interpretive questions and showed they understood the text by answering the question "why cant Russell the sleep while all the other sheep do?"
Student A struggled to answer any inferential questions. student A kept saying "i dont know, i dont know"
With student A we would need to focus on getting the student used to think creatively and using his imagination. Encourage the student to think less logically.
Student B
Very well student B answered the literal questions quickly and with confidence.
Student B was able to answer some interpretive questions, sturggled a little and usure for some questions.
Student B answered inferential questions easily with confidence and references to the text.
With student B the focus needs to be on interpretive questions and getting them to think more between the lines with text.
Student C
Very well student C answered the literal questions quickly and with confidence.
Student C wasn’t as confident in this area of questioning, taking a little longer to answer but did answer the interpretive questions.
Student C wasn’t able to answer any inferential questions and struggled with telling me another way the story could have ended. Student C was quoted as saying “he doesn’t like to imagine”
With student C we would need to focus on getting the student used to think creatively and using his imagination. Encourage the student to think less logically.
Student D
Student D answered vaguely to literal questions
Student D answered vaguely to interpretive questions
Student D answered vaguely to inferential questions
The text for student D was too hard, so the first thing is selecting an appropriate text and then assessing their comprehension.
Student E
Student E was able to easily answer literal questions as it was done as a running record.
Student E struggled with interpretive questions , took long pauses in answering some questions and didnt answer others.
Student E was able to write a different ending to the story that showed a good comprehension on the story.
With student E the focus needs to be on interpretive questions and getting them to think more between the lines with text.