Three ways to categorize young readers are emergent, beginning, and independent.
Emergent reading is defined as children’s interaction with reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Emergent readers can recognize some short words and know some letter sounds. Yet, an emergent reader often relies on memorization. This frequently is the child who wants to hear the same story over and over again.
Help an emergent reader choose books with:
A beginning reader usually knows some sight words and can use his knowledge of phonics to sound out simple words. She looks for clues in the pictures to help her decode unknown words. Help a beginning reader choose books with:
An independent reader can easily decode unknown words and read with fluency and expression. This is the reader who pays attention to periods, question marks and exclamation marks at the end of sentences. They comprehend most of what they read. They use picture and word clues to figure out what they don’t understand. Help an independent reader choose books with:
No matter what category of reader your young child is, still read aloud to him often. Read a variety of books at different levels to, or along with him.
With lots of reading practice, you’ll be amazed at how quickly an emergent reader can become an independent reader!