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The Five Pillars of Early Literacy

💚Phonemic awareness is phonics with your eyes closed. It is the ability to hear & produce sounds orally. Help children hear sounds by playing word games, rhymes, and tongue twisters.

💛Phonics is letter-sound connections. It is the key to decoding new words. Teaching children how to break apart words. Decoding is seeing print & producing speech. Encoding is needed to spell, it’s taking sounds and producing print. Segmenting and blending are the two most important phonemic awareness skills needed for this pillar.

🧡Vocabulary is a child's key to understanding more while reading and writing. It’s knowing the meaning of words heard & spoken, read & in written expression. Help children expand their speaking and listening vocabulary by talking to them and having conversations about the world as well as reading aloud to them.

💗Fluency is reading with expression, accuracy and automaticity to maintain meaning. Reading error-free is essential to fluency and comprehension. Knowing a word’s meaning also tells a reader HOW to read the word.

💜Comprehension happens when a child is able to read words so automatically and think about what the text is making them think of at the same time. Knowing if a child is truly comprehending means they are able to talk about what they’ve read or write about what they’ve read.

No one pillar (except for comprehension) stands alone. They are all needed for the next pillar. All four pillars lay the groundwork for comprehension. And, all five pillars stand on the foundation of Oral Language.

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