Stages of a Reader Pre-emergent

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Stages of a Reader


  • Text level N/A

  • May recognize a few sight words like their own name

  • May know and recognize 10-15 letters of the alphabet

  • Limited understanding of letter-sound correspondence

  • Limited understanding of how print works

  • May be 0-4 in oral language


  • Oral Language group

  • Simple stories for Read To

  • Small group Shared Reading

  • Focus on print concepts

  • Students learn to use prior knowledge to predict throughout the story, follow a simple story line, and check their predictions as the story is read

  • Skills work on letters, that letters stand for a sound and sounds can be combined to make words

  • Publish own texts to recall and read back

Early Emergent

  • Text level A-B

  • Begin to understand how text works; where the story starts and that print goes left to right

  • Know approximately 20 letters

  • They are able to dictate text, recall text, and reread text


  • Opportunities for students to look and interact with books
  • Opportunities for Read To, small group Shared, Guided Reading instruction, and Independent reading of known texts

  • Conversations where their thoughts and ideas are written down

  • Oral Language groups continue so that their language development moves to a more complex level

  • Own work published and reread to self and others


  • Text levels B-D

  • Expand and reinforce high-frequency words (11-15)

  • Students can reconstruct and read familiar texts

  • Can respond to and discuss texts by using their prior knowledge and experiences

  • Students are consistently matching the written word to the spoken word.

  • Know 21-34 letters and sounds

  • Developing strategies for figuring out unknown words

  • Begin to recognize more high frequency words and read with more accuracy and fluency

  • Advanced concepts of print


  • Continue work in oral language

  • Shared reading, read to, and guided reading instruction

  • Constant, consistent, explicit reinforcement of what they know (feedback)


  • Text level D-G

  • High- frequency bank of words is close to 20

  • Students can adapt to different genres and text types

  • Understand that texts tell stories or give the reader information

  • Consistent one-to-one match of written to spoken word

  • Uses a variety of strategies to identify and comprehend words; structure, meaning and visual cues
  • Takes risks and problem-solves with new text


  • Oral language groups

  • Development of text comprehension is dependent on listening comprehension

  • Continue small group Read To for comprehension

  • Guided reading groups


  • Text levels G-K

  • Begin to integrate cueing systems (visual, meaning, and structure) to make meaning

  • Making connections between new learning and past understandings

  • Can predict and self-correct to maintain meaning

  • Can share ideas and opinions

  • Start developing critical thinking skills

  • Building knowledge of text types: reading as a means of acquiring information as well as reading for pleasure


  • Small group Read To to improve listening comprehension

  • Guided reading groups

  • Oral Language can continue to go deeper with language structures

Early Established/Established

  • Text levels K-S

  • Extensive sight vocabulary

  • Have a deeper understanding of characters, events, situations and relationships in narrative text

  • Make judgments, evaluate situations, and make strong personal connections with characters

  • Use a wide repertoire of skills and strategies to help them make sense of the text

  • Read fluently with phrasing

  • Read for a longer stretch of time and for a specific purpose

  • Can link new information with existing knowledge
  • Automatically uses reading behaviors such as; self-correcting, re-reading, and so on

  • Can decode words rapidly and fluently


  • Students need exposure to a large variety of text and formats; fiction and nonfiction

  • Guided reading instruction

  • Reciprocal reading groups

  • Literature Circles

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