Want to become a reading superhero? We chat to Tina Clothier, top-level Reading Superhero teacher from Ready for Reading to find out the key steps to becoming a Reading Superhero.
1. Gather a very large vocabulary and put it in your superhero toolbelt. This should begin when you are a mini superhero. It involves intensive training in the art of speaking and listening. You should talk to everyone, all day. Ask lots of questions and listen to the answers; visit lots of places and talk about what you see; read books; sing songs; listen to music; play word games. Take good care of this tool and add to it continuously.
2. Your first super power, Phonemic Awareness is very difficult to learn, so listen carefully and practise, practise, practise. Learn to hear and identify all the individual sounds in a word; e.g. the word cat is made up of the sounds /c/, /a/, /t/ (sounds, not letter names). Then you must learn to play with the sounds; say the word cat, then say the word cat without the letter ‘c’ and you have at. Add the letter ‘p’ to the beginning of at and you have pat. What happens if you add the letter ‘s’ to the front of pat? You have the word spat. Be proud of this superpower and look after it well.
3. Phonics is your next superpower. This begins when you enter The School for Reading Superheroes. You will learn, through extremely difficult lessons, the alphabet and many ways of spelling sounds. Did you know the English language has 26 letters, but 44 sounds and over 500 different ways of spelling those sounds? Wow! It’s not for the faint hearted so put on your superhero thinking caps and try, try, try.
4. While you are mastering the art of phonics you will begin learning how to use the Magic Sightword Glasses. They allow you to read and understand lots of single words in an instant and make you a superfast reader. The training is arduous and fraught with danger but there is nothing better than adding your very own Magic Sightword Glasses to your superhero toolbelt.
5. Almost there. Only two more superpowers to go. Fluency is the power to use your Magic Sightword Glasses for reading all the words in sentences quickly and with expression; just like how you sound when you are speaking. This takes lots of practise, so you must read every day.
6. Last superpower. Comprehension is the power to understand everything you read with your Magic Sightword Glasses. The reason we read is to understand and learn new things so keep on reading, reading, reading.
Congratulations! You are now a READING SUPERHERO!