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Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop

Word Study and Fluency

In this session, you will investigate and apply research-based principles of word study and fluency in early literacy.

Learning Goals

At the end of this session, you will better understand:

  • concepts and research-based principles of effective work-study
  • the difference between phonemic awareness and phonics
  • why fluency is important in beginning reading instruction
  • issues and controversies in word study instruction

Factors Related to This Session

  • Emergent literacy
  • Phonics
  • Accuracy and fluency


“We don’t know that there’s one right way to teach phonics. We know that you must teach phonics. It’s non-negotiable.”
Jeanne R. Paratore

Related Resources

Books For Developing Phonemic Awareness

A My Name is Alice by Jean Bayer (Puffin Books, 1984)

Alligators All Around: An alphabet by Maurice Sendak (Harper Collins, 1962)

Cock-A-Doodle-Moo by Bernard Most (Harcourt Brace, 1996)

Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles (Harper Collins, 1988)

Howdi Do by Woody Guthrie (Candlewick Press, 2000)

The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler (Scholastic, 1990)

I knew Two Who Said Moo by Judi Barrett (Atheneum, 2000)

Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks (Harper Collins, 1998)

One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root (Candlewick Press, 1998)

Ook the Book and Other Silly Rhymes by Lissa Rovetch (Raincoast Books, 2001)

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw (Houghton Mifflin, 1986)

There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1974)

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (McElderry Books, 1989)

Teacher Resources

Adams, M. J., et al. Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum. Baltimore, Md.: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1998.

Cunningham, Patricia M., and Dorothy P. Hall. Month by Month Phonics: Systematic, Multilevel Instruction. Greensboro, N.C.: Carson-Dellosa, 1997.

Payne, C. D., and M. B. Schulman. Getting the Most Out of Morning Message and Other Shared Writing Lessons. Jefferson City, Mo.: Scholastic, 1998.

Professional Resources

Adams, M. J. Beginning To Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Newark, Del.: International Reading Association, 1990.

Cunningham, P. Phonics They Use. New York: Longman, 2000.

Kuhn, M. R., and S. A. Stahl. Fluency: A Review of Developmental and Remedial Practices. Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.

“Learning To Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children.” A joint position paper of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Reading Teacher 52, no. 2 (1998): 193-216.

Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children To Read. Bethesda, Md.: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000.

Samuels, S. J. “Reading Fluency: Its Development and Assessment.” In Farstrup, A. E., and S. J. Samuels. eds. What Research Has To Say About Reading Instruction. Newark, Del.: International Reading Association, 2002.

Snow, C. E., S. M. Burns, and P. Griffin. Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1998.

Stahl, S. A., A. M. Duffy-Hester, and K. A. D. Stahl. “Everything You Wanted To Know About Phonics (but Were Afraid To Ask).” Reading Research Quarterly 33 (1998): 338-355.

Yopp, H. K., and R. H. Yopp, “Supporting Phonemic Awareness Development in the Classroom.” The Reading Teacher 54, no. 2 (2000): 130-143.

Related Research

Durrell, Donald D. “Commentary: Letter-Name Values in Reading and Spelling.” Reading Research Quarterly, 16, no. 1 (1980): 159-163.

Gaskins, I. W, and L. Ehri. “Analyzing Words and Making Discoveries About the Alphabetic System: Activities for Beginning Readers.” Language Arts, 74 no. 3 (1997): 172-84.

Pearson, P. D., and M. C. Gallagher. “The Instruction of Reading Comprehension.” Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8 (1983): 317-344.

Classroom Excerpts Used in the Video

Classrooms shown in the video session are from Teaching Reading K-2: A Library of Classroom Practices.

100 Days of Reading with Shari Frost

Becoming Readers and Writers with Sheila Owen

Connecting Skills to Text with Charmon Evans

Students Making Choices with Becky Pursley

Writer’s Journal with John Sinnett

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2003.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-681-2