To Correct or Not Correct? That is the Question ~ Phonics For Reading | Authentic Teacher Podcast | Episode Nine of the Audioblog

Lately I have heard a lot of parents debate correcting their children when reading and so I wanted to explain when it is appropriate to correct their child when they are reading. I have seen some of the toughest struggling readers embrace this book.  I recommend that students are corrected when they are following along with a direct instruction program that is explicitly taught.

Phonics For Reading For Struggling Readers

Parents, if you older elementary student is struggling to read, I can’t recommend enough Anita Archer’s program Phonics for Reading.

Direct Explicit Instruction

This is what direct explicit instruction looks like. Students are pre-taught sounds to mastery. Then they say the vowel sounds before they read the words, then practice those words in short sentences. This is the kind of place you would want to correct a student if they make a mistake.

Building Text Fluency

The second page in the lesson has several paragraphs. Students read the first paragraph silently, then you read it together. If they stumble on a word, I would correct them and possibly read the sentence or the whole paragraph together. This is how you build fluency, reading words, quickly and accurately with expression.

The last two pages ask questions about the reading. I would have students cite text evidence when answering the questions by underlining the sentences where they found the answers.

Time commitment

I would recommend spending about a week to complete each of these lessons with struggling readers working about 20 minutes a day. There are fluency/spelling assessments that go after every 5 lessons or so to gage your students mastery. The fluency assessment can be easily administered by having your child read for a minute. Students should score a 90% to be considered mastery, before moving on. But if this program is administered correctly they should be scoring in that range.

Reading for Fun

When they are reading for fun they should be reading something that is easy for them, with their fluency level and they should not be making more then 5 errors on the page. If they want to read something harder then that they should be following along with a stronger reader and reading the words they are familiar with. Here’s an example of Mrs. Beyer reading with an older student somewhere between 4th and 6th grade that struggles with decoding. I love this book for two reasons it has rhyming and it has challenging words and vocabulary as well. And the awesome fun illustrations help too!

If you would like to work along with Mrs. Beyer and the students at Montana Bear School sign up for our free webinar here and learn how you can help build your child’s confidence in school today!


Join our Confidence Building webinar by clicking here!

A example of an authentic learning song to sing with your child!


You can order a used copy of an older model on amazon here if you are working at home alone.


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