4 Steps to Evidence-Based Decoding Instruction

There is a lot to providing high quality reading instruction. One of the most important pieces we always want to focus on is providing explicit decoding strategies. What exactly does this look like?

1. We always start by giving a list of words orally to the student (so they cannot see the word list) and asking them which sound is the same in each of the words. For example: batch, catch, pitch, etch - what is the sound in each of these words that is the same? (/ch/) This is helpful to determine whether a student can discriminate between the different sounds within words which is one component of auditory discrimination (this falls under the larger umbrella of phonological awareness).

2. After they have identified the sound we write the words down on a white board. We ask the student to find and underline or circle the pattern that makes the sound we just introduced.

Auditory Discrimination Reading Strategies

3. Next, we have the student write out the phonogram three times while saying each letter and the sound to help create that multi-sensory neural pathway. For example: C-K says /k/, C-K says /k/, C-K says /k/.

4. Finally we have the student mark their short vowels (and the pattern if necessary) to help them visually decode beyond just using the entire word form to guess at the word. We often provide this instruction at the single syllable and multi-syllable level.

Marking Closed Syllables Reading Strategy

Consider checking out our free comprehensive Level 1 Lesson with a step-by-step instructor manual for the initial introduction to decoding for the -ck sound pattern.

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