5 Essential Elements of Reading for National Reading Month - iKnowABC
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March is National Reading Month, a great time to introduce your little ones to the joy of reading.

Did you know that your child will develop their reading skills faster and become more proficient when they learn the 5 essential elements of reading?  What are the 5 essential elements of reading?



What are the findings of the National Reading Panel?

The National Reading Panel’s analysis made it clear that the best approach to reading instruction is one that incorporates explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, systematic phonics instruction, methods to improve fluency, and ways to enhance comprehension.

The following is a summary of the panel’s findings:

Phonemic Awareness

Means knowing that spoken words are made up of smaller parts called phonemes. Teaching phonemic awareness gives children a basic foundation that helps them learn to read and spell.

The panel found that children who learned to read through specific instruction in phonemic awareness improved their reading skills more than those who learned without attention to phonemic awareness.

Phonics Instruction

Phonics teaches students about the relationship between phonemes and printed letters and explains how to use this knowledge to read and spell.

The panel found that students show marked benefits from explicit phonics instruction, from kindergarten through 6th grade.


Fluency means being able to read quickly, knowing what the words are and what they mean, and properly expressing certain words – putting the right feeling, emotion, or emphasis on the right word or phrase. Teaching fluency includes guided oral reading, in which students read out loud to someone who corrects their mistakes and provides them with feedback, and independent silent reading where students read silently to themselves.

The panel found that reading fluently improved the students’ abilities to recognize new words; read with greater speed, accuracy, and expression; and better understand what they read.

Vocabulary Instruction

Teaches students how to recognize words and understand them.

The panel found that vocabulary instruction and repeated contact with vocabulary words is important.

Text Comprehension Instruction

Teaches specific plans or strategies students can use to help them understand what they are reading.

The panel identified seven ways of teaching text comprehension that helped improve reading strategies in children who didn’t have learning disabilities. For instance, creating and answering questions and cooperative learning helped to improve reading outcomes.

*Content retrieved from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS.

These top 5 essential elements are the building blocks to the future success of your child’s school career.  The iKnow ABC Home Adventure was designed by education professionals to incorporate these essential elements into a fun, gamified approach to learning that will keep your little one on the path to success!

Get ready for the iKnow ABC Home Adventure which will be launching on April 23, 2019! 


Did you know that Music Helps Kids Read?

“Today a symphony of research trumpets the many links among language, reading and music, including several that reveal a connection between rhythm and reading skills. Nina Kraus of Northwestern University has discovered a possible explanation: the brains of good beat keepers respond to speech more consistently than the brains of people whose toes do not tap in time. After testing 124 adolescents for beat-keeping ability, the researchers used an electroencephalogram (EEG) to eavesdrop on teen brains as the consonant sound “da” was played repeatedly. With every “da,” the brains of beat keepers responded consistently, even when there was background noise or while they watched television. The brain waves of poor beat keepers, however, were all over the place.

The study helps to explain why music may hold a key to improved reading. Because reading ability, in general, relies on making a connection between the sounds of letters and symbols on a page, music provides another avenue into learning. “Through music, you learn to pay attention to important sounds,” Kraus says. The inconsistent sound processing shown by the poor beat keepers makes that difficult. “If you have an auditory system that automatically is able to efficiently pull out sounds that are meaningful, it’s going to be important not just for music but for speech.” For more on music and reading, visit this article.