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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Reading is a Skill
By Carol Gray
01/31/07


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There has to be a beginning, an origin, and a starting point, for reading to be born. You see nothing just happen. Even if you think that accidentís just happen, they donít. Iíve heard this statement all of my life, ďThings just happen.Ē However, there is a purpose and cause for everything. Educate yourself. A teacher once told the class that I was in, ďIím here to direct the learning process.Ē Everyday he would give us practice sheets to carry home to complete. Itís true, if you do something over and over, it becomes natural. Thatís why we are here, to give directions to those who are learning to read. Actually reading is a skill that never ends. Do it everyday!

Reading has to be prepared for. There are definite steps involved. Itís not obtained through some magically trick. Think back a few years, and recall when you first learned to recognize letters. That process Iím calling letterís conception, which is step one. Without conception there would be no manifestation. This is a normal developmental function. There are amazing benefits--learn to associate letters of the alphabets with words, read your first book, and billboards, too. Every kid loves billboards, especially those with the golden arches. Isnít it funny, kids learn to recognize McDonaldís before they can read? Thatís symbol reading to me. Kids never stop learning to recognize pictures, and add them to their vast library of words. Reading is a never ending source of information.

Do you remember seeing clue cards in your first grade classroom? The teacher had them arranged all around the room, so we could see them. Very quickly, I was ready for the second step which I demonstrated by reading my first sentence, ďSee Spot run.Ē Now days schools have reading tutors to help students learn to read proficiently. Yet the initial process is the same. Someone has to inject the twenty six alphabets into a personís database. Parents are usually the first teachers children will have. A well known television show called, ďSesame StreetĒ is an excellent resource, too. Kids love the songs and characters. At least my little one did; it was helpful, too. Any kind of positive reinforcement is beneficial. This was an interesting and a fascinating time for him and me. I donít remember how many boxes of clue cards I bought, because learning to read never cost, too much.

Reading is not just saying some words in a sentence. Step three in the process involves comprehension. Never omit this step. If you do, reading will mean nothing to you. It is difficult sometimes to articulate what youíve just read. Thatís why it requires practice, to develop good reading comprehension skills. Start off small; then add on. If you never start, you cannot finish. Here are several things to remember--get on the mark, get set, and then go for it. I recall an incident where a man in his seventyís learned to read in his old age. It was now possible for him to read anything he wanted to read. Canít you imagine how wonderful it must have felt to be independent, and not dependent? The skill to read has rewards that are life changing.


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Donna Emery02/06/07
Your title is true and you made your case in this article. You helped us remember the wonder of learning to read. Nice work