While phonemic awareness and phonics are at the core of learning to read, according to The National Reading Panel, a balanced approach to teaching reading includes five tenets:

  • Phonemic/Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency

Depending on your child/students, there may be areas of strength and weakness. I have had students that have specific learning disabilities in the area of reading, and they have had a rich vocabulary and speaking skills. Or, some of my students on the autism spectrum have been great decoders, but have had low comprehension.

Make sure you are addressing all five of these areas in your overall teaching approach.