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Basic-Skills vs. Whole Language

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Basic-Skills Classroom

The teaching philosophy builds on a series of basic steps that introduces emergent readers to such fundamental skills as holding a book right side up, learning their ABCs, linking sounds and letters, combining sounds, and recognizing words with similar letter-sound patterns.

Child learns to open and hold a book and discovers that words run left to right and top to bottom.

Child learns the alphabet.

Child can connect letters to sounds.

Child learns how to blend sounds.

Child recognizes letter-sound patterns, such as cat, hat, bat.

Whole-Language Classroom

The teaching philosophy builds on a variety of reading and writing activities that encourage emergent readers to choose their own books, enjoy classic literature, construct meaning from their own experiences, sound out words in context, and decipher syntactical clues.

Child selects own reading materials.

Child reads such authentic text as classic children's books and magazines.

Child interprets meaning based on own experiences and understanding.

Child receives instruction in basic skills, as needed, within the context of what is read.

Child learns to decipher unfamiliar words in context.

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