The foundational skill standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions of the English writing system. These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves; rather, they are necessary and important components of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines.
Phonics: In third grade students work on developing strategies that enable them to decode multi-syllable words and irregularly spelled words. Third graders also learn to identify words with affixes (prefixes and suffixes) and learn that affixes have meanings and can change the meanings of words to which they are attached. Third grade students learn to recognize common prefixes and inflectional and derivational suffixes and can explain how these common prefixes and suffixes change the meaning of a word. For example, they can explain that the prefix –un means not in the word unhappy.
Fluency:Fluency is defined as being able to read orally with a reasonable rate of speed, with a high degree of accuracy, and with the proper expression (prosody). Fluency is one of several critical factors necessary for reading comprehension.
Fluency changes, depending on what readers are reading, their familiarity with the words, and the amount of their practice with reading text. Even very skilled readers may read in a slow, labored manner when reading texts with many unfamiliar words or topics. For example, readers who are usually fluent may not be able to read technical material fluently, such as a textbook about nuclear physics or an article in a medical journal.
How to help my child at home with the Foundational Skill Standards:
Help your child pick out words with prefixes and suffixes. Talk about how the prefix or suffix changed the meaning of the word.
If your child comes to a word he or she does not know, encourage them to use strategies such as looking for word parts (prefixes, suffixes)
Encourage your child to read many types of books. Your child may also build fluency by reading the words to songs, poems, or speeches.
By reading with your child each night you are helping build his or her fluency! In fact, reading the same passages (and even their own writing) repeatedly gives your child an opportunity to listen, practice, and improve fluency.
Strands are larger groups of related standards. The Strand Grade is a calculation of all the related standards. Click on the standard name below each strand to access the learning targets and proficiency scales for each strand's related standards.