A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

A Compact for Reading - February 1999

Appendix A: The National Academy of Science's accomplishments in reading


Excerpt from the National Academy of Sciences'

Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children ( Table 2-2: Accomplishments in Reading)


Kindergarten Accomplishments

  • Knows the parts of a book and their functions.

  • Begins to track print when listening to a familiar text being read or when rereading own writing.

  • Reads familiar text energetically, i.e., not necessarily verbatim from the prints alone.

  • Recognizes and can name all uppercase and lowercase letters.

  • Understands that the sequence of letters in a written word represents the sequence of sounds (phonemes) in a spoken word (alphabetic principle).

  • Learns many, though not all, one-to-one letter sound correspondences.

  • Recognizes some words by sight, including a few very common ones (a, the, I, my , you, is, are).

  • Uses new vocabulary and grammatical constructions in own speech.

  • Makes appropriate switches from oral to written language situations.

  • Notices when simple sentences fail to make sense.

  • Connects information and events in texts to life and life to text experiences.

  • Retells, reenacts, or dramatizes stories or parts of stories.

  • Listens attentively to books teacher reads to class.

  • Can name some book titles and authors.

  • Demonstrates familiarity with a number of types or genres of text (e.g., storybooks, expository texts, poems, newspapers, and everyday prints such as signs, notices, labels).

  • Correctly answers questions about stories read aloud.

  • Makes predictions based on illustrations or portions of stories.

  • Demonstrates understanding that spoken words consist of a sequences of phonemes.

  • Given spoken sets like "dan, dan, den" can identify the first two as being the same and the third as different.

  • Given spoken sets like "dak, pat, zen" can identify the first two as sharing a same sound.

  • Given spoken segments can merge them into a meaningful target word.

  • Given a spoken word can produce another word that rhymes with it.

  • Independently writes many uppercase and lowercase letters.

  • Uses phonemic awareness and letter knowledge to spell independently (invented or creative spelling).

  • Writes (unconventionally) to express own meaning.

  • Builds a repertoire of same conventionally spelled words.

  • Shows awareness of distinction between "kid writing" and conventional orthography.

  • Writes own name (first and last) and the first names of some friends or classmates.

  • Can write most letters and some words when they are dictated.

First-Grade Accomplishments

  • Makes a transition from emergent to "real" reading.

  • Reads aloud with accuracy and comprehends any text that is appropriately designed for the first half of grade 1.

  • Accurately decodes orthographically regular, one-syllable words and nonsense words (e.g., sit, zot), using print-sound mappings to sound out unknown words.

  • Uses letter-sound correspondence knowledge to sound out unknown words when reading text.

  • Recognizes common, irregularly spelled words by sight (have, said, where, two).

  • Has a reading vocabulary of 300 to 500 words, sight words and easily sounded out words.

  • Monitors own reading and self-corrects when an incorrectly identified word does not fit with cues provided by the letters in the word or the context surrounding the word.

  • Reads and comprehends both fiction and nonfiction that is appropriately designed for grade level.

  • Shows evidence of expanding language repertoire, including increasing appropriate use of standard, more formal language registers.

  • Creates own written texts for others to read.

  • Notices when difficulties are encountered in understanding text.

  • Reads and understands simple written instructions.

  • Predicts and justifies what will happen next in stories.

  • Discusses prior knowledge of topics in expository texts.

  • Discusses how, why, and what-if questions in sharing nonfiction texts.

  • Describes new information gained from texts in own words.

  • Distinguishes whether simple sentences are incomplete or fail to make sense; notices when simple texts fail to make sense.

  • Can answer simple written comprehension questions based on material read.

  • Can count the number of syllables in a word.

  • Can blend or segment the phonemes of most one-syllable words.

  • Spells correctly three- and four-letter short vowel words.

  • Composes fairly readable first drafts using appropriate parts of the writing process (some attention to planning, drafting, rereading for meaning, and some self-correction).

  • Uses invented spelling/phonics-based knowledge to spell independently, when necessary.

  • Shows spelling consciousness or sensitivity to conventional spelling.

  • Uses basic punctuation and capitalization.

  • Produces a variety of types of compositions (e.g., stories, descriptions, journal entries), showing appropriate relationships between printed text, illustrations, and other graphics.

  • Engages in a variety of literary activities voluntarily (e.g., choosing books and stories to read, writing a note to a friend).


Second-Grade Accomplishments

  • Reads and comprehends both fiction and nonfiction that is appropriately designed for grade level.

  • Accurately decodes orthographically multi-syllable words and nonsense words (e.g., capital, Kalamazoo).

  • Uses knowledge of print-sound mapping to sound out unknown words.

  • Accurately reads many irregularly spelled words and such spelling patterns as diphthongs, special vowel spellings, and common word endings.

  • Shows evidence of expanding language repertoire, including increasing use of more formal language registers.

  • Reads voluntarily for interest and own purposes.

  • Rereads sentences when meaning is not clear.

  • Interprets information from diagrams, charts, and graphs.

  • Recalls facts and details of texts.

  • Reads nonfiction materials for answers to specific questions or for specific purposes.

  • Takes part in creative responses to texts such as dramatizations, oral presentations, fantasy play, etc.

  • Discusses similarities in characters and events across stories.

  • Connects and compares information across nonfiction selections.

  • Poses possible answers to how, why, and what-if questions.

  • Correctly spells previously studied words and spelling patterns in own writing.

  • Represents the complete sound of a word when spelling independently.

  • Shows sensitivity to using formal language patterns in place of oral language patterns at appropriate spots in own writing (e.g., oral decontextualizing sentences, conventions for quoted speech, literary language forms, proper verb forms).

  • Makes reasonable judgments about what to include in written products.

  • Productively discusses ways to clarify and refine writing of own and others.

  • With assistance, uses conferencing, revisions, and editing processes to clarify and refine own writing to the steps of the expected parts of the writing process.

  • Given organizational help, writes informative, well-structured reports.

  • Attends to spelling, mechanics, and presentation for final products.

  • Produces a variety of types of composition (e.g., stories, reports, correspondence).


Third-Grade Accomplishments

  • Reads aloud with fluency and comprehends any text that is appropriately designed for grade level.

  • Uses letter-sound correspondence knowledge and structural analysis to decode words.

  • Reads and comprehends both fiction and nonfiction materials that are appropriately designed for grade level.

  • Reads longer fictional selections and chapter books independently.

  • Takes part in creative responses to texts such as dramatizations, oral presentations, fantasy play, etc.

  • Can point to or clearly identify specific words or wordings that are causing comprehension difficulties.

  • Summarizes major points from fiction and nonfiction texts.

  • In interpreting fiction, discusses underlying theme or message.

  • Asks how, why, and what-if questions in interpreting nonfiction texts.

  • In interpreting nonfiction, distinguishes cause and effect, fact and opinion, main idea and supporting details.

  • Uses information and reasoning to examine bases of hypothesis and opinions.

  • Infers word meanings from taught roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

  • Correctly spells previously studied words and spelling patterns into own writing.

  • Begins to incorporate literacy words and language patterns into own writing (e.g., elaborates descriptions, uses figurative wording).

  • With some guidance, uses all aspects of the writing process in producing own compositions and reports.

  • Combines information from multiple sources in writing reports.

  • With assistance, suggest and implements editing and revision to clarify and refine own writing.

  • Presents and discusses own writing with other students and responds helpfully to other students' compositions.

  • Independently reviews work for spelling, mechanics, and presentation.

  • Produces a variety of written works (e.g., literature responses, reports, "published" books, semantic maps) in a variety of formats, including multimedia forms.



[Appendixes Index] [Appendix B]