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How do you choose the right reading classes for children?

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According to the National Reading Panel, a good reading class or program must include the five essential components of reading, which include phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency with text, vocabulary, and comprehension. A reading program that is researched-based, developmentally appropriate and uses an assessment-based approach to teach reading is also recommended.

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Additionally, the National Center for Summer Learning has identified elements that make a summer reading program successful. Some of these elements are intentional instruction, awareness of child development, strong leadership, opportunities for staff development, planning, and a system for evaluation and improvement within the reading program.

Reading tutor Al Moore also suggests that teachers and parents try to identify areas of reading on which they feel the students or their children need to focus. He suggests that teachers and parents look for research-based reading programs that focus on the five components of reading and that have assessments and cognitive exercises for children. He also recommends that teachers and parents focus on finding programs that fit the needs of the children instead of trying to find perfect reading programs. Some programs may address all of the components of reading but may not be good fits for the development and personalities of some children.

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