Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The chart alone is worth the price of the book!

Reading Skills Competency Tests (Second Level) by Walter B. Barbe, Ph.D. and others.

Learning phonics rules is important, but you need to remember that only 80% of our vocabulary words can be decoded using phonics rules. This resource covers all areas of reading skills, including phonics.

Using the tests, chart, and recordkeeping form included in this book, you can access your child’s reading readiness and actual reading skills, as well as keep track of his or her progress. The chart is a chart showing all the different skills students should master. It is made of heavy-stock paper and pulls out of the book for easy reference.

The skills covered include (not a complete list):

Vocabulary Skills:
  • Reading readiness
  • Sight words (includes Dolch list of 220 Basic Sight Words)
  • Word meaning from context
  • Synonyms, Antonyms, Homophones, Homographs
  • Figurative and colorful expressions
  • Multiple meanings of words
  • Hyphenation
  • Similes and metaphors
  • Compound words
  • Root words
  • Prefixes, suffixes
  • Vocabulary terms
Perceptual Skills, Word Analysis and Word Attack Skills:
  • Auditory skills – how to pronounce words using phonics rules (letter sounds, consonants, blends, vowels, silent letters, etc)
  • Visual Skills – likeness and differences, word boundaries, left-to-right eye movement
  • Forming plurals
  • Roman numerals
  • Word endings
  • Compound words
  • Diacritical markings
  • Alphabetize
  • Syllabication rules
Comprehension Skills:
  • Interest and Ability Skills – interest in and enjoyment of reading, attention spans, following oral directions, text progression
  • Drawing conclusions and predicting outcomes
  • Locating information (table of contents, page number, specific information)
  • Classifying items, techniques of skimming, using maps and charts,
  • Note taking, outlining, reference materials, interpreting graphs and charts
  • Read proof marks
  • Structure of story: Main idea, topic sentence, sequence of ideas
  • Oral reading, silent reading
  • Interpretation and application, analysis, synthesis, critical evaluation (value system of characters, author’s background, point of view, etc.)
  • Figurative language, dialect, colloquial speech
  • Understands literary forms
Included in the book are tests for each skill to evaluate your student’s progress. The tests are simple to use and answers are provided. Once you have given a test, you can track the results on the recordkeeping sheet. Using the results, you can then find resources to help you correct any deficiencies.

I wish I had had this book when my children were learning to read. By knowing exactly what my child knows and doesn’t, I could have saved a lot of money on language arts curriculum. Although this book was created for schoolteachers, I highly recommend it for homeschooling parents. There are several levels of this resource, but for homeschooling parents, I think the Second Level will take care of most everything you need.

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