Elmer, a kindergartener that never learned to decode properly
Elmer is five years old and has been learning to read in kindergarten. He can identify the letters and their sounds in isolation. However, since there are always pictures and rebus drawings next to the text he reads, Elmer completes his reading lessons by relying on the pictures to guess at the text. Elmer is frustrated now that his teacher is trying to get him to read without the pictures as he has never learned how to decode words properly.
The Game Plan
In order for a child to read properly, the child must be specifically taught how to read. Rather than simply teaching the letters and leaving him to read on his own accord, Elmer received the help he needed, learning how to decode by applying his letter-sound knowledge in actual reading contexts. Also, Elmer’s habit of looking at the pictures for clues was broken by covering the illustrations as he read.