Franklin, a first grader struggling in reading and writing
Franklin is in first grade and his reading and writing is below level due to having a weak foundation in these areas. His literacy knowledge is piecemeal and random. For example, he knows most of the letter names, but only a few sounds. He can recognize a few memorized sight words, but cannot actually read words since he does not possess the letter-sound/phonic knowledge necessary for decoding. Franklin “reads” books primarily through non-decoding methods, such as by recognizing words in isolation, relying on the pictures, predicting the text, recalling the story, and guessing. Although Franklin is an intelligent child, he continues to struggle in school since he has never acquired the correct foundation for reading and writing.
The Game Plan
Franklin’s foundation was rebuilt by starting at the very beginning. First, Franklin learned to decode properly by using the letter-sound/phonic knowledge he had been lacking. Also, instead of random pieces of information, all literacy skills were taught in a way that enabled him to apply the information to actual reading and writing contexts.