What is Reading for Spelling/Reading? Why is it an essential step?

The step that is missed most often when children know their phonograms but are unable to read sentences fluently is reading the words two ways, for spelling and then for reading each day. This is the last step in the dictation process (see page 152 of WRTR 6th edition at the bottom of the page).

Everyone needs daily practice saying the sounds sequentially, then reading them as whole words so they get recorded in the brain as a whole word.

For example, if you have completed Section A – G, go back to the beginning and have your student(s) read the words in his/her notebook for spelling: first say each sound in single syllable words and each syllable in multisyllable words, then say the whole word.

After the student(s) read the first column this way, have them read the same words for reading, that is in normal speech. The object of this exercise is to develop a sight vocabulary--that is words that he has sequentially processed so many times, he recognizes the words automatically. Soon, they will be able to pick up the pace – that is read an entire page both ways in just a few minutes.

After they have completed reading Section A – G (reading the words both ways), incorporate this as the last step in daily dictation as you begin Section H. At the beginning of the each day, choose a page or two from Section A – G to read both ways before writing the new words in Section H. Choose different pages to review before dictating the new words for the day. Be sure all the A-G words are reviewed well because they are the most frequent words in reading and writing. For example, the word the occurs every tenth word in running text.

We have found that reading two ways is the crucial step in developing automatic word recognition - the skill needed for fluently reading words in sentences. Children vary in the amount of practice they need, so don’t be discouraged. As you incorporate it into your daily dictation routine, the student(s) will see it helping while they read sentences.