At Ooka Island, we believe report cards matter. This is why we’ve built weekly progress reports into our game-based reading program. It’s important for you to be aware of how your child is doing on a regular basis, so you can work with their teacher to move them along the learning continuum. Without this feedback, you wouldn’t know which areas to focus home-learning on or if you might need to advocate on their behalf for more support.

Once you get the progress report in your hands, you may read it and be left with more questions. We want to help you read about your child’s achievements with ease, so we’re breaking down five of the most common keywords you’ll find in the language section of the report to tell you what they really mean!

Fluency: This refers to your child’s ability to read a text accurately including their speed and expression. When someone reads with fluency, rather than word by word, the text flows and sounds like spoken language. As fluency becomes effortless, your child is better able to focus on understanding the text which makes reading more pleasurable!

Decoding: Most report cards for young children discuss a child’s ability to decode the text. This refers to their knowledge of solving a word by using a combination of phonics (the relationship between sounds and letters) and phonemic awareness (the ability to manipulate sounds).

What does this mean? Can your child blend the sounds they have learned to form a word such as /m//oo//n/- moon or /b//-a-//t/ -bat. Blending or decoding is important to “solve” or read a word.

Sight Words: In the classroom, sight words sometimes known as high-frequency words or popcorn words (because they pop up everywhere) refer to age-appropriate words that your child can recognize by sight because they are so common (e.g., I, like, said, me, you, friend, etc.). A good sight word vocabulary helps your child read with more fluency as they don’t need to decode every word they come across!

Comprehension: This refers to whether your child understands what they are reading and is the goal of reading instruction. As early readers progress, they should be able to give a brief summary of what they have read, with or without prompts from an adult, and connect it to their own experiences to understand (and learn from) the text.

Reading Strategies: This refers to a variety of skills that readers use to read and make meaning of a piece of text. For young readers, it includes using pictures to help understand the story and solve an unknown word, rereading a sentence or word when it doesn’t make sense (e.g., doesn’t match up with the story or with the letters), predicting what will happen next, and using their own experiences to more deeply connect to the story.

If you have questions about your child’s report card, be sure to set up a time to speak with their teacher. They can help you understand your child’s progress and suggest next steps to help move them forward. You can always drop us an email too if you have a general reading question. We love to talk all things literacy!

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