Mitchell Literacy

Mitchell Elementary Literacy: The Five Components of Reading 

Reading is a complex process. For a child to be able to read proficiently, they must master the five critical components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  At Mitchell, we also believe in fostering  a child’s  love of reading.  All of these aspects work together to create the reading experience.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. We know that a student's skill in phonological awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty

Phonemic Awareness Explained:

Video: What is Phonemic Awareness?                               Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Lesson

Home Supports for Phonemic/Phonological Awareness:

Amplify Home Connect (choose Phonological Awareness icon for games/activities)


Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. Children's reading development is dependent on their understanding of the alphabetic principle — the idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language. Students are taught the 6 Syllable Types and syllable division rules to support reading and spelling. 

Phonics Explained:

  Phonics-Everything a Parent Needs to Know

Home Supports for Phonics:

Amplify Home Connect (choose Phonics icon for games/activities)


Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. In order to understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud, fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately. Their reading is smooth and has expression.

Fluency Looks Like:

Fluency-Everything a Parent Needs to Know   Fluency at 1st Grade    Fluency at 2nd Grade   Fluency at 3rd Grade

Home Supports for Fluency:

Amplify Home Connect (choose the icon for Accurate and Fluent Reading for games/activities)


Vocabulary refers to the words we must understand to communicate effectively. Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in the reading process, and contributes greatly to a reader's comprehension. A reader cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words mean.

Vocabulary Instruction Might Look Like:

2nd Grade Vocabulary Direct Instruction    The Frayer Model

Home Supports for Vocabulary:

13 Fun Vocabulary Games for Kids and Adults


Comprehension is the understanding and interpretation of what is read. To be able to accurately understand written material, children need to be able to (1) decode what they read; (2) make connections between what they read and what they already know; and (3) think deeply about what they have read.

Comprehension Explained: 

Reading Comprehension-Everything Parents Need to Know (Fiction)

Home Supports for Comprehension:

Amplify Home Connect (choose Comprehension icon for games/activities)

Fostering a Love of Reading

Teaching kids to love reading is another vital component of literacy instruction at Mitchell.  Students who are strong readers and love to read have expanded vocabularies, increased understanding of the world, a quest for knowledge, more confidence in school, and know the joy of getting lost in a good book.  

Our commitment: Build skilled readers who know the joy and benefit of reading!

A Love of Reading-Everything Parents Need to Know

A Peek in the Reading Classroom


Our readers regularly experience:

  • Modeled  Instruction (whole and/or small group) with teacher as reader

  • Guided instruction (whole and/or small group)

  • Time to practice and apply skills 

  • Independent, small group, and/or partner reading

  • Goal setting and monitoring growth

  • Feedback