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ERIC Number: EJ986685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
More than Words: An Early Grades Reading Program Builds Skills and Knowledge
Dubin, Jennifer
American Educator, v36 n3 p34-40 Fall 2012
Five years ago, as a way to ensure that students not only learn to decode but also understand what they decode, the Core Knowledge Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes the Core Knowledge curriculum, created a language arts program for kindergarten through second grade. The program includes two 60-minute strands: (1) a "Skills Strand," in which students learn decoding, encoding (writing), spelling, and grammar; and (2) a "Listening and Learning Strand," in which they engage with a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction texts so as to build oral language, knowledge, and vocabulary--the real keys to comprehension. While the conventional wisdom has long held that students first learn to read and then, around the end of third grade, switch to reading to learn, Core Knowledge shows that students in kindergarten through second grade are fully capable of--and benefit from--acquiring both decoding skills and content knowledge at the same time. The program's Skills Strand, although high quality, is not what makes this program unique. Other early-grades reading programs also do a good job of helping children make the all-important speech-to-print connection through research-based phonics instruction. This article explores what makes this program stand out--the content knowledge delivered through the Listening and Learning Strand. (Contains 9 footnotes and 19 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A