Program Goals for Elementary Reading
Most of the stories in BJU Press Elementary Reading are written by Christians with a Biblical worldview. When characters make good choices the consequences are clear, and when poor choses are made, those choices are also clear. Examples of good character are clearly visible to students throughout the readings.
Students will ultimately be asked to critically evaluate what they are reading from a biblical worldview. They will need to identify the biblical and non-biblical aspects of the actions taken by characters in the readings.
Reading skills strategies that are developed throughout the program easily translate to Bible study. We reinforce and build on these by including Bible retellings in every course.
“Developing successful readers begins with motivating students by giving them a purpose.”
Reading for Comprehension
Elementary Reading begins with a phonics program in the early grades that employs a balanced approach to link the study of phonics to reading comprehension. Students using BJU Press materials are taught all forty-four sounds of the English language beginning in K-5. Instruction and practice focus on phonograms and word families. To assist struggling readers or children new to phonics-based programs, phonics teaching and word-work instruction are continued in grades 2 and 3.
Developing successful readers begins with motivating students by giving them a purpose for reading each selection. All instruction is woven together in the reading lesson to provide a meaningful learning experience. Each reading lesson provides a specific activity to teach vocabulary words in context prior to students reading a selection.
Comprehension includes many stages of interaction and application of the text. Specific instruction in literary skills and strategies helps students understand text and organize information. Questions that focus on critical thinking are posed in every lesson to ensure that students understand what they have read in the text as opposed to just recalling details. To help teachers measure understanding, questions are labeled as literal, interpretive, critical, or appreciative. Discussion questions during the silent reading time help develop higher-level thinking skills.
Fluency is encouraged by reading silently for comprehension and then orally for communication. It is important that each student be allowed to read the selection silently at his own pace before being asked to read or discuss orally. Once comprehension has been developed, fluent oral reading that communicates the author’s purpose will naturally follow.
BJU Press Reading materials promote the use of reading groups to help teachers tailor instruction to varied reading levels. Teachers may move at a slower pace for struggling readers or speed up for advanced readers. To assist the teacher in developing critical thinking skills, the program provides leveled questions about each silent reading section. Interactive lessons include the use of graphic organizers and visuals to enhance learning. Extra practice scaffolding is used to facilitate process.
“Exposure to multiple types and genres builds interest and appreciation by appealing to varying student interests.”
BJ Booklinks guides help teachers present novels as an integral part of the reading program. These novel studies broaden reading opportunities to aid in skill development and foster enjoyment. The available titles encompass a variety of genres and themes that engage all learners. Two BJ Booklinks are included with Reading 2 and Reading 3, and can be purchased for all other grade levels.
Students encounter several types of literature, such as fiction, biography, poetry, and informational text. Exposure to multiple types and genres builds interest and appreciation by appealing to varying student interests.
A Lifelong Love for Reading
The exciting basal readers include age appropriate stories in a variety of genres. These stores present a progression of difficulty in readability and skills to provide success for every student. Our Worktext pages have age-appropriate art, photo, and page design features that are not distracting. Reading skills are presented in a variety of interesting ways. Interactive lessons provide opportunities for the students to actively participate in the learning process. We use review activities to stimulate interest while providing worthwhile practice. Elementary Reading is designed to foster success in each student. Our desire is that each student learns to read for comprehension and evaluate literature from a Biblical Worldview.