What You Can Do with Rusty and Rosy’s 5 Strands of Reading

Waterford UPSTART teaches children reading skills through a curriculum arranged into five instructional strands. Familiarizing yourself with these strands can help you support your kids’ learning experience through the program. Use this resource to learn what you can do with Waterford UPSTART’s five strands of reading.

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  • Waterford UPSTART program


You know that Waterford UPSTART teaches your child reading skills, but do you know what you can do to help promote offline what your child learns online? In technical terms, our curriculum is arranged into five instructional strands. As your child works through the program, they will receive instruction and practice in all five. The type of instruction your child receives (learning nouns and verbs vs. homophones) will depend on your child’s level in the programrusty and rosy

Waterford UPSTART’s five strands of reading are:

  1. Phonological Awareness: How to hear, distinguish, and manipulate sounds in spoken words
  2. Phonics: Alphabet recognition, letter-sound correspondences, word recognition, and decoding skills
  3. Comprehension and Vocabulary: Explicit and implicit word meanings
  4. Language Concepts: Grammar, mechanics of written and spoken language, reading readiness skills, and writing
  5. Fluency: How to read texts accurately and quickly with appropriate expressions

Here are a few ways you can help your child practice concepts they learn from Waterford UPSTART:

  • Phonological Awareness: Play rhyming games with your child! Say a word and help your child think of words that rhyme. For example, you could say “cat” and help your child find the words “rat,” “bat,” and “mat.”
  • Phonics: Read while you shop. When you are at the store and pick up a cereal box, show your child the word “cereal” on the package and sound out each letter while pointing to the letters.
  • Comprehension and Vocabulary: Just like Sesame Street has a letter of the day, you can have a word of the day! Choose a vocabulary word for your child every day and teach them both what the word means and how to spell it.
  • Language Concepts: Learn grammar in-context by reading picture books together! When telling a story to your child, help them identify the punctuation. Teach them what the difference is between periods, commas, question or exclamation points, and other punctuation marks.
  • Fluency: Try reading books aloud. Choose a picture book that your child loves and, while helping them read the words, teach them how to practice inflection and pacing.

Parents are the best resource children have while learning to read. With Waterford UPSTART’s five strands of reading as a guide, you can help your children learn important literacy skills and prepare for kindergarten.


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