Here’s How to Create a Reading Skills List to Find the Best Apps to Guide the Reading Journey

May 23, 2023

Reading Skills List

Parents might learn that their child isn’t reading at the expected benchmark for their grade level. Reading at a lower reading level can be due to struggling with one or more aspects of literacy. There are several reading skills that children need to master in order to gain proficiency; creating a reading skills list can help parents zero in on these reading fundamentals.

Here’s how to create a reading skills list to find the best apps and resources to guide a child’s reading journey.

What Reading Skills Impact Proficiency?

Children can struggle with different aspects of reading that cause them to fall behind. What are the reading skills that impact proficiency? Here are five skills children need to master to meet benchmark literacy expectations for their grade:

  1. Sight word fluency
  2. Reading comprehension
  3. Reading fluency
  4. Decoding skills
  5. Vocabulary understanding

Children can struggle with one or more of these crucial literacy skills. However, even falling behind in one skill could impact a child’s reading level and reading proficiency.

Reading Skills List

Sight Word Fluency

Sight words are simple words that children need to read on sight. Children in lower elementary grades will be expected to memorize and master a list of sight words. When children master these words, their reading fluency could improve as children won’t have to decode these simple words as they read.

Practicing sight words should be a daily routine. Parents can create sight word flash cards using note cards. Parents also can play games with children to help them memorize and master these words. For example, make two cards for each word and play sight word match games. Shuffle the cards, flip them upside down on the floor and take turns choosing pairs. Children should say (or read) the sight word when they flip over each card.

Use Tools and Tactics to Improve Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension means that children can retell the story and answer questions about what they read. Younger children need to be able to identify the w/h details of a story (who, what, where, when, why and how). Older children might need to be able to make predictions, compare/contrast characters and infer meaning from the text.

Parents can help children who struggle with comprehension by providing them with visual cues that help them remember what to think about as they read. Make a reading comprehension bookmark (for younger children) or use graphic organizers to encourage children to write down details about the story. Older children might use color-coded sticky notes to write down key details as they read.

Chunking text or teaching children to go back and reread also are effective reading strategies to aid comprehension. Chunking text requires children to cover up a portion of the page (with an opaque sheet of paper or other aid) and show only a small paragraph. Children focus their attention on the chunked text and move on to the next section when they are ready.

Improve Reading Fluency with These Exercises

Some children read slower. They might have difficulty decoding words but some children also could feel anxious about reading aloud. Encourage children to practice reading aloud daily. Parents can help children with reading fluency by letting children listen to the book or story as they follow along. Then children can read the story aloud.

Children could feel more confident reading aloud when they hear or listen to the book or story first. Reading aloud often or reading a section repeatedly also can help aid fluency.

Phonics Lessons Can Help Children Who Struggle with Decoding Skills

Children who struggle with decoding might not have a full grasp of phonics. As reading scores in the U.S. have fallen, more schools are embracing ‘the science of reading’ which emphasizes phonics and provides children with the skills necessary to decode words.

Reading Skills List

How to Improve Vocabulary Knowledge

Vocabulary skills can improve or hinder the reading journey. If a child doesn’t have a good grasp of the meaning of words in a story, they might not understand what they are reading. School districts might include a list of vocabulary words for each reading unit and encourage children to memorize the definition of these words (and learn how to spell them, too).

Parents can help children improve their vocabulary by encouraging children to keep a dictionary handy when they are reading. If a child doesn’t know the meaning of the word, they can use the dictionary to look up the definition.  

Android Apps to Help Reading Skills

All the necessary reading skills that help improve proficiency also can be practiced via gamified learning apps and lessons based apps. Parents who use Android-based devices can find these apps via Google Play.

What are the best Android apps to help reading skills? There are too many apps to include, but a few top choices for Android devices include:

Most of these apps should be free to download. However, parents might be cautious if apps offer “in-app purchases.” This means that children might be able to accrue charges via the game; parents can disable the in-app charges option via their phone or device.

Apps for Improving Reading Skills

While there are numerous apps that can help children improve specific reading skills, there is one app that offers guidance for children who struggle with nearly all of the most crucial reading skills. Readability provides a 24/7 reading tutor that can help children with reading fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and decoding skills.

Readability includes a built-in AI tutor that guides lessons; the tutor is programmed with voice recognition software and learns each child’s voice. When children use Readability, they read books and stories aloud. As they read, the tutor understands if the child is struggling to pronounce a word or just needs a bit of encouragement.

Children begin lessons via the program at one reading level below their current level. This helps children feel more confident as they become acclimated to the program. Each reading level offers a library filled with both fiction and nonfiction titles. In addition, Readability’s libraries are focused on high-low books; this means that the stories children read will be a high interest level for their age but also written at an appropriate reading level.

Every book in Readability includes a list of vocabulary words, but children can tap or click any word in a story to hear the definition of the word or hear the word used in a sentence. Each discovered word and every vocabulary word included in the list for each book are included in each child’s comprehensive vocabulary list. They can access their vocabulary list at any time to hear the words and review their definitions.

While Readability’s AI tutor is designed to provide children with guidance as they read, the tutor also measures reading data for each child. When children read aloud, the tutor assesses their reading fluency (measured in words read per minute). At the end of each story, the tutor also asks the child questions about the book to determine the child’s comprehension mastery.

Answering a comprehension quiz question incorrectly, though, doesn’t mean that the child loses points on the quiz. Instead, the tutor shows the child a section from the book that provides clues that help them answer the question, and the tutor reads the section aloud; the child is given another chance to answer the question. This is how Readability helps children understand that they can reread sections of books to improve their understanding.

Readability offers parents a private portal in the program that helps them understand their child’s reading progress. This dashboard includes the child’s reading level, reading comprehension mastery, reading fluency and also shows parents how long the child used the program.

When parents realize that their child struggles with one or more reading skills, explore Readability to provide comprehensive resources that can boost a child’s reading confidence and proficiency. Readability offers a free seven-day trial that lets parents and children access the program’s features; sign up today to explore the program and meet the tutor!