Early screening involves assessing key reading-related skills, such as phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and decoding abilities, in young children. By conducting these assessments in kindergarten and early primary years, educators can identify students who may be at risk for reading difficulties or dyslexia.
Screening and early structured literacy intervention play a vital role in preventing reading difficulties and promoting successful literacy development. By identifying and addressing potential challenges at an early stage, we can provide targeted support and interventions that can significantly impact a child's reading abilities.
Universal screening does not diagnose dyslexia, but it allows educators to target structured literacy instruction to a child's needs. Structured literacy instruction ensures that students receive the necessary foundational knowledge and skills to become proficient readers.
Myths and Misconceptions
With PPM8, Ontario now offers universal screening to all students in Kindergarten Year 2 to Grade 2. Despite this, there are many myths and misconceptions about screening
The purpose of screening is to identify Learning Disabilities.
Screening does not identify dyslexia or other learning disabilities, but instead tells us which students are at risk and may need more support.
Screening streams students.
Early reading screening supports early intervention, an important step un ensuring equitable access for all students.
Running record-based assessment tools can be used for screening.
Research-based, valid and reliable tools must be used for screening.
Educators already know which students are having difficulty learning to read.
Difficulties with reading can sometimes be subtle, and early reading screening allows educators before these challenges emerge.
Struggling readers need time.
Long-standing research tells us that struggling readers need immediate support - they can't afford to wait.
Screeners can be created by schools or boards.
Effective screening tools are difficult to create - it takes time, funds, and the work of expert researchers.