In beginning reading, the basic skills of word recognition Reading and decoding are highly related to reading ability. However, by the middle grades children's knowledge of word meanings and vocabulary become critical factors in comprehension.
The impact of the shift in reading requirements begins to appear in the third and fourth grades. All children, especially low income students, need strong programs of basic skills, especially word recognition and phonics in the primary grades. They also need strong programs in language and literature. These require challenging reading texts, continuous oral language development, varied literature, and the use of a variety of literacy materials and activities.