Skilled reading requires attention to many aspects of print at the same time. Some children demonstrate difficulty in attending flexibly to multiple features of print, often focusing solely on decoding or word-level information. These children often lack the insight that reading is more than decoding; they have a difficult time thinking about words as having both meaning and sound.
This article reviews work that shows how children can be taught to think more about both words' sounds and their meanings, resulting in increased flexibility and comprehension for these children. Further, the article provides teachers with a simple strategy for helping students achieve increased flexibility in reading processes to aid them in making the transition to more fluent reading.