Basic reading skills include phonemic awareness, sight word recognition, phonics, and word analysis. Essential skills include identification of individual sounds and the ability to manipulate them, and identification of print.
Reading fluency refers to the ability to read words accurately, using age-appropriate chunking strategies and a repertoire of “sight” words, and with appropriate phrasing and expression (prosody). Reading fluency facilitates reading comprehension.
Reading comprehension refers to the ability to understand and make meaning of written text and includes a multifaceted set of skills. Reading comprehension is influenced by oral language development, including new vocabulary acquisition, listening comprehension, working memory, application of comprehension monitoring strategies, and understanding of text structure including titles, paragraphing, illustrations, and other details. Reading comprehension is significantly affected by basic reading skills.
Mathematical calculation is the knowledge and retrieval of mathematical facts and the application of procedural knowledge in computation.
Mathematical problem solving is the ability to use decision-making skills to apply mathematical concepts and understandings to real-world situations. It is the functional combination of computation knowledge and application knowledge, and it involves the use of mathematical computation skills and fluency, language, reasoning, reading, and visual-spatial skills in solving problems. Essentially, it is applying mathematical knowledge at the conceptual level.
Written expression is the communication of ideas, thoughts, and feelings and involves two separate components: composition, or the generation of ideas, and the written production of handwriting and spelling. Required skills include using oral language, thought, grammar, text fluency, sentence construction and planning, and execution of the writing process. Spelling difficulties alone cannot be considered to represent a specific learning disability in written expression.
Oral expression is the ability to convey wants, needs, thoughts, and ideas in a meaningful way using appropriate syntactic, pragmatic, semantic, and phonological language structures. It relates to a student’s ability to express ideas, explain thinking, retell stories, categorize, and compare and contrast concepts or ideas, make references, and problem solve verbally.
Listening comprehension refers to the understanding of the implications and explicit meanings of words and sentences of spoken language. This includes following directions, comprehending questions, and listening and comprehending in order to learn (auditory attention, auditory memory, and auditory perception). Listening comprehension also includes the ability to make connections to previous learning.