Comprehension is the destination in which should be reached by kids as a result of reading. Comprehension is much more than understanding a story. Without comprehension why would kids want to read in the first place? Comprehension ,and a lack there of, can indicate numerous problems that a child may have. For example, if a child does not assign a sound to a letter it is impossible to comprehend words, and therefore phonemic awareness is something that may be in a child's best interest to focus on. Comprehension difficulties most often stem from a variety of underlying problems (think poor fluency, no phonemic awareness and a lack of appropriate vocabulary).
When testing children on their literacy, often times comprehension is weighed tremendously in this. Personally, I believe phonics to be extremely important. With this being said, My anticipated thought process is that intensified phonics instruction is only necessary for grade levels up to first grade. Phonics may seem simple, but with an absence of proper phonics instruction, reading for any student would be nearly impossible. Phonics is, to put it simply, an understanding that certain letters make specific sounds; Additionally, understanding that a grouping of simple sounds can form words. Word recognition (identification) at the most basic point should be inclusive with a knowledge of phonics. Although high frequency words should automatically be sounded by students, in order to have students recognize words that require a high cognitive demand to recognize, instructional activities are necessary. For example, the word "Hardship" would be a word I can expect a student
This is more of a complex question than you may think. The answer to this question may seem simple, and in a way it is. The not so simple part is correct execution of differentiated instruction. It is widely debated on how to properly differentiate instruction. One thing that is pretty well certain is why we differentiate instruction. Educators differentiate instruction because each student learns material differently. Also, we differentiate instruction due to differences in behavior of children and the occurrence of impairments. When I mention that each child learns differently, I am referring explicitly to the multiple intelligences theory. Differences in behavior are something educators must always be aware of. Impairments in children do occur and require specific instruction that is appropriate to the impairment.