Archive for March 29, 2012

Early Decodable Readers

Question:

 Do you recommend any early readers? I want to thank you for creating Phonics Pathways.  I am using it with my 12-year-old daughter who joined our family two years ago from India.  She arrived knowing no English. After sitting in a classroom for over a year she was making no progress, so she and I began homeschool. 

“I started with the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (a good book but better for kids who already know English), then switched to Phonics Pathways after advice from another homeschooling parent.  It has been wonderfully effective at helping my daughter learn to read.  We take it slowly and review.  We have played the train game and the star card game.  She is interested in what “Dewey” has to say on each page.

“I have a master’s degree in library science, and I have a wonderful children’s book collection.  I am reading the “classics” aloud to my daughter after our Phonics Pathways exercises. Are there early readers you recommend that she could read herself”

Answer:

Once students can read three-letter words and simple two-word phrases they are probably ready for gradually progressive and decodable readers.

“Decodable” is the key word here! The problem with most early readers is that Read more

Supplemental Text

Question:
“I am a reading teacher in NYS. We will be implementing Rtl in September as well as the new ELA core curriculum. I would like to use your products as a Tier 2 intervention but don’t know where to begin. The classroom teachers at first and second grade use leveled books. I am currently using a phonics book and leveled books with a lot of the word wall words. Thank you for any advice.”

Answer:
Thanks for your interest. There is a free “Guide to Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways” PDF file you can download from my website which has proven to be quite helpful for this purpose. I would also recommend looking at several older newsletters summarizing how two award-winning teachers are using my material in their classrooms: Go to my website and check out Phonics Talk: Volume 11 to read what these teachers are doing.

And I am always here to help — literacy is my passion! ~Dolores

Phonics or “Phonics?”

Question:

“Our school has a very good basal reading program which includes phonics, yet many students (including my own) are still struggling. It does seem to me that phonics simply may not work for every student.”

Answer:

This is a common misconception!

Most schools use a form of phonics called IMPLICIT PHONICS. Words are learned as a whole along with letter sounds, using their shape for clues.
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Short Vowel Sounds

Question:

“There are slight differences within each short-vowel sound, For example, in the lesson on “r” the word ra-n shows up. I’ve been reading him /a/ as in apple, so “ran” sounds awkward when he says it more like “rahn.” Should I tell him the “a” makes a few sounds, correct “rahn” to ran, or just say nothing?”

Answer:

Yes, there certainly are subtle differences in the short-vowel sounds, especially in regional parts of our country!
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