Simple - Tools to Walk Non-Readers to Readers
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The panel consisted of 14 members, from varying backgrounds: teachers, school administrators, and scientists (involved in reading research). The panel was tasked with reviewing all available research - more than 100,000 studies on reading - to determine the most effective methods of teaching our children to read. The study also involved hearings open to the public, for opinions to be voiced.
Now, let's examine our book/s on these fronts. First of all, if you look inside the Table of Contents (pgs. 5-6 of 17), we are all about the letter-sounds and putting those sounds together - with our letter-sound pages and reading pages, in Section 1 - Short-Vowel Book Skills.
So, what can we take-away from this? First, systematic phonics instruction is key, in addition to phonemic, or sound awareness. Why sound awareness? And what exactly is phonics instruction, let alone systematic phonics? Let's start with phonics. Phonics (or learning to read) is simply two steps: (1) knowing the letter-sounds (the sounds the letters make when reading them); and (2) putting those sounds together.
Secondly, we pride ourselves on being both organized & thorough in our approach. For instance, we've organized all of our reading books via Short Vowels in Section 1, followed by Long Vowels, Blends and Segmenting in Section 2. In addition, we've taken great pains to research every type of blended sound, prevalent in our great language - and made sure to cover them.
You'd like to teach your child to read, but you'd also like to know it's based on tried and true techniques (even research-based, if possible). That way you'll have the best chance of success. Well back in 1997 U.S. Congress convened, arguably, the largest research study - to determine how children learn best to read. Working with the National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD), along with the U.S. Department of Education, they established a National Reading Panel.
After more than two years of research, the National Reading Panel concluded their intensive review, and published their results - in April of 2000, "The National Reading Panel's analysis made it clear that the best approach to reading instruction is one that incorporates:
And as far as a system goes, a system needs to be both organized & thorough - in order to get any job done. Regarding sound awareness, being able to manipulate sounds will help a student with both phonics steps.
Don't forget we also employ the proven techniques of rhyming (reference: Volume 2, early chapters; example: Chapter 1 - "bat", "cat", "hat", "sat" & "mat"); blending and segmenting (ref: Volume 3). Our signature page design promotes student engagement and parental involvement, via big letters and fun pictures for the student, as well as smaller prompt for the adult. Our lessons are of the appropriate length for an early childhood student, and incorporate both learning and fun. So, let's get started walking your non-reader/s to reader/s.
Based on the National Reading Panel's study and common sense, we thought it maybe important to introduce sound manipulation to students, as they are learning the alphabet. But, for the main focus is still the alphabet. So, our Alphabet and Pre-Phonics book covers both the alphabet and sound manipulation lessons (in a 3 to 1 ratio: 3 alphabet lessons and 1 pre-phonics lesson, per week).
"The panel found that a combination of techniques is effective for teaching children to read: