Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I am going to list our favorite early readers, in order of their use based on phonetic components and progression of early phonics skills, over the next few posts, along with their links for purchasing. Many of these are available at your local library as well.
First “week” of phonics instruction—we liked for our readers to start reading books the very first week of phonics instruction (i.e. instruction in short vowel sounds, which is the “beginning” of phonics instruction for reading, excluding learning consonant sounds, letter-sound correlation, etc.). Because of this, we heartily advocate the “Bob” books, which are little “booklets” with very little text, most of which is extremely phonetically-controlled (i.e. mostly contains phonics sounds that are listed on that particular book).
There are five sets of these. They are small, portable, black and white, simple-silly-cartoon character drawings. They have enough images to help students who are still relying somewhat on picture clues to read, but not so much that a student can rely too much on picture clues (without using his phonics training).
If your student is already reading short vowel words and long vowel words, move further into the set. (You will not want the first “Mat sat on cat” books if he is reading two syllable words, for example.)
a. Set 1: Beginning Readers-- contains short vowel words—22 different words in the first eight page story, for example. Thus, as soon as your student can read short “a” words, he can read the first Bob book! http://www.timberdoodle.com/BOB_Books_Set_1_Beginning_Readers_p/013-131.htm
b. Set 2: Advancing Beginning Readers--still contains short vowel sounds, but more than twenty-two words are used in each book—and different words are added (more characters than Mat and Sam, for example): http://www.timberdoodle.com/BOB_Books_Set_2_Advancing_Beginners_p/013-132.htm
c. Set 3: Word Families—introduces two syllable, though still mostly short vowel, words: http://www.timberdoodle.com/BOB_Books_Set_3_Word_Families_p/013-133.htm
d. Set 4: Compound Words—continues with short vowel families, though introduces multi-syllable words (not just two syllable ones) and compound words: http://www.timberdoodle.com/BOB_Books_Set_4_Compound_Words_p/013-134.htm
e. Set 5: Long Vowel—has your student reading long vowel words of two and three syllables, while continuing with short vowel, compounds, etc.: http://www.timberdoodle.com/BOB_Books_Set_5_Long_Vowels_p/013-135.htm
Again, keep in mind that if your child is already reading at mid-first grade level, Bob Books will be too easy. These are extremely phonetically-controlled, meaning they truly correlate with each sound. (As a child learns short “a,” he uses the first reader in Set 1; short “e,” the next one, etc.) Also, keep in mind that these are for word-calling purposes-helping your child learn to decode—not for building comprehension or other reading skills.
Tomorrow—Life After Bob Books—wowsie, sometimes I wondered if there really was life after Bob Books, but thankfully, I’m here to tell you that there is! Smile…