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20 February 2015

Vlog: Reading Lessons for More Experienced Readers

Today, we're going to do something different. I've created a video to answer the question of what to do with children who need help learning to read, but already know a lot. This is one of the most asked questions here on the blog, and I definitely think it's time to revisit it.

Whether you are pulling a child from school who has already had some teaching, or you just have one of those children who has intuited a lot of the rules, this video is for you.








11 February 2015

Free Reading Lessons for Bob Books Set 1, Book 8

Today's free reading lessons are for Bob Books Set 1, Book 8, called Muff and Ruff.

There's a lot to learn in the first few pages of this book, but that's okay. Our students are ready!

In the very first lesson, we're introducing three new sounds: f, short-u, and o that says oo as in too.

I actually put f and short-u both on one card since we were doing it in the same lesson.


I put the o as in too sound on a separate card because it usually takes longer to learn.



If your student initially rejects the idea that o makes a different sound than what they were taught previously, just remind him that some letters make a lot of different sounds, and that's okay. It is like how some animals make only one sound while others are very noisy.

For this book, you may need to think about how to teach double consonants.

Lesson One
  • Introduce new sounds: short-u, f, o
  • Build some words and practice sounding them out.
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 8 ("Muff and Ruff") pp. 1-3

In Lesson Two, we encounter yet another sound that the letter o can make. Gasp! Really, it'll be okay. I choose to teach it as the blend or and this has always worked well. See here for card information and tips on teaching the or blend.

Lesson Two
  • Introduce new blend: or
  • Build some words and practice sounding them out.
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 8 ("Muff and Ruff") pp. 4-ff

Lesson Three
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 8 ("Muff and Ruff") pp. all




09 February 2015

Free Reading Lessons for Bob Books Set 1, Book 7

Today's free reading lesson is for Bob Books Set 1, Book 7, called "Jig and Mag." This book is back to introducing new sounds.

When you introduce the "j" sound, pay attention to how your student is pronouncing it. You want it to be very clipped and short. You don't want it to be drawn out and sound like "juh." If they are vocalizing an "uh" at the end, help them shorten the sound. Work with them a bit. You are doing them a favor for the future.

For the "j" sound, I made a very, very simple card to put in the binder. I figured we'd add more words as we went along.



Lesson One
  • Introduce new sound: j
  • Build a word and practice sounding it out: jig
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 7 ("Jig and Mag") pp. 1-3

Lesson Two
  • Introduce new sound: w
  • Build some words and practice sounding them out: wig, win, wind
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 7 ("Jig and Mag") pp. 4-ff

Here's what my binder card looked like for introducing the w sound:




Lesson Three
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 7 ("Jig and Mag") pp. all




06 February 2015

Free Reading Lessons for Bob Books Set 1, Book 6

Today's free reading lesson is for Bob Books Set 1, Book 6, which is called "Dot and the Dog." Again, we don't introduce new sounds. Instead, we introduce a couple new concepts.

The first is the concept of having more than one sentence on a page. Some students freak out about this. They think it looks "hard" and that they "can't" read it. This is why it is important that there are no new sounds -- so that they become convinced that they really can read a page with more than one short sentence on it.

The second concept we introduce is the question mark. This really must be introduced before they try reading the book. I have had so many children try and sound it out like an "s."

So put a question mark on one of our handy binder cards like so:


I usually say something like this:
This is a question mark. We put one at the end of a sentence so that we know it is asking a question.
Then I give some examples. You can see the card. I wrote the second sentence first with a period and then added the question mark when it was evident to the student that the question mark made sense -- that it made it easier to know the meaning in the sentence if we used the mark.

I think it's important that we convey to our students that we do these things for a reason. We don't want them thinking that English is something mysterious. English makes sense.

So here are the lessons:

Lesson One
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Introduce: ?
  • Read: Set 1, Book 6 ("Dot and the Dog") pp. 1-4

Lesson Two
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 6 ("Dot and the Dog") pp. 5-ff

Lesson Three
  • Review appropriate sections in the binder.
  • Read: Set 1, Book 6 ("Dot and the Dog") pp. all

One more thing. Some students will mix up their lowercase b's, p's, and d's. Please know that this is normal. I don't make a big deal out of it. If they say the wrong sound, I just tell them what letter it is and ask them to sound it out again. Those three letters (along with q, which we haven't introduced yet) all look the same to a child because the child hasn't quite learned that the placing of the shape of the letter has significance. This takes time. Stumbling on this does not mean the child is dyslexic. So help the child, and don't worry. This will take care of itself in time.