Many teachers are now using decodable books to help their beginner readers practice the phonics taught in the classroom lessons. This is because it is now accepted that decodable texts, which are controlled texts, help children develop decoding, and decoding ability is an essential skill for learning to read.
It is important that the books match the scope and sequence a teacher is following. In order for the children to succeed when they read, we need to ensure that they have already been introduced to spellings (graphemes) embedded in the decodable text. Some programmes have decodable books that match this scope and sequence. But they may not have sufficient decodable books for the children who need additional practice. Other programmes don’t offer decodable books so the teacher/school need to find the books that will best match the scope and sequence used in the school.
Here are a couple of ideas of how to organise the decodable books so that teachers have easy access to the books.
- Organise the books in a way that the books are ordered with clear labels. Here is a great example from Jackson Elementary school. As you can see each set of books is clearly marked so the teacher can quickly identify the books she/he needs for the reading activity.
2. Another great idea is to stick clear labels on the books, as Phonics for Pupil with SEN have showed in the image below. The sticker can indicate the level or stage in the scope and sequence or the specific skill that is being taught, e.g reading CVC words or CVCC words etc.
Which every system is used, the teacher will need to know the scope and sequence of the programme well, so that he/she can quickly select the appropriate book for the lesson.
Teaching phonics in a systematic way and then providing children with a successful reading experience at every stage will build their reading skills and confidence. And that is what we are working towards!
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