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Phonically decodable reading schemes

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by LouDav, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Which phonically decodable reading schemes do you recommend? We have a mixture of books (some ancient!) and I would like to bring in more phonics based books. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Which phonically decodable reading schemes do you recommend? We have a mixture of books (some ancient!) and I would like to bring in more phonics based books. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  3. Thanks, that's very helpful.
  4. I like Floppy's Phonics (OUP) and Phonics Bug (Pearson) although a criticism I would make is there are not nearly enough titles available in either series. When mixing schemes the obvious difficulty is maintaining the cumulative parts of each scheme. It is important that once a letter(s)/sound correspondence is introduced in one book, that it is revisited in subsequent titles - that the number of graphemes accumulates. This is very difficult to keep track of once you mix schemes as even a tiny difference in the order will skew this.

    Another difficulty is the current hold of "Book Bands". For example, both OUP and Pearson have "banded" all their material, be it cumulatively decodable (such as Floppy's Phonics) or otherwise (such as the traditional Biff and Chip Toys' Party stuff that is not only still available but relaunched!). this just adds to the confusion as publishers like to market to schools on the basis that their books are fully aligned to Letters and Sounds and Book Bands - which is a bit like publishing the Koran and saying it is fully aligned to Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    Either we teach early reading using synthetic phonics or we don't. The publishers want to be all things to all men - of course they do, they are in the business of selling books. We, however, are in the business of teaching reading and must ignore the marketing guff they advertise with and ensure that the books we give our children to practise with are cumulatively decodable and ruthlessly leave out those that are not - no matter what "Book Band" the publishers foist upon their market. I think the dyslexic website linked above is an excellent site and gives invaluable informatio on this issue.
  5. Oxford University Press provides a good cumulatively decodeable scheme in Floppy's Phonics but has also reprinted the old traditional ORT look and say books too. Pearson confuses the issue with its BugClub range, some of which include the Phonics Bug cumulatively decodeable books, but also many look and say books that should be avoided.

    If nobody bought the look and say books, they would not print them. As Teejay says, they are a business. They follow the money.
  6. OUP has also "bought" various "experts" - Richard Dunne, Ruth Miskin, Debbie Hepplewhite and (I think. but might be wrong) Ros Wilson. There is nothing wrong with this, but we must be wary. These may well be very intelligent and useful individuals but OUP would have no hesitation in signing up other, less reputable names - they want to sell us books. That is their bottom line and we must scrutinise what we but with taxpayers' money.
  7. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Collins Big Cat Phonics have a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction.
    Also Songbirds, written by Julia Donaldson, all fiction.
  8. Big Cat are not cumulatively decodable. Songbirds were a good start, a couple of years ago, but the cumulative nature of these is debatable.
  9. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Although they are not completely cumulative, I feel they are more interesting than some of the books I have seen. In particular the Jolly Readers (recommended in the dyslexia site mentioned earlier) are in my opinion dry and boring [​IMG].
    They also feature words such as 'Inky'and 'Snake' in the first set of books.......yet 'y' as an 'ee' sound will not have been taught, nor the split digraph 'a_e'.
  10. With respect, it's not your opinion which matters. Do the children find them 'dry and boring'?

    Which is a much more pertinent criticism.

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm afraid so
  12. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I think my opinion does matter, actually.
    The children do find many of the books boring. If they found them really interesting my opinion of the books would be different.
    I don't think we should give children books to read for reading's sake. They should be enjoying the books they read otherwise we could put them off reading altogether!
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  14. Why didn't you say that in the first place, then? You gave the impression that you, personally, didn't like them; which isn't important. Once you say the children find them boring that's quite different.

    I am not defending them, BTW[​IMG] I just get a bit worried about children's access to books being limited by the teacher's likes and dislikes.
  15. Maizie has hit the nail on the head here. Do we really believe that a 5 year old looks at the book we have given them and thinks, oh that's not intellectually stimulating enough for me, I'm not reading it? Which book would they be happiest to be given? The one the teacher likes because in their opinion it is has the Toy Story characters in and is relevant to their interests, but is entirely beyond their ability to read, or the one about Sam's Pot, even though Sam is not a character in a popular movie / TV show but on that they can decode with their limited knowledge of letters and sounds and decoding ability but that they can actually read for themselves? Nobody is suggesting that cumulatively decodable books should be the ONLY literature that children should encounter. Read to them a wide range of books. But do not give them books that are beyond their code knowledge and expect them to read them independently.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No but they look at the early Jolly Readers and sigh loudly not because they lack intellectual stimulation but because they lack any stimulation. There are better phonic reading schemes available. Jolly Readers simply don't appeal to small children.
  17. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I also believe we shouldn't give children books they cannot decode, that is why I go through each book to check that they can be read by the children I am giving them to.
    As I mentioned before, my opinion is based on my observation of the enthusiasm of the children reading the books and their responses to what they have read, not my own preferences! It's not as if I take them home to read for my own pleasure!!
    From previous posts I think Maizie agrees that we should provide children with decodable books that they find interesting so yes......she has 'hit the nail on the head'.
    OP..................Sam's Pot is from Songbirds btw![​IMG]
  18. Indeed, I quite agree! I'm glad we've got that one sorted out!
    I think that my views are very much coloured by working with much older children and having my choice of decodable books for them disparaged by people like EPs because they are not 'age appropriate' (implication, 'boring'). Well, what does 'age appropriate' matter when the child is thrilled to be reading truly independently and is following a simple story with interest?

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