Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sound Walls

Many teachers are interested in using Sound Walls instead of Word Walls. The more traditional word wall is organized alphabetically using all 26 letters of the alphabet. We place “sight words” or “high-frequency words” under each letter based on the first letter of each word. Working with word walls is print to speech. We find the print/letter first and then we match the sound. Our language develops from speech to print. We hear speech sounds before we learn to match the sounds to a particular letter or letter pattern. So, in the early grades, a Sound Wall makes more sense. 
Everything you need to explore the idea of Sound Walls is located in this blog post. The post shares the work of Mary Ellis Dahlgren, Ed.D., president of Tools 4 Reading. She is an experienced educator with more than 25 years in the field of education having served as a dyslexia therapist, elementary classroom teacher, international literacy consultant, and author. You can order her resources at Tools 4 Reading

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Decodable Texts

More and more of us are in search of decodable texts. Decodable texts are carefully sequenced to progressively incorporate words that are consistent with the letter-sound relationships that we have taught. For example, if you have taught closed syllables, you will want your student to practice using a decodable text. We might use the Primary Phonics book, Mac and Tab, or Ben Bug. The first set reviews short vowel sounds, using phonetic skills to read decodable/connected text, and sight words. Allowing the child to practice what you have taught will build confidence and help you assess progress. These texts are used in a small group or one-on-one instruction. You will have to determine how many books that you will need for a group. (I do not use the workbooks and other materials that are sold.) The decodable texts can be matched to your curriculum's scope and sequence. A good decodable text will list what the child will need to know in order to read it. Many programs offer digital books but you will want physical copies that do not have to be printed as well. 
Decodable readers have been around for a long time! As an Orton Gillingham tutor, I used these during each lesson. The  Primary Phonics books are one of my favorites! Another series that I own are the S.P.I.R.E. text sets. There are many choices! Here are a few more that are recommended:

Phonics Books- High-interest readers designed to build confidence with great illustrations.

Alphabet Series Readers ­­-They include elements of both fiction and nonfiction and are appealing stories for grades K-3. 

Flyleaf Publishing-High quality texts that kids love! 

High Noon Books—Sound Out Chapter Books

Saddleback Books-Offerings for older readers!

Don't forget about decodable poems and passages! These are quick and easy to print for your lesson and send home. Be sure to determine if the poem or passage is right for the student! This can be tricky. You might have to teach a few words before they read. You can find more passages to purchase from The Literacy Nest. Emily is a trusted resource for OG teachers. 

I hope this helps you to find the right decodable texts for your children!