If teaching children to read BEFORE they start school, please visit the dedicated web site, and follow the Steps. The Steps to Reading (& Spelling) Program has been written for non-teachers and teachers alike. It has been developed, in part to address the 'Reading Wars' that persist, even decades after 3 National Inquiries. If we send children to school with good phonemic awareness and oral language skills, and with many already avid readers with a passion and curiosity for spelling (how we 'talk on paper') then we protect children from becoming instructional casualties. By showing how easily most children learn to read and spell with evidence based instruction, we may also help to shift beliefs. When beliefs shift, teaching behaviours change.
Our focus is always on helping the highest number of children to not only learn to read, but choose to read; they understand the magic of books, and the power of literacy.
Learning to Read with Mummy (and Miss Emma's Early Years program) at home, BEFORE she started school !
The Steps to Reading Early Years Programme helps practitioners to promote speech, language and communication development; identify those children who are experiencing difficulties; and support children and young people who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The Steps to Reading Programme includes storytelling and group reading; activities that develop letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, mapping of sounds with 'Speech Sound Pics'®
(Linguistic and Visual phonics); and introductions to different kinds of writing.
Get involved ! This is ground breaking work, and it's taking place in real homes, real pre-schools!
The power of empowered parents !
We are using the Science of Reading to prevent reading difficulties; early intervention matters! The program is explicit, systematic, fast paced, engaging and seeks to help the highest number of children reach the stage of using 'Orthographic mapping' as quickly and easily as possible. We aim to send all children to school with good phonemic awareness; many will be independently reading books of their choice, for pleasure.
Orthographic mapping is the process readers use to store written words for immediate, effortless retrieval. It is a means by which readers turn unfamiliar written words into familiar, instantaneously accessible sight words. —Kilpatrick, 2015, p. 81
Phases of Word-Reading Development (Ehri, 1996; Ehri & Snowling, 2004)
The central focus of this model is that to be able to recognize words “by sight” during fluent reading, a reader must master phoneme-grapheme mapping, or the alphabetic principle.
This understanding progresses in phases, each supported by specific instruction.
The phases are not stages, as they are part of a predictable developmental continuum.
Prealphabetic reading: The child may use incidental visual clues to “read” familiar words but does not yet understand that letters represent speech sounds.
Partial alphabetic reading and writing: The child has some letter-knowledge and phoneme awareness and may represent some letter-sounds in words.
Full alphabetic reading and writing: The child has phoneme awareness, knows basic sound/ symbol correspondences, and can sound out words and spell phonetically.
Consolidated alphabetic reading: The child has some sight vocabulary, uses strategies to figure out unknown words, and may segment words into morphological units. Because the recognition of words is mostly automatic, attention can be devoted primarily to comprehension.
The following shows the explicit BASIC systematic phonics teaching order. There are 4 'Code Levels'.
Decodable texts are used to enable children to practise blending these graphemes within 'real' texts.
Download free Decodable Reader Guide.
Students explore the phoneme to grapheme mapping using a Speech to Print Approach.