In the spring of 2010, I asked my principal if I could pace my first grade class the next fall so that they covered my Sound City Reading materials first, followed by the Scott-Forseman Reading Street materials. She said yes. This meant I could be sure everyone in the class had their feet on the ground with decoding, spelling, and sight words before starting into the basal readers. The Sound City Reading program teaches sight word by teaching the phonetic pattern first, then teaching the sight word related to that pattern. This makes it much easier for the many students who find it very difficult to learn sight words. Basically, the students learn to read short vowel words during the first few weeks of first grade, and then learn all of the basic phonogram patterns needed to read typical first grade stories, learning one new pattern per day. I use a "Robot Game" lesson plan, spelling dictation, wall charts, and phonogram review cards and games that make the new phonogram patterns easier to learn. The students would go through an intense, sequential phonics program, while reading practice stories tailor made to match the phonics sequence. Then they would start the basal reader stories after they had already studied the phonics patterns needed to read every word in stories.
The stories would be introduced in a whole group setting. I would read each phrase aloud, and the whole class would repeat. We would use echo reading to cover the whole story, then read in unison. We would discuss the story thoroughly. Finally, we would read the same story in small groups.
I worked all summer fine tuning the materials I'd used in my first grade classooms for the past twenty years. Those are the materials I've posted on this web site. About a week before school started in August, I had a radical idea. Knowing that some children find decoding much more difficult than others, I decided to limit each day's lesson to only ten new words. This would allow the children to learn a new phonogram pattern every day, without overwhelming them with a lot of words. Teaching just ten words per pattern would allow me to make my lessons more efficient time wise, and would give every child a chance to master those words. They could then use those words as a template to help them decode other words they encounter with the same phonics pattern. So I started modifying all the phonics booklets and workbooks to teach only ten words at a time.
2011 "Ten Words" Color-Coded Materials
Short Vowels And Phonics Patterns
Scroll to the bottom to see links to the materials, including a revised short vowel booklet and workbook, revised phonogram pattern booklets and workbooks, revised Sound Story, and new wall charts. The materials are essentially the same as previous versions, with the addition of color coding in the sentences and stories using the Comic Sans font. The stories and sentences are repeated using all black text, using the Century Schoolbook font. This is to make it easier for students to transfer to regular print. Word lists for each new sound pattern are limited to ten words, to streamline the teaching, making it easier for students to master the daily material.
Important Note: Use the "Print" version to print booklets for each file. Use the "Screen" version to show the pdf files in full screen mode on a computer, projector, or smart board.
I apologize in advance for any errors in the materials. I don't have proofreaders and although I try to check very carefully, mistakes get by. I'll make corrections as needed when I see errors.
Something else happened during the summer. Chris Bogardus found my web site on the internet and called me. He has created a color-coded web site for students in the fourth grade and up. Student read poems and songs that are color-coded. Each vowel sound is printed in a different color. This is the same thing I've done for years when teaching new sound patterns. But Chris doesn't use the color-coding to teach new phonics patterns in the same way I have, with word lists. He puts it right into the poems. Every word in the entire poem is color coded. Instead of drilling students on phonetic patterns, he lets the natural rhyming patterns in the poems provide a way for students to learn the phonics instinctively. He wanted me to try his web site with children that I teach.
I worked with a fifth grader who was reading below grade level for about six weeks, during my planning periods. She loved the poems! I could see a very positive response from her. However, as the school year progressed, I became so pressed for time that giving up my planning time became impossible, and I had to let the tutoring go. But I was so impressed with how the color-coded poems worked, I decided to try putting my first grade materials into the same format. I used the same font (Comic Sans) and added the color-coding (Chris and I use different colors) to all of the sentences and stories that I use. Before, I used color-coding in the word lists and flash cards, but not in the sentences and stories. As I started putting the first fully color-coded materials in front of the children, I was very pleased with the results. I could see a definite improvement in the students ability to read the sentences and stories. And it became much easier to cue the children on how to correct themselves if they stumbled over a word, because of the color-coding.
I had to make these materials in two different versions. See the explanation below if you wish.
Use the PRINT version to print the booklets!
Use the SCREEN version to display the materials on a computor screen, projector, or smart board!
All workbooks are printed in black text only.
One version is for printing. I am very fortunate to be able to use a Ricoh Aficio SP C820 DN printer. This is a top of the line color laser printer that will print large volumes of materials. If you're going to print with a different printer, please test a few pages first, to be sure the colors turn out OK. For the printed versions of the files, I had to use light colors, so they wouldn't print too dark. When the "print" version of the files are printed, the color-coded pages are on the left side of the booklet, with the black print pages on the right side, allowing students to compare the different texts and use the type of text that they prefer.
The other version is for reading on the computer screen or from a projector or smart board. If you download the pdf files to your computer, you can then open them in full screen mode, in a way that is similar to power point files. This way, you can work with individual students or an entire class without having to print the materials. The "screen" colors are brighter to show up well. However, if you try to print a "screen" file, it will probably print too dark to be usable. The "screen" version files have an extra page added at the beginning, so that the pdf files will display the matching pages correctly in two-page display mode. This means they won't print with the pages lined up correctly.
Color-Coded Print Versions
Color-Coded Screen Versions
Revised Sound Story (For Screen) Coming Soon
Phonics Patterns Part 1 (For Screen) Coming Soon
Phonics Patterns Part 2 (For Screen) Coming Soon
Phonics Patterns Part 3 (For Screen) Coming Soon
Practice Stories Part 2 Go For A Ride (For Screen) Coming Soon
Additional Vowel Wall Charts (For Screen) Coming Soon
Small Version Of Sound Charts (For Screen) Coming Soon
Ten Words Workbooks - All Black Print
Color-Coded Review Lists (To Print) (Coming Soon)