Teaching Reading to a 1st Grader


Mar 4 2006, 12:02 PM
Hi Ladies,
I had posted previously about teaching reading to my son and got many wonderful suggestions. (To recap...he's halfway through first grade in the public school and not reading yet). We completed the Study Dog program on the internet. Now, we are making our way through Starfall. I even ordered the printed materials (the books and workbooks). Now, this week at work, I realized that the special education teacher has the Explode the Code series so I copied Book 1-1/2. We are now making our way through that. My question...I was going to order 100 EZ Lessons on Amazon but I'm not sure if I need that now. With Starfall and Explode the Code, would this book be beneficial? I just can't tell from looking at the sample pages, if I need this book now. Will it be overkill? If we continue doing Starfall and the Explode the Code series, should this be enough? Or would EZ Lessons be helpful also? Just looking at previous posts, it looked like several of you have done both so I knew that you could give me input from your experiences. Thanks ladies!

Mar 4 2006, 12:11 PM
Well, you know..I like 100 EZ lessons. I used it successfully with my 2 older children. Having said that, I am not sure in your case I would grab 100 EZ because you are doing so many other things like Starfall and Study Dog. I think that adding 100 EZ lesson would be confusing. 100 EZ lessons is meant to stand alone when teaching reading. What your are doing sounds fine. It might just be a time issue. One day, you are going to see a light bulb go off and he is going to be reading great! I think you are setting up a good foundation.

Mar 4 2006, 12:41 PM
I agree. What you have now is probably enough. I love starfall!
Good Luck!

Mar 4 2006, 01:27 PM
I have tons of phonic based teaching books, probably 10-20 of various ones (I'd name them if I could think of them but the only 1 I can think of is Alpha Phonics lol, my brain is still asleep) But even with all these books in our house, the only thing that got my 6yr old reading was sitting down and opening the McGuffy Primer. We opened the book and he began to read! Slowly but he was reading!! I really didnt know he could read! LOL He only knows some of the phonics, not all of them, if we come to one he doesnt know we just learn it then and there and keep going. He's doing really good and starting to sound out words to spell (Something we dont do at all yet) Can your son put the sounds together? Like "C" "A" "T" and knows it is cat? If that comes quickly to him then I think he's probably ready, just open a book and show him how to sound out the first few words. Being able to look at 1 letter and say the sound vs reading a word is a big jump! I know with my son, it was almost like he didnt realize the sounds he knew could be applied to words for him to read them. We have never done sight words or anything like that so when he started reading, he had to read every word, no words were just known (which is the way I wanted it because I'm too worried about the look say method) He may just need some encouragement to realize he can read!
Good luck!

Mar 4 2006, 02:02 PM
I agree with What Tressa said. If what you are using now is working, there is no reason to start 100 EZ, IMO. It is not a phonics program and it's approach is different than ETC or Starfall and it might hinder instead of help at this point.

Mar 4 2006, 03:36 PM
He is just starting to be able to sound out words since I have started working with him. The public school uses more of a whole language approach (or the look say method that you called it!) where the kids learn site words and are given a "Poetry Notebook" to read short passages from each week. It was not working for him until I started teaching him phonics. Now that we have done Study Dog and are working on Starfall, he is learning how to sound out words and then blend the sounds together to read the word. I am starting to see progress. We did the first Explode the Code lesson from Book 1-1/2 today and he did so well. He was really able to sound out most of the words on the page, since there is a lot of repetition and all of the words are of the same vowel pattern (like today was short "a"). So I think things are starting to click for him, but it is through the phonics based approach and not the whole language that the school stresses. It has just been challenging since my other two learned to read easily. They were both reading by this point without much direct teaching. But it has been much harder for Zack. But I am seeing progress.
Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it!

Mar 4 2006, 06:36 PM
I agree that the 100 EZ lessons would probably not be beneficial at this point. That book is a program that is meant to be used with younger children who have had no (or very little) exposure to letters and phonics. I love the book and taught my twins to read with it. I would recommend it to most parents just starting out with young children but at the point where your son is, it's probably better sticking with the explode the code (which I hear is great) and just lots of practice with reading. BTW, like Mimzie, I also used the McGuffey primer (and 1st reader). They are great because they are SO simplistic and build gradually. All words in the stories have been introduced past stories so there's plenty of repetition. Adults may find the stories too simplistic/boring and you may think the children would too. But my two just loved the simplicity. They were thrilled when they could read it all themselves without my help, vs. picking up other readers or regular books where they might need help with many words on each page. It might be a good option for supplementing. you can get the readers on amazon through the used section for as little as $7.00 including shipping. Ebay usually has many of them too.


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