Some children have no trouble at all learning to read, write, and spell inside traditional classrooms or using a traditional language arts curriculum.
Children who learn to read easily can:
- Learn the names of letters
- Learn the sounds those letters (and letter combinations) make
- Sound out words (remembering the sounds they are saying as they move through the word so that by the time they come to the end of the word, they can collect those sounds into a word that makes sense)
- Learn and remember whole words once they have sounded them out several times
- Transfer what they have learned about smaller words and use that knowledge to help themselves figure out new, larger, more complex words
- Do all this mechanical stuff while still absorbing the meaning the words carry (in other words, they can do all the work of reading while still understanding what they are reading)
- Recall words well enough to spell them reasonably well when writing
- Create a story, keep a train of thought going, as they write using those words they have learned to read
But thousands upon thousands of children cannot learn in that traditional way
In our day and age we have become very specialized in the labels we assign our children who cannot successfully learn to read, write, and spell. For some children, one particular aspect of reading gives them more trouble, while for other kids some other part of that linear process (see above) is the sticking point.
- Those who have a particularly difficult time with manipulating sounds (as is required in sounding out words) might be identified as having an auditory processing disorder.
- Those who cannot visually maintain a sequence of letters such as is found in a word might be identified as dyslexic.
- Those who are very active and who have trouble maintaining focus in a linear way (such as is required to stay on a line of text until you have sounded out everything, leaving out no details) might be identified as having ADHD.
And the list goes on. Some are identified as having disabilities in comprehension, in writing, etc., but in general all of these skills that give children so much grief are reading skills. Because children are different from each other, what they are good at (and what causes them trouble) will vary.
Let’s turn our focus away from identifying disability
and instead refine our teaching approach
If the percentage of children who struggle with reading were very small, it would make sense to continue identifying the children as disabled. However, a very large percent of children today are not proficient with reading. A very large number of children cannot function in a traditional arena.
At Child1st Publications we create resources for teaching reading that remove the difficulties of remembering sounds, sounding out words, reading sight words instantly, deciphering new words, remembering phonics concepts, spelling correctly, writing, and comprehension.
This is what we believe:
We have readers and non-readers. Non-readers or struggling readers need hooks for learning and remembering no matter what their label might be.
At Child1st we create those hooks for learning and remembering. We strive to do this in a way that will empower parents and teachers to utilize our teaching resources without having to do extensive preparation and without having to rework programs so that they appeal to various types of learners.
Beyond Sight Words is a perfect example of resources for teaching reading that have built-in hooks for learning and remembering.
About Beyond Sight Words:
Because there is such an emphasis in our schools on children being able to fluently read lists of sight words, we have focused on this skill, but have added to this limited skill the other components of reading: alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, phonics, writing, spelling, critical thinking, and comprehension.
The two different versions of Beyond Sight Words.
- One is comprehensive and includes extra-large SnapWords® (sight words embedded in pictures that show at a glance what the word is and what it means). This version is simply called Beyond Sight Words. This resource is comprehensive and is available in 25 levels of difficulty, starting from scratch and ending with third grade. Here is the link to Level 1.
- The other version is called Beyond Sight Words Activities. This version is identical to the previous resource except that it has been designed for those who already have SnapWords® Cards and don’t need to have another copy. This resource is available in five levels of difficulty compatible with SnapWords® Lists A, B, C, D, and E. Here is the link to Beyond Sight Words Activities A.
Activities included in both Beyond Sight Words resources:
• Mini-Lessons for each sight word that not only guides you through teaching that word, but brings in many other words for study that share a sound spelling. Mini-Lessons include teaching the word, writing the word, finding words with similar characteristics, and writing sentences using the word.
• Bingo – instant word recognition
• Go fish – reading sight words
• Sight word sentences to illustrate – comprehension enrichment
• Fill in the blank with a sight word – for comprehension
• Making phrases with sight words – for comprehension and correct usage
• Sound manipulation or word morph – for phonemic awareness
• Word searches in many levels – recognition
• Crossword puzzles in more advanced levels – comprehension
• Word wall games – to practice higher level thinking, comprehension, opposites, synonyms, etc.
• Write about it – colored illustrations that serve as writing prompts for the children
• ABC order – alphabetic principle
• Making words tactilely – phonics: to study the structure of words including more complex sound spellings
• Assessment – for measuring accuracy and reading fluency
• Sentence Unscramble – Each activity reviews all the words from each SnapWords® List
• Plain word wall words to coincide with the SnapWords® studied
• Tracking charts to record each student’s progress
• Certificates of achievement
- How does Beyond Sight Words correlate with current Child1st Publications materials? BSW includes SnapWords®, The Reading Teacher’s Encyclopedia, SnapWords® Mini-Lessons, and yet contains more activities than those current products contain.
- How do I know where to start with my child? Use this chart of our SnapWords® to determine exactly where your child is in terms of fluency with word recognition. If he/she can easily read all List A words, you would begin with Beyond Sight Words Level 6 or Beyond Sight Words Activities B.
- How much does Beyond Sight Words cost? Beyond Sight Words, the comprehensive files that include half-sheet sized SnapWords® sell for $10 per level on TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers). Beyond Sight Words Activities, the books that correspond to SnapWords® List A, List B, etc., are $19.95. Beyond Sight Words Activities A would include Beyond Sight Words Levels 1-5, but do not of course contain the SnapWords® images.
- How long does it take to teach a unit of Beyond Sight Words? It all depends on your child. The beauty of using BSW is that you can progress at your own pace. In addition, because of the color, the hooks for learning, the game-based learning, your child will bring a far more positive attitude to learning because he/she will experience success.
- What words are included in these units? Our Beyond Sight Words resources include ALL Dolch words from pre-primer to third grade level. They also include Fry and Fountas & Pinnell words.
- Is this a stand-alone curriculum or can it supplement my mandated curriculum? Beyond Sight Words is intended to be a resource of activities for all reading skills and as such it is great as a supplemental resource. However, if you are the parent of a child who is struggling, these resources will provide a way for you to set aside the curriculum you were using (that was not working well) and try something designed especially for those who need visuals, body motion, etc.