The Practice Books are your precursor to decodable stories. They ensure Synthetic Phonics skills are easy and automatic before moving onto the complexities of a story.
Take a look inside and notice:
Benefits of The Practice books
Ensure children are truly decoding – to discourage guessing there are no picture clues
Grow confidence in single word reading – no complications of grammar, story and sentences so children can focus on getting one skill mastered first – decoding!
Every word is 100% decodable – this reliability gives children lots of confidence as they quickly read their first books by themselves
Fidelity – no unknown phonemes will be introduced. If a child has only learned eight phonemes, there is no use presenting the 24th phoneme!
The more unusual words are a great opportunity to expand vocabulary and a useful stimulus for discussion
Each unit comes with a camera word book, which contain irregular, high frequency words – the look, cover, write, check method of learning is written on every page to help children learn these words by using their visual memory
Why Practice Books before a decodable story?
Think about the leveled guided reading books you use and ask yourself:
Does it use phonic code that children have not learned yet?
Are children sounding out to read, or simply guessing from the pictures?
Are children getting the message that reading is a guessing game and therefore a problem solving activity?
What knowledge of basic punctuation is needed?
Do children know what to do when they see a full stop, comma, speech marks?
Are there irregular, high frequency words (camera words) that children do not know?