Decodable Books Explained. Plus, How to Use Them!
Santina DiMauro on how her students learned to read. Teaching reading using authentic texts promotes the three cueing strategies for unknown words. Decodable books are a firm favourite in the UK and slowly making their way into Australian classrooms. These emergent readers promote meaning first and are repetitive. Decoding is simply lifting the word off the page to then comprehend and take meaning.
What is a Decodable Book?
Decodable books are texts that contain specific knowledge that students have been taught, such as phonics (letter-sound code), the blending strategy, and irregular, high frequency words, also known as tricky words. With this knowledge, students gain confidence and empowerment.
How Can I Use Decodable Books?
How can we use decodable books in the classroom or as a parent reading to your child? It’s important to figure out what letter-sound knowledge the students have and what tricky words they can recall automatically. The following tips can help you read decodeable books with your students.
1. Choosing the correct decodable book
The inside cover of ‘Is Nan in,’ a decodeable book from Pearson, will contain specific letter-sound knowledge, which will help you determine what books your students can read. Keep in mind that this letter sound knowledge must be explicitly taught prior to reading.
2. Practise blending sounds to read words found in the text
Students must understand the importance of learning sounds in order to transfer them to reading. Many decodable books will have these words on the inside cover, allowing students to read them quickly without having to sound out each letter sound, a skill known as fluency.
3. Practise automaticity or a ‘fast read’ with tricky words
Examine the difficult words in the text; many decodable books will have these words on the inside cover; allow students to read them automatically or in a ‘fast read.’ This will assist them as they encounter these words while reading the reader.
1. Know the text before students read it
Reading the text before the students read it allows you to interact with the story as they read it; I like to encourage emergent readers to point to each word, and to assist them when they make a mistake by asking them to reread the sentence.
3. After Reading
The following are some of the questions that will be asked: What was your favorite part of the story? Did you like it? Why/why not?
Sending Home Decodable Books
You’ll need to educate parents about synthetic phonics and how they can help at home, and you’ll want to align your home readers with what a student knows, just like you did in the classroom. This blog post is a good place to start for parents.
Everything Needs to be Decodable!
The phonics code a child knows is presented alongside tricky words, such as /igh/ or /s/ for’ship’, in Phonics Hero, which follows the same principles as decodable books.
Do Decodable books have pictures?
Instead of relying on pictures or guessing, decodable text forces readers to practice their decoding skills.
What is a Decodable book?
Decodable books are simple stories made almost entirely of phonetically decodable words, using letters and letter groups taught in phonics lessons.
What does a Decodable book look like?
Decodable books contain only phonetic code that the student has already learned; for example, a child learning to read who has learned the short vowel sounds could decode simple words like hat, bed, and pig, but not words like see and owl.
How do you write a Decodable book?
To create decodable stories that wow, content creators (authors, illustrators, and editors) can follow these five steps:
- Use writing techniques to make the text more interesting.
- Use illustrations to add more to the story than the words alone can say.
- Variate the types of illustrations.
Why Decodable books are important?
Researchers agree that decodable text should be used for a limited time, when students are first learning to sound out words, and studies have shown that it has some advantages for early readers: when children read decodable books, they are more likely to try to decodeu2014to sound out the words.
How do you use Decodable books?
Decodable Books and How I Use Them
- Discuss the meaning of the text (always! )
- Read the text multiple times for fluency practice (at school and/or at home)
- Circle or highlight words with a target phonics pattern (this is important because it helps kids make the connection between a phonics concept and actual reading)
What are the common problems in reading?
Problems with Reading
- Poor vision.
- Hearing loss.
- Improper directional tracking.
- Poor comprehension skills.
- Issues with Decoding.
What are Decodable sentences?
Decodable text is a type of text that is commonly used in beginning reading instruction. It is typically leveled, with each level introducing new sounds and letters, as well as increasingly multisyllabic words and more complex sentences.
Are Decodable books good?
Because the words are easier to decode, decodable books are excellent tools for early readers and struggling readers. Repeated readings of decodable books help beginning readers improve their automaticity or fluency of word recognition, particularly in phonics patterns and high frequency words.
What is considered Decodable text?
Decodable text is a type of text used in early reading instruction that is carefully sequenced to gradually incorporate words that are consistent with the letteru2013sound relationships that the new reader has been taught.
At what point does a child no longer require Decodable books?
Decodable reading books should be used to supplement a high-quality phonics program; by the end of Year 1/Primary 2, most children will no longer require books that are matched to their phonic knowledge due to optimal teaching through systematic synthetic phonics.
What is a controlled reader?
A Leveled Reader is a collection of short stories that typically follow the sequence of skills taught in a program; it may focus on a specific skill the student is practicing, but it also contains many patterns the student has not learned.
What is the phonic method?
Phonics is a reading instruction method in which students are first taught the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, after which they are taught to blend the sounds phonetically to form words, and finally to naturally increase vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
What is a controlled text?
This process of using controlled reading lists is essential because words containing phonic elements not yet taught in this program are not included in the text, and students are never presented with words containing phonic elements they have not yet been taught.
What is a leveled reader?
Leveled reading employs a variety of assessment tools to determine how well your child reads, and then matches them to books that are challenging enough for them to progress. Books are divided into levels of difficulty, allowing for a perfect match based on ability.