The Sound Steps to Reading Storybook contains the full text of the story fragment that begins each lesson. These stories should be read by the parent or teacher later on the same day after the lesson has been completed. Each story features the target sound (phoneme) for that lesson. The stories are humorous and written in rhyme. Trials in the U.S. and the U.K showed that children love them.
Many children can begin reading these stories on their own (with a little help) about midway through the program. This is highly motivating. By the end of the program all children can read these stories with ease.
The stories will work well with any synthetic phonics program that teaches the spelling alternatives for the sounds in English.
Sound Steps to Reading is based on the author’s analysis of the English writing system, one of the most complex writing systems in the world. Mastering this complexity is solved by careful sequencing of the lessons so the child is never confronted with something he cannot do. Every lesson is scripted and no training is necessary to use this program.
Lessons contain the same activities in the same order:
1) listening for the target sound in a story
2) a structured listening exercise
3) handwriting training and practice
4) segmenting and blending sounds in real words (reading)
5) copying words
6) spelling dictation
7) reading stories written with words/spellings taught so far.
Lessons are cumulative. Each lesson builds on the previous lesson and only contains words with the sounds and spellings the child has been taught. When lessons proceed at the recommended pace of 3 lessons per week, most children become excellent readers, writers, and spellers in about 20-25 weeks. For classroom teachers, lessons will take about one school year. It is advised that the later lessons (last set) be reviewed at the start of first grade.
Research results. A study on two kindergarten classrooms was carried out at the Willows School In Los Angeles. Most children could not read at the start of school. When they were tested at the end of the year, 42% scored in the top 1% in the nation, and 75% scored in the top 10%, based on test norms. All but one child scored well above “average.”
There are two components to this program. The complete program must include both books.
• The Sound Steps to Reading Handbook contains all lessons, all exercises and worksheets.
• The Sound Steps to Reading Storybook contains the full text of the story fragment that begins each lesson.