Thursday, June 6, 2013

All About Easy Readers!

Choosing the Right Type of Easy Reader
Let me first begin my saying that choosing the right type of easy reader can be a challenge!  As children begin to progress in their reading, easy readers become an important aspect to the reading journey.  Easy readers are great for children who are just learning how to read because the text is simple and the stories are short.  Easy readers also allow children to practice there newly learned phonics skills and sight word recognition.  

Incorporating Reading Strategies
When using easy readers I like to incorporate some of the following reading strategies to help children learn how to read:

1) Echo Reading- where the child/student echos the words after the teacher.  I usually point to the words as I slowly read them and then have the child read them.  Pointing and focusing on the words is very important. 

2) Choral Reading- where the child/students read at the same time as the teacher.  This is great for helping a child build fluency with simple texts.

3) Fill in the Gap-  Since I know that my 3 year old is able to sound out simple CVC words and has memorized about 30 sight words, I am able to use the fill in the gap strategy when reading with her.  I will read the words in a sentence that she doesn't know and stop to let her fill in the words that she does know.  This also helps build confidence when decoding simple CVC words and lets her track the words with me as I read.   

4) Circle the sight word-  Learning to read sight words is an important component to any reading program since sight words make up a fairly large portion of what kids read and write.  Sight words may or may not be decodable, but they should be read automatically, without decoding.  

There are so many different types of easy readers on the market today and a huge variety to choose from.  Here are some easy reader sets that we have found useful, especially while working through Ready2Read Level 1.

Bob Books-  Bob Books provide short, simple sentences with CVC words.  These beginning readers are great for practicing simple phonics skills and building confidence.  Here is a sample of Collection 1 Book 2, Sam:
Sam and Cat.
Mat and Cat.
Sam, Mat and Cat.
Cat sat on Sam.

Dick and Jane-  The Dick and Jane books are perfect for practicing pre-primer sight words.  The pictures are adorable and the words are simple.
Here is an example from the book We Look:

I see the big mother.
I see the little baby.
Look, Jane.
See the big father.
The simple pre-primer sight words make it easy for a beginning reader to feel successful.
Level 1 Easy Readers for Beginning Readers

Let's take a look at five different types of easy readers series:

Scat, Cat! (I Can Read) is an easy reader and it actually labeled as "My First Shared Reading".  I would consider this book a perfect easy reader because it does provide a predictable text, decodable words and sight words.  You can easily incorporate some of the above reading strategies when using this type of book.  In this particular book, an early reader would probably be able to decode the words scat, cat and dog.  In addition, the child will most likely be familiar with some simple sight words such as the, go and said.
Here is a sample from the book:
"Scat, cat!" said the dog.
"Scat, cat!" said the bird.
"Scat, cat!" said the other cats.  "Go home."

Since this book provides a lot of repetition, a child will easily become familiar with the text and more confident as they reread it over and over again.  

The Ball Game (Hello Reader)  This is about the same level as Scat Cat and is perfect Ready2Read Level 1 readers.  There are pre-primer sight words and simple cvc words to decode.

Here is a sample from the book:
I grab my hat.
I'm at the plate.
I swing my bat.
I hit the ball.

I Am Brave (Scholastic Reader):  Again, as you use the above strategies along with decoding skills, kids can begin to read this type of book.  At the early stages of reading, a lot of support is required, but it is amazing at how quickly kids begin to use those decoding skills and recognize sight words!

Here is a sample from the book:
Look at these clouds!  It's a thunderstorm.
I have to get inside.
Oh, no.  The door is locked.
I am scared.

Little Bears Friend (An I Can Read Book):  This series is super cute, but it is not for a brand new reader.  If your child is working through Level 2 of the Ready2Read program, this may be a good fit.  In this book, there are many sight words and decodable words in the text, but the story and words are a little more complex.    

Here is a sample from the book:
He could hear the wind sing.
And he could feel the wind on his fur, on his eyes, on his little black nose.
He shut his eyes, and let the wind brush him.
He opened his eyes, and saw two little squirrels.  
"Play with us," they said.
"No time," said Little Bear.
"I have to go home for lunch."

Look for the Lorax (Step into Reading):  This book is slightly shorter and simpler than the Little Bear series but also a good fit for both Ready2Read Level 1 and 2 readers, depending on how well they are progressing. 
Here is a sample from the book:
Cute suits!
play, play, play.
Bump, jump.
Jump, bump.
Run, run, run.

As you can see, there are many different Level 1 books you can use for a beginning reader.  The most important thing is to have a variety of books on hand and to spend time working on strategies as a child reads.  Beginning readers need a lot of patience and support.  

Even as kids progress in their reading levels, easy readers are still a good choice, especially when they can read them independently!  My 5 year old is currently working on Level 3 of our Ready2Read program, but she still LOVES to read easy readers!  Rereading easy readers helps to build fluency and comprehension skills.  

I recently made a set of Emergent Readers that focuses on SIGHT WORDS and simple WORD FAMILIES. The goal is to build confidence and fluency.  

Is your child ready to learn how to read?  Be sure to check out our Ready2Read program {HERE}.

You can find these resources and more in our store below...


Traci - Dragonflies in First said...

You rock! It's as simple as that. Your strategies are perfect!
(Do I have those sketch and chalkboard handwriting fonts? I LOVE them!)

Annie Moffatt said...

Aww...thanks Traci!! Yes, you do have those fonts, my friend :)

Sarah said...

this is great!! you always have the best stuff!

Annie Moffatt said...

Thank you, Sarah! What a sweet comment!

Heidi Butkus said...

This is an awesome post with tons of great information! I have used most of the books you highlighted as well, LOL! Great job!

Amanda Phillips said...

This is a perfect post! I have been really looking at these books for Olivia to have a good selection to read this summer. Good advice! Very helpful!

Ms.M said...

You are just so fabulous. Love this.

karen said...

What a fabulous post!

Tamara Chilver said...

Terrific post! I am printing it off to use with Colby and Charity. :)

Tamara Chilver said...

Terrific post! I am printing it off to use with Colby and Charity. :)

Katie Knight said...

This is a great post and every parent should read this one!

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