For this school year I splurged and bought Tiger his own pre reading program. The initial expense made me cringe, but he wanted to participate in the school days more fully and I thought All About Readings Pre Level curriculum looked like it was on his level. So……..I ordered the basic package. And after using the program for several months, I’m so thankful I did! It is perfect for Tiger and it has been a very valuable program.
What is the program? All About Reading introduces one upper case letter per lesson in the first set of lessons and one lower case letter per lesson in the later lessons. The last group of lessons cover letter sounds. The program utilizes activity pages that correspond to each letter, poems, word cards to use during activities, and a puppet to help introduce concepts such as syllables, rhyming, and distinguishing beginning and ending sounds.
What comes with the program? The program has activity pages for each letter. Now, I could have searched the internet, printed off my own pages, and come up with my own activities for each page. Or, I could have something already done for me that I can open and use right away. I went with convenience!
I tore out all the pages and comb bound them so Tiger could have his own workbook. He looks forward to decorating each letter page according to the instructions laid out on the back of the page. It’s exactly the right amount of work for him-one page is enough to make him feel like he’s “doing” school without causing frustration or boredom.
The program contains two books with black and white illustrations. These books have poems with animal characters. We read through the poems and pick out the letter we are studying.
My favorite part about the program is its ease of use. It is truly an open-and-go program. The teacher’s manual is very clearly laid out with instructions regarding which letter to cover, which activity page to complete, which story to read, and if any word cards are used in the lesson, how to use them. The manual also has a scripted section for the part of the lesson with Ziggy the Zebra.
Tiger’s favorite part of the program is the time when we use our puppets. I knew that the kids would not be satisfied if I was the only one with a puppet, so they each have their own puppet. Curly participates with a Lion, Bee is a pig and Tiger is, well, the tiger! I use Ziggy and the kids’ puppets answer him as he teaches them about syllabication, rhyming, word sounds, and recognizing beginning and ending sounds.
Some activities include: finding image cards which rhyme
looking at a group of image cards and finding the images that all begin with the same letter
hearing a sentence in which all words begin with the same sound and determining which letter it is
hearing words of various syllable lengths and counting the number of syllables
hearing a compound word said in 2 parts and putting those parts together to form a word
hearing a word said quickly and saying it very slowly by sounding out each letter sound.
Sometimes Ziggy uses word cards as part of the lesson. These cards are marked with the lesson with which they correspond. The cards have different images on them and are used to find words that rhyme or other activities. Tiger is proud that he can complete these exercises because the cards contain images rather than words that he cannot yet read.
What do we think? While the cost was a lot to swallow in the beginning, especially for pre reading instruction, I feel this program surpasses my expectations and is worth the cost. The program is clearly laid out and is very easy to use. I do not have to do any advanced planning before we begin each lesson-the only prep work I did was to tear apart the perforated cards and arrange them by lesson number. The program also teaches more than just the letters. I have found the ideas for introducing rhyming, letter sounds, and syllabication to be invaluable. I would never have come up with these activities on my own. These activities done with Ziggy have been challenging for Tiger but are equipping him with important pre reading skills. Overall, I am thrilled with the program and plan to continue with Level 1 in the fall.