There is a new section in BLENDING that you might find useful. It’s a warm-up for my favorite ‘first’ book for older non-readers. Even for adult non-readers.
The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day.
The new section follows mastery of the first three short vowels (/ah/ in ‘bat’, /ih/ in ‘bit’, /aw/ in ‘bot’ ), and provides a quickstart into ‘The Cat in the Hat’. It presents two spelling patterns that are exceptions to the ‘ah’ CVC words: the ‘-ay’ pattern of ‘play’ and ‘day’, and the ‘-all’ pattern of ‘ball’ and ‘fall’. These common patterns are used on the first and second pages in ‘The Cat in the Hat’, and frequently thereafter.
This section also presents a list of about 20 common words that should be memorized, such as ‘I’ and ‘you’. Some of them cannot be decoded (‘who’, ‘have’), others are troublesome (‘to’, ‘do’, ‘so’, ‘no’). The three homonyms ‘to’ / ‘too’ / ‘two’ are in that short list.
There will still be many words in ‘The Cat in the Hat’ that your child will not be able to read (‘shine’, ‘cold’, ‘house’) and some that are still ahead in BLENDING so they won’t know the vowel yet (‘sun’, ‘wet’). It doesn’t matter. Feed them those words.
I know that many reading specialists recommend decodable books. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t use them myself. BLENDING already gives students the phonological skills they need. I want students to LOVE reading, and the quality of the text is more important to me.
There is joy in discovering that you can read. Really read. Help your child master the first three vowels. Then crack open this lovely book and start that voyage.
For more information about the BLENDING program, start here: http://communityreading.org/wp/design-of-the-blending-program/