• Dandelion Launchers
    A phonic series for beginner readers. Aimed at children ages 4-7. Each book introduces only a few letters/sounds at a time...
    Dandelion Readers
    More books for beginner readers aimed at Children agd 4-7. Parallel sets of books ontroducing the sounds of the alphabet...
       
     Dandelion Readers
    Catch Up Readers
    Age appropriate, decodable, synthetic phonic reading books for older, struggling readers...
     

    Diagnostic Assessment Sheet
    When a student begins a reading programme it is important to assess where the student is at, what knowledge and skills he/she has acquired and what he/she needs to learn.  This assessment will help to determine from which point the teacher should start teaching. The ‘Recommendations’ sheet will match suitable decodable books (from the Phonic Books range) to the reading level of the pupil.

    Click here for free Diagnositic Assessment

    WHAT ARE DECODABLE BOOKS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

    Decodable books are written to support beginning reading they follow a phonic program and therefore reinforce skills the child is learning. They provide the opportunity for children to develop essential segmenting and blending skills to read words in order to develop automaticity and experience independent reading success.

     “The lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to learn to read.” NIH research

    Decodable books can be introduced once children have learned some simple letter/sound correspondences as few as 3 or 4 sounds. Decodable readers that enable students to ‘sound out,’ rather than guess, unknown words leads to more successful independent reading. Mesmer (2005) found that children were more likely to apply their phonics knowledge, read more accurately, and needed less assistance when reading decodable books.

    Ref: Five from Five

    ABOUT THE DANDELION READERS AND LAUNCHERS

    These books are sequential in nature and build phonic knowledge gradually, allowing students the opportunity to practice grapheme-phoneme (etter/sound) correspondences and quickly build their confidence and ability to read connected text.  They contain words that are simple in structure e.g. VC & CVC words, and progressively introduce words with more complex structures. Providing children with opportunities to read successfully and relatively independently as soon as they can is highly motivating for beginning readers.

    The simplicity of the text in decodable books has been found to be motivating for students, and to encourage them to read more widely. In a study by Capper (2013) children reported enjoying reading decodable books and saw them “as a source of exciting stories which developed their reading confidence through practising their skills”.

    DECODABLE VS PREDICTABLE TEXT (e.g. whole language PM readers)

    Decodable texts are different to predictable or repetitive texts. Predictable texts are early readers that contain repetitive words and sentences. Predictable texts have their foundations in the three cueing systems model of reading. The three cueing model has significant disadvantages for weak or at risk readers.

    The Australian National Inquiry into the teaching of reading reported the following:

    “The Inquiry found strong evidence that a whole-language approach to the teaching of reading on its own is not in the best interests of children, particularly those experiencing reading difficulties. Moreover, where there is unsystematic or no phonics instruction, children’s literacy progress is significantly impeded, inhibiting their initial and subsequent growth in reading accuracy, fluency, writing, spelling and comprehension”.

    Predictable texts have been designed so that beginning readers have to rely heavily on guessing to read many of the words that are on the page such as looking at pictures, or the first letter and guessing. 

    ‘If a child is asked to read something containing words that are too difficult for them they start to simply guess the words. They use the pictures on the page or the first one or two letters and this becomes their reading strategy. It might work for the first year or two but it is not an effective reading strategy in the long term. It can become very frustrating, and the child begins to believe that reading is too difficult for them. Strong fluent readers become very proficient at decoding words very quickly. They do not rely on pictures, context or guessing as their primary strategy.’             From DSF Literacy Resources