Preventing Academic Failure Reading Program
At the heart of this multisensory Orton-Gillingham method program is the Preventing Academic Failure (PAF) Teacher's Handbook. This handbook has been updated to incorporate the PAF readers. It contains the methodology and framework for the entire program, integrating reading, spelling/dictation, grammar and handwriting instruction. The Teacher's Handbook includes a complete explanation of the program and how to teach it, a Curriculum Sequence of the order of instruction, lesson plan templates, proficiency tests, and an appendix (which includes comprehensive instruction on how to teach handwriting). The Curriculum Sequence part of the handbook lists when to use the other components of the program including PAF Handwriting, Alphabet Picture Cards, Pocket Chart Alphabet Cards, Review Cards, Key Word Picture Cards, and the PAF Reading Series including the Skills Books and Teacher's Guides. Levels 161-215 still use the Merrill Readers Take Flight and Break Through along with the Stepping Up In Reading 3 Workbook. (For a more specific review of the reading and handwriting components, please see PAF Readers and PAF Handwriting Program.)
The program is based on the premise that language learning must be simple to complex (phonics-based). Children should learn individual letter sounds, building syllables, words and sentences as they progress. The program uses a multisensory approach to accomplish this. Students learn to recognize graphic symbols for letters and sounds (visual), differentiate and duplicate sounds (auditory and vocal), and write symbols to produce sounds and words (kinesthetic). Children are explicitly taught phonics which is then reinforced in reading, spelling, handwriting and grammar. Instruction is organized and systematic with plenty of practice and reinforcement. This is much more than phonetic instruction as it addresses all components of language structure: phonograms, sight words, spelling rules, syllabication and grammatical concepts. There are 215 levels (or lessons) in the program.
This is a very thorough, complete and sound phonics-based language program which requires very little advance knowledge or preparation on the part of the teacher. It integrates phonics, reading, handwriting, spelling and grammar. The cost is reasonable. It can be used for three years (K-3) of phonics/reading/spelling instruction, or used as a remedial program for older students.