Right into Reading
Author Jane Ervin is better known for her work on reading comprehension than reading instruction, but she combines both in this series. This phonics-based reading and comprehension program begins with Jump Right Into Reading, intended for Kindergarteners. It introduces consonants and their regular sounds, sight words (as, has, is, his, the, I, of, to, no, come, you, some), and short vowels and their regular sounds. This volume is divided into five parts. Each part introduces 6-7 consonants and one short vowel (the last part only introduces the vowel "e"). Each 5-page letter lesson begins with tracing a dotted picture of an object beginning with that letter and with letter recognition via printing (over dotted lines) of the upper and lower case forms. The second page of the lesson concentrates on the letter sound by asking the student to identify pictures having that initial letter sound. The third page reviews printing of the letter (again over dotted forms) then has the student print (without dotted aids) the letter beneath any pictures that begin with that sound. The exercises on the fourth and fifth pages vary in form, making the program more interesting. The fourth page always focuses on letter recognition - specifically picking out the target forms from other letter forms on the page in some manner. The final lesson page reinforces the regular letter sound (regular consonant or short vowel sound). There is a review lesson after every three lessons reviewing those three letters and their sounds. There is also a part review which covers all of the letters introduced in that part. Beginning with part 2, a final lesson in each part reviews only the vowels that have been introduced to insure that children can differentiate between the sounds. Reading begins as soon as the first vowel is introduced and includes the introduction of sight words, enabling the child to begin decoding simple sentences by Part 1 Review. By the end of this book, children are reading very simple sentences and answering basic comprehension questions. The program continues with the Right into Reading volumes. Again, lessons are phonics-based with occasional sight words introduced as needed. Lessons are bite-sized so that the point of the lesson is clear and easily understood. Example words highlight the target letters in red to illustrate the rule being studied. Exercises and activities provide practice for the rule and, as you would expect, are also designed to develop comprehension and critical thinking. Reading selections run the gamut, including adventure, mystery, folktales, legends, historical fiction, science fiction and biographies. Short writing exercises accompany each lesson.
Book 1 covers short vowels, beginning blends, ending blends, syllables, and long vowels (silent "e" and double vowels). The early part of the book uses the convention of hyphenating multi-syllable words for easier decoding. Book 2 covers r-controlled vowels, digraphs (referred to as "teams" here), syllables, and regular and irregular double vowels. Book 3 covers soft "g" and "c," "ph," silent letters, syllables, unexpected vowel sounds, "ei" and "ey," sounds of "k" and "s," and vowels with "r." Answer keys are available separately and provide half-page reprints of the student pages with all the answers filled in. The publisher promotes this series for either beginning readers or for remedial work, but my take is that they are better suited for remedial work, as they move rather quickly through the concepts and do not have as much reinforcement as the typical phonics workbook.