Step by Step Skills Book (PAF Reading Series)
The Step-by-Step Skills Book is your starting point (used with levels 1-16 of the PAF program) and is used for those who are non-readers. Skills Books are spiral-bound and hold activities to build reading comprehension, accuracy, fluency, spelling and handwriting (traditional ball and stick style).
The PAF Skills Books, which supplement the readers in the PAF Reading Series, include activities for teaching reading accuracy and fluency, handwriting, spelling, and comprehension. The new materials follow the instructional sequence in the PAF Reading Program.
Preventing Academic Failure (PAF) reading series is getting a bit of a face lift. The program has long incorporated the Merrill Readers, but some of them have gone out of print. The authors of the PAF Reading Program have developed phonetic readers, skills books, and teacher guides for the readers to take the place of Merrill. The skills books and teacher guides are spiral bound for ease of use, and correspond to the new PAF readers. Each decodable reader is bright and colorful, and engaging for young readers. Pair these up with the PAF teaching handbook for a complete phonics, reading, spelling, and handwriting curriculum. The PAF Teacher Handbook still references the Merrill Readers, but will be rewritten to incorporate the PAF readers and Skills Books. For the time being, there is a page at the back of the Teacher Handbook that offers a scope and sequence for using the new PAF readers and skills books. If you are unsure of where to begin, you can use the placement guide that is available at the publisher's website under free downloads. PAF is a thorough phonics program and the PAF readers and skills books make the program even easier to use.
The Step-by-Step Skills Book is your starting point and is used for those who are non-readers. This book is used with levels 1-16 of the PAF program and covers short a, c, t, d, g, s, f, m, p, l, h, n, capital A, I, and N, and the plural s. The handwriting style is traditional ball and stick with wider line spacing for developmentally-appropriate practice.
Books are completed in order - Book 1, Pals; Book 2, Fun in the Sun; Book 3, Let's Go!; Book 4, Camp Hilltop; Book 5, Stand By Me; Book 6, Are We There Yet? The readers are chapter books, and each chapter is labeled for the corresponding lesson in the teacher guide. Each reader covers specific phonemes and skills, which is why you will want to complete them sequentially - this will prevent gaps in laying the reading foundation. Skills Book pages are also labeled with the corresponding lesson number. Exercises in the Skills Books include handwriting practice, reading passages, matching, and much more. Children will love the simplicity of the Skills Books. The teacher guides for the readers are also divided into sections and include the full content of each book. Blue boxes next to the text contain prompts for discussion and include possible answers. Occasionally, there is an oval word at the top of the page informing you the word has not yet been taught. Questions such as time sequence, problem solving, cause & effect, and recalling details are some of the comprehension skills learned in the series with the use of the teacher guides.
The PAF teacher guides are an open-and-go, easy-to-use resource for the decodable books. Like the readers, the teacher guides are divided into sections and include the full content of each book. Blue boxes next to the text contain prompts for discussion and include possible answers. Occasionally, there is an oval word at the top of the page informing you the word has not yet been taught. Questions such as time sequence, problem solving, cause & effect, and recalling details are some of the comprehension skills learned in the series with the use of the teacher guides.
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.
Programs in this section go beyond teaching children how to read, incorporating phonetic readers, spelling and writing as well. Arranged roughly by grade/age.