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    Teaching Tips

    Teaching Reading with Bob Books Average Reading Lesson

    November 11, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    So let’s say you’ve gathered your supplies. You’ve got your binder, lined paper, and pens. You’ve reserved yourself some time with your student, about 15 minutes per day.

    What now?

    Here is where the rubber meets the road…and the fun begins.

    Reading lessons in my home generally follow this pattern:

    1. Learn a set of sounds
    2. Find out all the fun words you can read using said sounds
    3. Apply new knowledge to reading a Bob Book (or other book if the student is more advanced…I really do start adding in other books as time goes on)

    As far as phonics binders go, you really can start simply: use a binder and some college rule lined paper. All of the fancy stuff can be added later.

    Lesson One List of sounds to introduce: m, short-at, and s. Build some words: am, Sam, at, mat, sat, mats

    We actually did not read a Bob Book on this first day because…we ran out of time. We were having too much fun playing with the words! I am a stickler about not going over on time because I have learned from experience that even if they are excited, keeping to the time limit has the benefit of never, ever burning them out. If you overtax their brains, you can start a pattern of anxiety in the process.

    A few helpful tips:

    • If your paper is college rule, which is ideal, use two lines, just as if it were manuscript paper. So upper-case letters would use two lines while lower-case letters utilized mainly the bottom half. This reinforces the proportions of the letters to the child as you go, without ever saying a word.
    • When playing with words, be very, very careful. For instance, you may think you can spell the word as with this sound set, but you cannotAs uses the hard-s sound, which is to say the |z| sound. Also, I chose not to introduce a word like mass because the double-s can throw a child for a loop on the very first day.
    • Sometimes, it helps to begin underlining those roots. I go back and forth on this. But you might do something like this:
    • This is something that I haven’t done before, but I’ve been adding it in. This is due to the influence of Sequential Spelling in my life.

    Lesson Two Review sounds: m, short-at, and s. Read: Set 1, Book 1 (“Mat”) pp. 1-5

    Lesson Three Review sounds: m, short-at, and s. Sounds to introduce: on. Build a word: on. Read: Set 1, Book 1 (“Mat”) pp. 6-ff

    Day four, as you will see, was spent reviewing everything above. However, this student is very anxious to tackle new things, and not so excited about review. So I find that with this type of student it is helpful to tell them when a day of complete review is coming their way. If they think they are moving on to Book Two, and you know for sure they need to review Book One, telling them in advance will keep you from starting off sour the next day.

    Not every child needs review. At the teacher, you are the one to decide whether a student requires review or not. The vast majority of the time, I find my students do better when I have them read the books two times. Sometimes the second reading is still broken into two days, and sometimes the students can do the second reading in one day. If they breeze through a book on the first reading, we skip the review. Depending on the age, maturity, and ability of your student, you will have more (or less) of that.

    With that said, I have never required a third reading. Too much review is discouraging for a student, so find the appropriate amount of review for your particular child and stick with it.

    Oh! One more disclaimer: Pretty much every Bob Book in the collection ends with “The End.” I never bothered to teach these sounds. I simply told the children it said “the end” and pretty soon they were saying it when they saw it.

    Lesson Four Review sounds: m, short-ats, short-o, and n. Review briefly the words you already built. Read: Set 1, Book 1 (“Mat”) pp. all

    As a side note, sometimes weekends interrupt memories. Perhaps your student forgot the sound for “m” and so you need to review. Just keep in mind that the flow is what is important, not sticking to the days in a hard-and-fast way. If you need to repeat Day 3 before going to Day 4, do so! You are teaching reading, not plowing through a curriculum.

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