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How to use Sound Waves Decodable Readers

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How to use Sound Waves Decodable Readers

Sound Waves Reading 25/5/23

Whether you’re currently using Sound Waves Decodable Readers in your classroom or interested to learn more – there are a number of ways you can use the Decodable Readers with students.

It’s important to note the Sound Waves Decodable Readers align perfectly with the systematic teaching sequence used in Sound Waves Spelling. We recommend using the Decodable Reader/s directly after you have introduced the focus phoneme–grapheme relationship/s in the relevant explicit teaching lesson at Sound Waves Spelling Online.

Here are some instructional approaches for implementing the Decodable Readers:

Whole-class modelled reading

Whole-class modelled reading is a great way to teach focus phoneme–grapheme relationships and Special Words, and reinforce the learning from your Sound Waves Spelling lesson.

For effective whole-class modelled reading, we recommend using a document camera (or similar) to display the relevant Decodable Reader to the class so you can model:

  • identifying and decoding words with the focus phoneme–grapheme relationship and Special Words
  • reading from top to bottom and left to right
  • responding to full stops, exclamation marks and question marks
  • pausing to think about the meaning of words.

While core books are ideal for whole-class teaching, you may like to start with support or extended books depending on the overall ability of your class.

Small-group reading

Small-group reading allows students to practise reading focus phoneme–grapheme relationships and Special Words. Students should be grouped according to their level (support, core or extended), and given their own copy of the relevant Decodable Reader, then:

  1. Together, read aloud the title of the book and discuss what the book might be about. Revise the focus phoneme–grapheme relationship and Special Words using the Warm Up on the inside front cover.
  2. Have students read the text aloud. Help students decode unfamiliar words. Discuss unfamiliar and interesting vocabulary.
  3. Have students recall key facts and reflect on the text using the Book Chat questions at the back of the book.
Paired reading

Use paired reading to develop students’ reading fluency. Paired reading is a highly effective and time efficient method of engaging all students in regular reading practice. Students should be grouped according to their level (support, core or extended), and given their own copy of the relevant Decodable Reader, then:

  1. Have students sit in pairs with their own copies of the same Decodable Reader.
  2. Ask one student to read aloud for a designated amount of time (set a timer), while the other student follows along.
  3. Tell students to swap roles.

Students should be able to read the Decodable Reader accurately on their own without prompting.

In-class independent reading

In-class independent reading provides an opportunity for students to revise previously taught phoneme–grapheme relationships and Special Words.

For successful independent reading, assign a Decodable Reader that features a previously taught phoneme–grapheme relationship as students should be able to read the Decodable Reader accurately on their own without teacher prompting. It’s also important they have a Decodable Reader at the appropriate difficulty level (support, core or extended).

Intervention

Intervention sessions are ideal for reteaching and reinforcing phoneme–grapheme relationships and Special Words. We recommend one-to-one or small-group teaching where each student has their own copy of the relevant Decodable Reader. Educators working with Year 1 and 2 students may like to use the Foundation Decodable Readers for intervention. Likewise, the Year 1 Decodable Readers (available in 2024) can be used as intervention for Year 2 students.

Home reading

Home reading should be used as an opportunity to revise previously taught phoneme–grapheme relationships and Special Words. When using the Decodable Readers for home reading, send home books containing the phoneme–grapheme relationships taught that week or a week or two before so students can read the Decodable Reader accurately without prompting.

We recommend using a combination of instructional approaches to give students multiple opportunities to practise reading.

Want to learn more?

To find out more about the Sound Waves Decodable Readers, head to our website to view a sample of the books, download the Scope and Sequence and get in touch with an education consultant.

Don’t forget, you can use the Sound Waves Decodable Readers even if your school does not use Sound Waves Spelling. You simply need to refer to the Sound Waves Reading Scope and Sequence to ensure students have been explicitly taught all the phoneme–grapheme relationships covered in each book.

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