Tuesday, May 31, 2016

All About Reading Level 2 Review

My son learned to read when he was 4 years old.  I was so excited!
We went through BOB books and used Reading the Alphabet from This Reading Mama.
I felt like those programs helped to prepare my son for further reading.
We started the Pre-Reading from All About Reading, but in between having baby #2 and trying to juggle life I didn't stick with it.  He had his letter recognition and sounds down well so we were in a good place.
During Kindergarten I dabbled in various phonics reading curriculum.
Nothing was really helping him desire reading and when we came to new words with different sounds he became very "non-teachable" and almost refused to learn to read new sounds.
I was tired of fighting him and decided to take a break. 
We started 1st grade and he was still not advancing like I thought he should.
I was discouraged and disappointed that I hadn't figured out how to help him learn to make reading an enjoyable part of his life.
I absolutely LOVED reading and I wanted that for him. 
I had remembered All About Reading and so I had him take the free placement test.
It looked like we should start Level 1.  But as soon as I got it, I realized that we could start level 2 and he would be just fine.

The first thing I noticed was that the activities with each lesson were different for EVERY lesson!
Herman the Frog showed up every so often to encourage and provide a funny story to keep the kids engaged and interested (He's on the front cover in the top picture on the left side).
Each lesson starts with a title like Lesson 8- Three Letter Blends.
Then there is the objective: In this lesson, students will learn words with three letter blends.
There is a list of what is needed for the lesson like workbook pages, word cards or story books.
Then there's a Before You Begin section that gives some teaching ideas and examples for the lesson to be taught.  Then there is the Review which includes going through all the notecards for the lesson (Phonograms, Word Cards and Previous Concepts).  A great addition to this program is the free app for pronouncing the phonogram sounds. 
The Previous Concepts utilizes the white board with magnetic letters for dividing words.
Then starts the New Teaching.
There are a number of exercises using the white board magnetic letters.
Then there is an activity to complete from the Activity Book.
This one is called a Word Flipper.  There is always a little prep work for the activities, but I just cut them all out the week before and put in a folder to be used on the day we do the lesson.
Then it's time to practice reading words from the lesson on the word cards to be filed in the Reading Review Box. 
Another extra is a Practice Fluency page. 
Be sure as the adult to do a Read Aloud time sometime during the day to reinforce expression, fluency, time spent with your child and enjoyment of a book!
And lastly, put a sticker on the Progress Chart.

Now, this may seem like a lot to do in one day, but honestly, it doesn't take more than 20 minutes.  And if it takes over 20 minutes, then find a good stopping spot.
I actually set a timer.  That way, I know we get our reading time in and we don't work too long or too hard.
I don't include the Practice Fluency page or the Read Aloud time in our regular All About Reading time.
So we started this curriculum in December and within a few weeks, my son was excited to have All About Reading time.  And within a few more weeks, my son was starting to pick up books on his own, even chapter books.
I know I presented a lot of information, but here is what we liked best about All About Reading Level 2:
*Open and Go program (minimal prep)
*Daily success
*Hands on learning
*Variety of activities
*Funny stories
I honestly was a little nervous to see if my son was really going to move ahead in his reading, but he shocked me and embraced the teaching with enthusiasm.
This program has 5 components of reading that were very well integrated throughout all the lessons in the book:
1. Phonological Awareness
2. Phonics and Decoding
3. Fluency
4. Vocabulary
5. Comprehension
My son passed this level with flying colors and he is all ready and very excited to start level 3.
I would recommend this program for any reader, but especially as in my case a reluctant and somewhat resistant reader.  I would now say he is neither of these!
I asked my son what he liked about All About Reading Level 2 and this is what he said (video):
He had fun in front of the camera!
I also used All About Spelling Level 1 simultaneous with All About Reading Level 2 (which is recommended).  They seemed to coincide very well together.  You can really All About Spelling Level 1 review HERE.
*I am affiliate for this company and I highly recommend it!*

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