Blog post by Lindsey Recka, Head of Youth Services
Reading is crucial skill for academic success and also a gateway to a world of knowledge, imagination, and creativity. As children begin to read, it is essential to provide them with tools to build their literacy skills. You may have heard of a new tool: decodable books. Maybe you’re more familiar with them under the name “phonics.” Maybe you were hooked on phonics as a kid. Decodable books are an updated version of phonics learning materials!
Decodable books are designed to help young readers practice and reinforce their phonics skills. Phonics, the method of teaching reading by connecting sounds and letters, forms the foundation of early literacy instruction. By systematically introducing phonics rules, decodables enable children to decode words and read fluently.
What makes these books so beneficial for young readers? Let’s explore some of the key advantages of incorporating decodables into your reading routine:
- Phonics Reinforcement: Decodable books are crafted to include words and sentences that follow the phonics rules children have learned. This gives a chance for them to apply their phonics skills and decode unfamiliar words with confidence. Regular practice with decodable books strengthens their ability to identify and blend sounds, helping them to become independent readers.
- Success and Motivation: Decodable books are designed to ensure success for young readers. The texts gradually introduce new sounds and complexity, building upon previously learned skills. This incremental approach prevents overwhelming children with too many unfamiliar words, allowing them to experience success and maintain motivation.
- Confidence Building: As children read and decode words in decodable books, their confidence soars. With each accomplishment, they become bolder in tackling new challenges. This newfound confidence extends beyond reading, positively impacting their overall academic performance and self-esteem.
- Comprehension Skills: By gradually introducing new vocabulary and sentence structures, children learn to make connections and understand context. This integration of phonics and comprehension skills helps them become well-rounded readers.
- Individualized Learning: Decodable books allow children to progress at their own pace, catering to individual learning needs. Educators and parents can choose books that align with a child’s phonics abilities, which ensures that children are challenged without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.
- Supplement to Phonics Instruction: Decodable books complement phonics instruction in the classroom by providing practice opportunities.
Decodable books have emerged as a valuable tool in early literacy instruction, providing a solid foundation for children to become proficient readers, and can instill in them a lifelong love of reading.