Learning to Read: Using Reading Reflex to teach word structure

Last week Bobbie asked me about the Bob Books and what we use to teach reading. Now if you’ve been following along with these Learning to Read posts, you know that so far I have two voracious readers who came to reading relatively late, one flourishing beginning reader, and one struggling dyslexic, soon to be reader.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve looked at and tried out a lot of different reading materials, and I’ve pulled what works for us and our learning styles from a variety of sources. At this point, I’m pretty comfortable with teaching reading and have complete confidence that even my struggling reader will eventually love to read.

One of the books that helped K and I break through her barriers was Reading Reflex combined with a set of plastic letter tiles.

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I since have used the techniques taught in Reading Reflex with all the children, even Z. And those lessons that I’ve done with Z from this book, have stuck the best with him.

Our favorite and most effective exercises from this book are the auditory processing exercises that teach specific sounds and how blending them in different ways creates new and different words.

Combining the use of plastic letter tiles with a small segment of sounds that make up a variety of different words, we engage mind, body, and senses to learn how words are made.

We start out with a pile of letter tiles, from which I have the child choose the specific tiles (“sound pictures”) we need for the exercise

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Next, from that small set of sounds, I ask the child to create the first word on my list:

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Then from there, I say, “now, let’s turn ‘Sat’ into ‘pat’” and the child figures out which sound needs to change to create the new word. And this goes on through our list of words.

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Then we do our final words, which usually end up swapping out the middle or last sound, so they further see how changing around sounds comes up with completely new words.

Img_ 277_300x169And then to end it off, I have the child put the letter tiles away, and we have a game for that too. But this has been a very effective way to teach phonological sounds, CVC words, and word structure.

This is but one exercise from Reading Reflex, and definitely our favorite. If you are looking for a way to further explain reading to a kinesthetic learner, or one that focuses better if they can move, this is a wonderful exercise.

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