Looking for decodable texts that are authentic?
Give your beginning reader success and a joy of reading.
Teaching a child to read must be explicit and follow a developmental sequence. In the first stage a child is learning the relationship between letters and sounds and between print and spoken words.
The texts given to a beginning reader must be simple with a combination of a few sight words and some easy to sound-out words.
CVC words, consonant – vowel – consonant words, are the easiest to decode or sound-out.
Successful Readers Draw Upon Six Skills When They Are Reading
- Phonemic awareness: the ability to hear and identify the separate words in a sentence and the separate syllables and sounds within words.
- Letter-sound relationship: knowing the sound that goes with each letter.
- Sounding out or decoding words: using their letter-sound relationship knowledge to sound out words. This is called decoding.
These two kinds of knowledge (letter-sound correspondence and decoding) are called the alphabetic principle.
- Fluency: the ability to read accurately and quickly without the need to stop and decode. It is important that the reader is still comprehending and understanding the text they are reading.
- Vocabulary: knowledge of what words mean.
- Comprehension: understanding and gaining meaning from the text.
First a child must develop their phonemic awareness.
It is the vital pre-requisite to formal phonics instruction. When children know all their single letter sounds they are ready to start decoding words phonetically.
The ability to decode words phonetically is an important skill for the beginning reader. It lays the foundation to becoming a competent, fluent reader. If a child cannot decode words, their reading will not be fluent. Their reading comprehension skills will be poor too.
Sounding out words – decoding is an important part of becoming a fluent reader. Children competent in phonemic awareness, concepts of print and letter/sound relationships (phonics) quickly master decodable texts. In no time they are ready to read other books with richer and varied vocabulary.
Decodable readers are the stepping stones to becoming a fluent, confident reader.
In my classroom, I often found my students were quite competent at sounding out words in isolation. However, they were having difficulty transferring this skill to their guided reading texts. The answer to this transference problem lies in practice. Practice in reading decodable texts is a necessity.
I found that most of the decodable reading books available to the beginning reader were not very authentic in their sentence structure or story line. To solve this problem, I designed these Flip Sentences.
The sentences in this resource are simple in structure with authentic content. They are helping my beginner readers develop automatic decoding skills and building their fluency. More importantly though, my children are enjoying success as readers and their confidence and enthusiasm is growing daily.
The 56 sentences contain common sight words
along with decodable CVC words.
I usually use these Flip Sentences in my small group Literacy Rotations. Children work with a partner. One child reads the first sentence and their partner follows along. If the sentence is read fluently, the listening partner says, “flip it”.
The reader flips the sentence over to reveal the matching illustration. This gives the children an opportunity to self-check their reading accuracy. The children then swap roles with the listening partner becoming the reader and decoder.
They really love this activity. I get requests for the Flip Sentences often.
The sight words in my Flip Sentences are:
I, am, a, we, to, and, here, my, little, go, come, see, like, she, look, he, the, me