What should you look for in educational reading software? Don’t settle for animated phonics instruction. The National Reading Panel reviewed decades of research on reading and determined that struggling readers need a solid foundation, a foundation that extends far deeper than phonics.
Effective reading software should include auditory processing (making sense of spoken words) activities so students can connect printed words and meaningful spoken words. Virtually all students who struggle with reading have subtle problems with auditory processing, the leading cause of comprehension difficulties in secondary students.
Reading instruction software shouldn’t neglect phonemic awareness instruction. A few hours of phonemic awareness instruction is often the fastest route to reading success. The primary reason students struggle with phonics is a lack of phonemic awareness. Current research, including the research Sound Reading is based on, shows that it is also essential for older students. The reason is simple; as words get more complex students require greater phonemic awareness to make sense of them.
Reading software should reflect best practices in reading instruction. Researchers and teachers are converging on the concept of print-to-speech reading instruction. At first, this concept seemed like a repackaging of traditional phonics. Educators now see it as the natural way to read. There are many ways to connect written words to meaningful spoken words. The Sound Reading software includes over 20 activities that make this important connection.
Educational reading software should always emphasize fluency. One of the most important research findings is that fluency is the key to meaningful reading and motivation. Even slightly labored reading can limit reading comprehension. Researchers have found that most “lazy” readers actually have reading fluency difficulties. The Sound Reading Software develops fluency with simple and complex words using the most natural method, called rapid naming.
Reading software should always be supplemented with reading practice. Avoid sing-song phonics readers as they do little to promote fluency. The developmental readers must include practice with decoding, fluency and language comprehension. They should include short passages, called quick reads, which lend themselves to timed repeated reading. The Sound Reading Small Steps Readers™ have these strategies built into each Small Steps story. The stories have Stop and Think and Relate self-questioning integrated into the text. The Hop, Skip and Jump, Boost and Remedy Systems are the first reading systems that combine advanced reading software with Small Steps Reading practice.
Reading instruction software should form one center in a balanced literacy program. You can set up two or three computers with the appropriate Sound Reading software. Set up another learning center with the Hop, Skip and Jump™ or the Reading Challenge game. The Sound Reading Games, Readers and Software are designed by teachers to be ready to use with minimal training.
Reading software should also be age-appropriate and teach basic skills in a manner that doesn’t bore or frustrate the student. Sound Reading uses a unique spiral format. The student plays 25 different activities, each only a few minutes in length. This format grabs the attention of students with short attention spans. The activities are at an independent instructional level so the student is motivated by the constant feeling of success. To find out more, take our online free reading comprehension assessment test and then talk to the SOund Reading team to get your child to not only read, but to love to read.