Cracking the Code: A Comprehensive Reading Program
In order to become competent readers, students must learn to ‘crack the code’ of written language. An understanding of the individual speech sounds of language helps children to understand the relationship between spoken and written language.
Reading Doctor is a comprehensive reading program made up of a number of different apps that target the individual skills required in order to learn to read.
Once children learn the sounds that letters typically represent, they need to be able to rapidly, automatically and accurately apply these skills to join, or ‘blend’, sounds together when reading unfamiliar words.
This is a self-adjusting, multisensory teaching method to help students develop phonemic awareness and to use letter sound knowledge to decode and recognize simple words.
The app works in the same manner as the letter sounds pro apps and children are motivated by the pinball type game. There are four different types of cueing
Auditory Cue : The student hears the sound that the letter makes by tapping on the letter
Picture Cue that resembles the letter that it represents
Mnemonic : The voice prompt will cue the user ‘find /c/ as in cat’
Articulation : A picture of a mouth in order to provide articulatory cues
Blending tasks are graded and can be addressed as:
CVC (consonant vowel consonant e.g. hen)
CCVC (eg. clap)
CVCC (e.g. nest)
CCVC and CVCC
Custom Activity ( create your own custom word lists)
Blending Sounds Pro is currently only available with an Australian accent, but will be available with a U.S. and U.K accent soon!
It is available on the app store for $19.99
In order to become a fluent reader, you also need to recognize common words, especially those with irregular spellings. In fact, 20% of the words in English cannot be decoded by using the sounds that the letter makes.
Sight Words Pro is a fun way to work on these words using graded levels of prompts.
The student needs to find the correct word tile before the time runs out. As the student correctly identifies a word repeatedly, the mnemonic support is gradually removed.
As with the other Reading Doctor Apps, you can also select built in custom activities from the Jolly Phonics Program , use one of the Homophone word lists or create your own unique list.
Sight Words Pro allows the user to choose:
- sets of 25 most frequently used sight words
- work with only 2/3/4-letter words
- set up a custom list of words to work with.
Each word comes with a sentence showing how the word is used and a small visual associated with that sentence.
These memory aids are especially helpful for younger students or struggling older readers, to remember how the words are read and what they mean. You can change the amount of mnemonic support given or turn them off during the game setup when the student becomes a more confident reader.
Sight Words Pro is available on the app store for $19.99
Reading Doctor Settings and Features
The teaching system automatically adjusts if the child makes a mistake and cues are faded in or out as necessary.
In addition activities can be adjusted in terms of the following:
- Mnemonics – start with/without
- Number – number of tiles used (up to a maximum of 25)
- Scoring – Manually adjust the start and end scores for the tiles in the activity. A higher start score means that the student receives less support at the beginning of the activity. The end score is how many times the student needs to get the word correct before that tile is closed.
There is also a very comprehensive ‘help menu” feature on each of the apps.
What I really love about this program is that even though each app in the series can be used independently, each of the apps build on and complement one another.
Further information can be found on www.readingdoctor.com.au
Reading Doctor has kindly provided me with code for Letter sounds 1 Pro to give away. 😎
This is available with a U.S. U.K or Australian accent.
A copy of the app was given to me for review but all opinions are my own.