I’ve talked before about how Monkey is struggling with learning to read. He’s a perfectionist, so if he can’t read a word immediately, he just shuts down and says “I don’t know… I can’t read.” So, any time a review opportunity comes up for a product that will help him learn to read and build his confidence, I’ve been begging to get our hands on it!
The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a full 36 week downloadable curriculum that follows a 4 day a week schedule. It covers phonics, digraphs, blends, sight words, grammar, and writing. Each week covers one word family and two to three sight words.
The R.E.A.D. Review Pack is a set of 28 early reader books that correspond with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. The readers cover 30+ word families and 70 sight words. The Review Pack can also be used as a stand-alone product.
How We Used The Crafty Classroom to Learn to Read
I started by printing out the first couple of weeks of activities from the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum and the Review Pack readers for the first review week (week 5). Other than printing, the only prep work I needed to do was assemble the readers. The download includes a link to a video demonstrating how to do this, and it isn’t hard to do, but don’t start cutting until after you have read the instructions and watched the video. I’ve tried a few different times to explain it here, but I make it sound much more confusing than it is, so I’ll leave that part out of my review. Just trust me and watch the video!
I did have trouble with the pages slipping when I cut the first book, but I found that using binder clips at each section helped hold the pages together while I cut.
Each day the schedule looks something like this:
- Warm up
- Language Arts
- Sight Word
Each day’s activities are different, but each week has the same activities focused on the different word families and sight words. For instance, Monday’s reading activity is always the “I Can Rhyme Chart” but each week, it has a different word family.
Since the warm-up activity is the same every day, and Monkey really didn’t like it, we only did it once a week. His favorite activities were the sight word mazes and “Spinner Winner.”
Each Thursday, the reading activity is a short 4 page reader that reviews the word family and sight words learned earlier in the week. These were great for Monkey, because by the time we got to the end of the week he was confident enough that he could read them with no problem!
The Review Pack readers are longer (12 pages as mentioned earlier) and cover 4 weeks worth of word families and sight words. Instead of waiting to use them until week 5, which is the review week, I decided to use them more as a gauge for Monkey’s learning. At the end of week one, I gave him a review reader and asked him to just do his best with reading it. The first time, he did the normal “this is too hard, I can’t read,” but by week three he wasn’t doing that any more!
I don’t want to say that the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum and Review Pack was magic, but it sure seems to have done the trick! Now don’t get me wrong, I know how Monkey learns and had no doubt that when he was ready, he would read. While we did try many different methods to help him, we did not pressure him. Consistency was key. This curriculum gave him the “fun” that he had been missing with learning to read, as well as helped him build his confidence. We will be continuing to use this curriculum, but will likely modify the pacing to focus on the word families and sight words that he struggles with.
I will definitely be using the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and Review Pack again with Booger when he is ready. I will also be purchasing the preschool Alphabet Curriculum Notebook for him. Reviews of the Alphabet Curriculum Notebook and other The Crafty Classroom products can be found by clicking the banner link below!
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