Guest Blog Post: A great app to teach early reading.

Based on our experiences as reading teachers and researchers, we designed Rhyme to Read as a program that would allow all students to be successful as beginning readers. Our experience taught us the importance of confidence to reading achievement. Students who are initially frustrated by or anxious about reading tasks lose their ability to focus on, to persevere with, and to draw generalizations about the complex task of reading.  As a result, we carefully structured the Rhyme to Read program  to ensure success for the youngest readers, as well as students needing remedial work.  We wanted to make sure that after reading the series, students would feel positive and confident about reading and ready to move on to more challenging texts.

This unique beginning reading decoding program is based on onsets and rimes, or word families (e.g., bat, cat, rat, sat, mat, pat). The onset in a word is the initial consonant/s, the rime is all that follows (e.g., b/at;  st/art)).

Onsets and rimes are particularly accessible to beginning readers because in addition to being phonetically regular, they are more consistent (look and sound the same), and are easier to auditorily discriminate and blend (e.g., /b/  /at/) than individual phonemes (/b/ /a/ /t/).  The program has a number of other elements that make it an ideal introduction to reading success.

Watch the video introduction of the app:

  • Rhyme to Read is comprised of 20 short books. Completion of each successive book builds a sense of accomplishment
  • Each of the twenty books, four per short vowel, highlights a specific rhyme or word family (e.g., bat, cat, rat).  The     books are cumulative, so mastered patterns are consistently reviewed.
  • Each rhyme is individually color-coded throughout the series (e.g., bat, cat, rat) to encourage students to use visual similarities and differences to decode, a strategy employed by successful readers.
  • The color-coding also helps students develop phonological awareness by providing visual cues for sound discrimination and categorization.
  • Thirty-five high-frequency, (non-word family) words are introduced and previewed the first five times they appear, to aid mastery. These words are distinguished by black type.
  • Readers may click on any word for support; a female voice names the word family words (rimes); a male voice names the high frequency words, to emphasize this important distinction.
  • Delightful illustrations are used to enhance the story line of each book.  As a result, the stories are more interesting than most phonetic vocabulary.

In sum, the Rhyme to Read series is a wonderful way to introduce students to reading.  It is accessible, motivating, and rewarding.

Whether beginning or remedial readers, students find success with Rhyme to Read.

By Sara Hines and Lynn Klaiman (creators of Rhyme to Read)



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