PLD’s decodable reading books have been specifically chosen by Diana Rigg as they align with PLD’s structured synthetic phonics approach (SSP). What does this mean? Let’s look at the first set, Home Reading Books Set 1. The initial readers start with VC and CVC words and no sight words. Gradually and progressively sight words, phonic concepts and length increases. As you can see from the below image, the Foundation Home Reading Books 1-5 have no sight words and focus upon around 1/4 of the alphabet sounds. Books 6-13, gradually introduce all of the alphabet into the reading material but also introduces some of the most common and simple sight words. The reading books have been specifically chosen from the Collins Big Cat Phonics, Rising Stars and Fitzroy Readers ranges.
Foundation Reading Books – Term 2, 3 & 4 Pre-Primary (WA), Kindergarten (NSW/ACT), Prep (QLD/VIC/TAS) Reception (SA) Transition (NT)
PLD recommends that once pre-literacy instruction (alphabet sounds, lowercase letter formation, phonemic awareness: blending & segmentation) has been explicitly taught in Term 1, that a number of students will be ready for decoding and reading books from Term 2.
- Set 1 of the Home Reading books, have been designed for Semester 1 and feature VC and CVC words. The Early Reading Profile – Foundation Year screen (typically presented in week 6 of Term 2) will track student’s progress in the early weeks of learning to decode and confirm that reading tasks (as opposed to pre-literacy skill development) is appropriate.
- Set 2 of the Home Reading books, have been designed for Term 3 & 4 and feature CVC, CCVC, and CVCC words. Prior to allocating students these sets, screen again (typically in Week 6 of Term 3 and 4). Download the screen HERE.
Year 1 Reading Book Sets – Term 1, 2, 3 & 4
By the end of Year 1, students should be ready to progress on from decodable reading books and be able to accurately and fluently read Stage 1 words and a percentage of Stage 2 words. To facilitate this skill development, PLD recommends the continuation of decodable reading material throughout Year 1.
- Set 3 of the Home Reading books, for Semester 1, feature Stage 1 and limited Stage 2 phonic concepts. Prior to allocating students these books, screen students (typically in Week 2 of Term 1 and Term 2). Download the screen HERE.
- Set 4 of the Home Reading books, for Semester 2, feature Stage 1 and Stage 2 phonic concepts with increased length. Prior to allocating these books, screen students again (typically in Week 2 of Term 3 and Term). Download the screen HERE.
What if my students need decodable material beyond Year 1?
A proportion of students will require decodable reading material for longer than others. This group of students may have presented at school with speech and/or language delays. These students may have had a history of multiple ear infections. They may have family members who have experienced literacy and learning difficulties (and hence present with a genetic predisposition to literacy difficulties). Alternatively, there may be other reasons why additional structured reading material is necessary. In addition to the four general sets of decodable reading material for the initial two years of learning to read. Some students (for reasons such as those listed) may require additional decodable reading material before progressing to higher levels. PLD provides three additional reading book sets for this purpose.
How do I screen my students to find appropriate reading levels?
- If students have read all of Home Readers – Set 1 the additional set of 20 Home Reader Further Practise – Set 1 may be appropriate. They are also suitable for students who are still acquiring accuracy and automaticity at Exercise 2 level on the PLD Early Reading Profile – Foundation Year.
- If students have read all of Home Readers – Set 2 the additional set of 20 Home Reader Further Practise – Set 2 may be appropriate. They are also suitable for students who are still acquiring accuracy and automaticity at Exercise 3, 4 and 5 on the PLD Early Reading Profile – Foundation Year.
- If students have read all of the Home Readers – Set 3 and Home Readers – Set 4 the additional 20 Home Readers Further Practise – Set 3 and 4 may be appropriate. They are also suitable for students who are still acquiring accuracy and automaticity at Exercise 5 and 6 on the PLD Early Reading Profile – Year 1 and 2.
Research repeatedly reports that the gains are greatest from the initial years of schooling when students are first learning to read. In terms of allocating reading books, and tracking the progress within each school term, the Early Reading Profiles are recommended. The screen analyses word accuracy (i.e. percentage correct at each level) but also automaticity (i.e. reading strategies observed).
- If below 90% accuracy and blending each letter at ‘Exercise 2 CVC Words’ the following sets are recommended: HRset1, HRset1b, SRmulti1
- If below 90% accuracy and blending each letter at ‘Exercise 3 and 4’ the following sets are recommended: HRset2, HRset2b, SRmulti2
- If below 90% accuracy and blending each letter at ‘Exercise 5’ the following sets are recommended: HRset3, HRset34b
- If below 90% accuracy and blending each letter at ‘Exercise 6’ the following sets are recommended: HRset4, HRset34b
We use a lot of PM readers, is there a PLD Literacy to PM reading level correlation available?
The short response is that matching structured synthetic phonic approaches with ‘Whole Language’ type processes such as PM Benchmarking is incredibly difficult as the approaches to reading are vastly different.
The best we can do is provide some information on the Home Readers Further Practise sets (Fitzroy Readers) which provide an approximate comparison to PM Benchmarking.
It is very challenging to navigate how schools start to phase outdated processes and start implementing more of the gold standard approach, structured synthetic phonics. One of the PLD blogs dealt with this issue and provided a range of suggestions. (E.g. in the next school year aim for 50% PM Benchmarking and 50% decodables. This would mean two PM Benchmark Readers and two decodable readers per week. Continue reading this blog HERE.
If you would like to know more about how PLD’S decodable readers can help your students, we are always available to help you achieve the best possible literacy outcomes. If you have any questions about our readers or anything else we do here at PLD get in touch with us through our chat icon in the bottom right of the screen or to [email protected].