Monday, April 8, 2013

TOS CREW Review- ABeCeDarian

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We love to read at our house!  Have I mentioned that before?  And I currently have a 5 year old that is learning how to read.  Therefore, anytime I am offered a chance to review a reading program I am giddy!
ABeCeDarian, developed by Michael Bend, PhD., is a company committed to teach reading using simple decoding strategies.  They were gracious enough to send us all of the following to review:
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Set of 10 Storybooks- $21.50
Student Workbook A-1 $12.25
Teachers Manuel A-1 $28.50
Student Workbook A-2- $12.25
Teachers Manuel A-2- $28.50
Student Workbook B-1- $10.25
Teachers Manuel B-1- $25.50
ABeCeDarian  Aesop- $2.50
Level A is intended for grades Kindergarten through mid-first grade level and level B is intended for mid-first grade though 2nd grade. More levels are available on the website up to 6th grade.
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Per their web site, ABeCeDarian achieves efficiency in the following ways:
  • It focuses only on essential skills and knowledge
  • It provides the right kind and right amount of practice
  • It provides precise and productive error correction
 Yes, that is a lot of materials!  And a little overwhelming at first.  But not for long.  Each teacher's guide has a well written overview of the program from the philosophy behind the program to the how to's.  Open the book and you are ready to begin.  Each lesson is clearly labeled and includes a word for word script to use in your teaching.   I found once I was familiar with each activity I did not have to use the exact wording they provided, but as with any new to me program, I love the initial guidance.  Each student workbook is broken into corresponding lessons with numerous activities. Each lesson begins with word puzzles in which your child unscrambles letters to make a word that you give them.  Each lesson adds new words, which are then used in the activities that follow.  There are also sounds and words to read and copy, sentences to read and copy,  letters to write and word chains and reading chains.  After several lessons you are then directed to let your child read a corresponding storybook that uses all of the words your child has learned thus far.  
How we used this program-
 photo storybooks_zpsd70a2e5a.jpg Since we had just finished another reading program, this review came at the perfect time.  I had all intentions of starting with level B since CJ knows his letter sounds, how to write the letters and how to read basic words, but after looking through the workbooks, I decided to start at the beginning to give us ample time to learn the program.  Such things like tap and say the sounds, saying a word slowly- "turtle talk", and then saying the word at regular speed- "people talk", were new ideas and I didn't want to by-pass anything.  That being said, we were able to do several of the 27 lessons a day in Level A-1 and are already half way through the A-2 level because of that.  If you have no problems starting in the middle, I would encourage you to take the placement assessment tests on the website to determine where to start.  
Our thoughts- 
We have really enjoyed this program.  CJ enjoys workbook pages as long as they are not too long, and we found that this program had just the right balance of written work and reading.  No busy work which I think you find often in many reading programs.  The storybooks are quite simplistic in presentation but ones we enjoyed.  My son loved that after one time reading them with me he could sit and read them by himself.  I think that helped build his confidence.  One of the things I noted with this program is that it really helped him learn to quickly sound out words that he could not remember immediately.   He is a sight reader by heart and before would hesitate to stop and sound out an unfamiliar word. 
CJ's favorite activity by far was the error game in which I would read a word on the page, sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly and see if he could catch me reading one wrong. It was a game he asked to play over and over again, even if it was not in the lesson for that day.  The other thing he loved were the spelling tests!  Yes, you read that right.  The silly boy thought those were fun!  The first one he took he got a 100% on and ran off quickly to tell his 11 year old brother that he did not get any words wrong and would give him spelling lessons later. 

My favorite activities were the spelling chains in which the student changes one letter of a word to make the new word you say.  For example map-tap-top-cop.  By doing this little exercise he learned to slow down and really look at the word he was reading.  His reading improved drastically and therefore wanted to read more.  Oh how excited he was when he could read to his grandparents this weekend!
As we are nearing the end of the A-2 level, I am excited to start on the B-1 level with CJ!  After that we intend to purchase the next levels and continue with this program.  It is just that good and for the affordable price, I do not think you will be disappointed.  If you are interested in seeing more ABeCeDarian examples, you can download samples from their website.  Click on the banner below to see what other CREW had to say about this program. 
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1 comment:

  1. We just got these on ABeCeDarian has a store there. I loved your review!


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