The Read Write Inc. One-to-one Phonics Tutoring Kit from Oxford University Press is a box of phonics goodies that you can literally pick up and teach with children aged 4-9. It contains everything you need for high quality, one-to-one reading tuition. Inside you will find a professional development DVD and handbook with demonstrations and words of wisdom from the highly esteemed phonics missionary Ruth Miskin - arguably the UK’s leading authority on teaching children to read. It includes video clips on teaching ‘pure’ sounds, sound-blending, high-frequency words, tricky words, comprehension and fluency. There are also plenty of detailed teaching notes that give you the confidence to walk the talk.
The tutoring kit contains speed sounds cards to teach all of the 44 sounds and their corresponding letter or letter groups, each with a lively mnemonic to make the sounds easier to learn. Then there are two colour coded word card collections made up of the most common decodable words that feature in the accompanying storybooks.
The Red Ditty books included in the kit are brilliant. These compact little books contain short and sweet ditties and are ideal for practising speed sounds. They provide activities and questions to talk about, and are immensely enjoyable to use for short and precise teaching. These are matched in excellence and quality by the storybooks that each contain a glossary of terms, eight reading activities, a vocabulary check and questions to focus on. The stories are very well written and they all contain fun and lively illustrations. These books can be accessed via eight entry points and this flexibility is to be praised. Some children could spend three weeks using the kit whereas others might take a year.
Also included in the kit are four lively progress books for providing lots of practice activities in decoding sounds and words. Each book is carefully matched to a child’s phonic knowledge and they provide an ideal record of progress made.
The Read Write Inc. One-to-one Phonics Tutoring Kit can be used comfortably by individual special needs assistants, especially after viewing the step-by-step guidance on the DVD, and would also be useful for more senior staff. It’s a kit for everyone to dive into as it is everyone’s responsibility to get every child reading.
The Government has announced a new phonics screening health-check for six-year olds, probably in place by summer 2012, to make sure that children aren’t slipping through the reading net. With focused, 20 minutes practice sessions every day that take place away from the classroom, it’s a safe bet to assume the one-to-one kit will help your children pass this check.
This resource is first-class for me and I would have no hesitation in committing to it, safe in the knowledge its contents would enable me to deliver the best teaching children deserve.
Children using these materials will learn to read very quickly because of the structured and rigorous approach to teaching phonics. It’s not hard to work out that children who read are more successful than those that don’t. As Ruth Miskin herself says, ‘Reading is not just the foundation but the whole building itself.’