Part of this book is an explanation, to the tutor, as to how to do various reading exercises. Part of it is pictures and words that the learner and the tutor look at together as they work. One big idea of this book is that learning to read can be fun, and it will be if proper attention is given to “hierarchy-ology” – to figuring out the activities for the learner that are not too hard, not too easy, but just at the right level of challenge. In addition to phonemic awareness and letter-sound correspondence, this manual provides a hierarchical series of steps for the learner to get proficient at “spatial awareness” – the ability to distinguish b from d and p from q.

This manual includes the “primer stories” for psychological skills – a set of stories meant to illustrate our psychologically skillful patterns of behavior, using only the simplest words – as high a fraction as possible of short vowel, consonant-vowel-consonant words. The manual also includes hierarchically arranged sets of word lists for “sounding and blending” practice. Sounding and blending is saying first the individual sounds in the word, and then blending them together to make the words (as our friends the letters did, in another book, The Letter Stories). This activity, though it takes some self-discipline and shouldn't be dragged out too long, is a magical one for improving the learner's ability to decode words.

Excerpts and Related Materials
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Table of Contents
The Big Ideas
Hierarchies, Steps, and The Challenge Zone
Skills for the Instructor
Reading Activities

Example Primer Story, Fran Helps Nan With a Pen
Excerpt, Early Word Lists, arranged in order of difficulty
Excerpt, Later Polysyllabic Word Lists