The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read app is based on the proven teaching methods of the Hooked on Phonics books and DVD sets. The 12 Steps in the app are designed for a Kindergarten reading level, whereas the physical product is for Pre-K through Second Grade. In addition, the app covers more sight words and has a library of 36 leveled eBooks that are only available within the app. These eBooks were written to correspond to the sounds and words being taught in each of the lessons, so the eBooks are 100% decodable to children who have completed the lessons. Thus, the eBook library gives children even more practice reading and more opportunities for success, which helps to boost their self confidence and pride as readers.
We included studies that use randomisation, quasi‐randomisation, or minimisation to allocate participants to either a phonics intervention group (phonics alone, phonics and phoneme awareness training, or phonics and irregular word reading training) or a control group (no training or alternative training, such as maths). Participants were English‐speaking children, adolescents, or adults whose word reading was below the level expected for their age for no known reason (that is, they had adequate attention and no known physical, neurological, or psychological problems).
Historically, a range of less systematic approaches have been popular. Typically, these approaches do not have a clear scope or follow a sequence but instead address letter sounds only as they arise incidentally in interactions with children or are needed to read words within a specific text. So, if a teacher is reading the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, she will teach the ee sound because it is found in the word see. The problem with this kind of serendipitous approach as the driver of phonics instruction is that information is not presented logically to the child and information gets missed. Of course, children should read connected text as they are learning phonics, and teachers should point out words they are reading that match taught patterns. But the scope and sequence of phonics instruction should not be based primarily on opportune moments in text reading.
In 1997, Congress asked the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to convene a national panel to assess the effectiveness of different approaches used to teach children to read. The National Reading Panel examined quantitative research studies on many areas of reading instruction, including phonics and whole language. The resulting report Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and its Implications for Reading Instruction was published in 2000 and provides a comprehensive review of what is known about best practices in reading instruction in the U.S.[23][24] The panel reported that several reading skills are critical to becoming good readers: phonemic awareness, phonics for word identification, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension. With regard to phonics, their meta-analysis of hundreds of studies confirmed the findings of the National Research Council: teaching phonics (and related phonics skills, such as phonemic awareness) is a more effective way to teach children early reading skills than is embedded phonics or no phonics instruction.[25] The panel found that phonics instruction is an effective method of teaching reading for students from kindergarten through 6th grade, and for all children who are having difficulty learning to read. They also found that phonics instruction benefits all ages in learning to spell. They also reported that teachers need more education about effective reading instruction, both pre-service and in-service.
Let’s back up and talk about terminology. A sight word actually refers to any word that can be read by sight. Differentiation is a sight word for us—we recognize it essentially instantly when we see it. What many teachers call sight words are actually high-frequency words. Because a small number of high-frequency words have less regular patterns (e.g., was, the), some people call all high-frequency words sight words and think that they must be learned visually and holistically by sight.
On 30 November 2004 Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training, established a National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy. The Inquiry examined the way reading is taught in schools, as well as the effectiveness of teacher education courses in preparing teachers for reading instruction. The first two recommendations of the Inquiry make clear the Committee's conviction about the need to base the teaching of reading on evidence and the importance of teaching systematic, explicit phonics within an integrated approach.[43]

Sight words and high frequency words are associated with the whole language approach which usually uses embedded phonics. According to Put Reading First from the National Institute for Literacy,[11] embedded phonics is described as indirect instruction where "Children are taught letter-sound relationships during the reading of connected text. (Since children encounter different letter-sound relationships as they read, this approach is not systematic or explicit.)".
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