P came to me with a little book of poems that she wanted to learn to read. She knew how to read some words, but had difficulty reading a sentence. I was unsure how successful she would be with the little poems, since the vocabulary was at a rather uncontrolled level. But, since she had selected the book she wanted to read, I decided to try it with her. If she became frustrated with the text, we could always find another for her.
Word by word, she figured out, and read aloud the first line of the first poem. We paused and followed the decoding procedure to find the "sound spelling" for each word she was unable to pronounce. After discussing the meaning, she found the word in the line, read it, and reread the line. Following the strategy, she slowly read each line. When she finished reading the entire poem, we reread it aloud together. Then I made a copy of it, and gave it to her with the instruction to practice reading it until we met again.
The next time we met, we began by rereading the poem together. Then she read it back to me. Then we tackled the next poem. Gradually she read through the little book of poems. By the time she completed the book, she was really beginning to read! The pace was slow enough, and the activity was universal, concrete, and multi-sensory enough, that she was learning every word in the book. She was also learning the sounds of the letters that made up the words.
To Be Continued...