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If you switched to Dancing Bears and Apples and Pears...Did you ever look back?


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I'm still agonizing over curriculum choices...lol. I have Spalding, AAR & AAS, and DB & AP swimming all through my thoughts.

 

If you switched to Dancing Bears and Apples and Pears did you ever regret it? What curriculum did you switch from?

 

Thanks!

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We're happy DB users (though I'll admit we don't read the in-text stories -- they're just odd.)

 

With my oldest DD, I tried:

R&S Phonics 1 (about 1-2 months)

AAR1 (finished this level but saw no progress in her overall CVC decoding)

CLE LTR (just a couple weeks)

OPGTR & Phonics Pathways (very briefly, crashed and burned)

ETC....

 

Since switching to DB, I'll admit to sometimes looking around for greener grass... but I haven't found it yet.  Dancing Bears has been very good for DD.  We tried A&P for a short while -- overall I liked the activities and the methodology, but there was just too much writing for DD.  (I've set it aside as a possible "later.")

 

We are still using DB (about to finish A, and I've already got B and C waiting).  For most of this year, I also supplemented with Recipe for Reading workbooks -- DD liked their presentation and I liked the different order for presenting sounds.  The combo worked well for us.

 

Spelling -- well AAS 1 was great for getting DD looking at and listening to sounds in words... but looking ahead at the next level & beyond, I just couldn't seem to make myself CARE about the O-G method, and we didn't use the program as intended anyway.  We switched to R&S about 3 weeks ago and DD (surprisingly) LOVES it.  We started with Grade 2 (though we are finishing up 2nd grade, the difficulty level is just right for DD).

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I used Fast Track with my oldest and we liked it so much that I bought the regular speed Dancing Bears for DD6.  She had been using OPGTR and is taking to reading much easier than the oldest.  DD6 doesn't need Dancing Bears the way my oldest did, but we just like it so much. :)  The stories are strange, but we adore them at our house.  I found the program to be so much more efficient than OPGTR for us.  I plan to use Dancing Bears with my third daughter in the future.

 

I'm not sure if I will use Apples and Pears with my 2 younger dds or not.  There is so much writing that I wouldn't want to start it before 2nd grade.  I like to start spelling in 1st grade so I will be trying AAS with DD6 and will see how that goes.  I love the OG method, but it was a total failure for my oldest.  I would prefer the younger 2 to do well with AAS.  We have tried AAS, How to Teach Spelling, WRTR and R&S Spelling in the past.

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Thank you both! :) Ug...I *hate* switching curriculum but DS is really struggling with AAR & AAS (retention and application) and we are both frustrated.  (He also struggles with tracking, reversals and randomly inserts phonograms in words or leaves them out when reading). I've been reading WRTR (again) as well....but I find myself caring less and less about all of the spelling rules the more that I read.  They are more like "guidelines" anyway, LOL.

 

How fast is (US) shipping? 

Do the flashcards come with Dancing Bears?

Will the flashcards be confusing sine they are different than the phonograms we have been using with AAR & AAS?

I think the the thing that is holding me back the most is the font....ug.  Is it a major problem? We used Spalding for handwriting before starting AAR and AAS.

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

 

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How fast is (US) shipping?

Do the flashcards come with Dancing Bears?

I think the the thing that is holding me back the most is the font....ug. Is it a major problem? We used Spalding for handwriting before starting AAR and AAS.

 

Thanks so much!

I ordered the next level of DB just a few days ago and they arrived today. Way quicker than I expected. (Last time I ordered, I think it took closer to 1.5 weeks.)

 

DB A came with flash cards ... Level B and C didn't. (Apples & Pears also came with cards.)

 

Ah, the font.... :p

I was worried about this, too. It hasn't been such a big deal with oldest because she was pretty solid in her letter recognition -- she adapted well. Youngest has been more confused by it when I've shown her the pages. That said, we don't use that font overall... we use Pentime for handwriting. Oldest DD just writes letters her way whenever there's something to trace.

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One more quick question, Alison (since I know you did AAR1 first and then DB, which is where we are)....

 

Are you glad you chose Fast Track rather than Level A? How did you decide? How long did it take to get through Fast Track?

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Thanks, Alison :-)

 

Was it a problem to switch from learning the phonograms to the DB flashcards? They are different, right?

 

To be honest, we weren't heavy/consistent on learning the AAR phonograms.  :o  So when my DD started Dancing Bears, she only knew the short vowel sounds, the common consonant sounds, and then some digraphs like /sh/ /ch/ /th/ /ck/.

 

The flash cards basically start with short vowels and consonants.  Then it introduces /sh/, /ee/ and /ar/ pretty early on... which has been helpful for DD.

 

I find the sounds/chunks that DB introduces pretty intuitive.  /oi/ and /oy/ are taught pretty early on.  Near the end of level A, we're learning 3-letter sounds:  /air/ /oar/ /eer/ /ore/ /ake/

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One more quick question, Alison (since I know you did AAR1 first and then DB, which is where we are)....

 

Are you glad you chose Fast Track rather than Level A? How did you decide? How long did it take to get through Fast Track?

 

ETA:  We did not use Fast Track.  We went with Level A.

 

I am glad we started with Level A, instead of FT....definitely!

We started AAR1 barely able to decode CVC words.

We ENDED AAR1 barely able to decode CVC words, LOL.

 

Dancing Bears A started very slowly, but I counted it as great review and reinforcement for DD to read words left-to-right, sound-by-sound.  I know a lot of people start Fast Track with 7-yr olds, but I don't know that my DD could've gone that quickly (there is, IMO, a decent amount of new sounds and sight words taught -- yes, DB does some sight words).  I think FT would have gone too quickly for her.

 

That said, we have sometimes moved more quickly through level A, sometimes have gone back and repeated lessons that needed a quick review.  I haven't regretted starting with A.  We began at the beginning of August and are just now finishing Level A (so it has taken us nearly a full school year).  We'll start level B next week and plan on going through the summer.

 

(We also did Recipe for Reading workbooks 3 and 4, along with DB A, which slowed us down more than typical.)

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Alison!

 

We went through AAR1 and came to the end and DS was still struggling to read.  We went ahead and started AAR2 and spent 20 mintues on AAR2 and 20 minutes (later in the day) reviewing AAR 1...from the beginning.  We are now done with AAR 1 (round 2 minus the fluency practice sheets)...but DS is still far from fluent.  He blends well (when he isn't adding or subtracting letters, or substituting words like on for no or for for off etc, missing lines or confusing d/b, w/m). sigh.

 

Did you only use DB for 10 minutes per day? If we switch I'm tempted to to 20, broken up into 2 sessions.

 

p.s....sorry I confused your post with linguismama...who used Fast Track.

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He blends well (when he isn't adding or subtracting letters, or substituting words like on for no or for for off etc, missing lines or confusing d/b, w/m). sigh.

 

Did you only use DB for 10 minutes per day? If we switch I'm tempted to to 20, broken up into 2 sessions.

 

DD did this a lot.  Truth be told, I still have to remind her about b/d.

 

We typically do 1 page a day.  We started off doing 1/2 a page (especially for some of the longer decoding lessons) but now we are doing 1 page (sometimes we review 1 page and then do a new lesson).  Sometimes we come back later in the afternoon and do another page, if the morning's lesson was super-easy.

 

I say play it by ear.  DD approaches Dancing Bears with a "git 'er done" attitude and rarely complains about it, which amazes me b/c she whined about other "more fun" programs. 

 

** I sort of feel like I'm raving about Dancing Bears, LOL.  By no means is it perfect.  Like I said:  I think the in-text stories are WEIRD and we skip them.  And I have supplemented with RfR.  But DB was such a help when we desperately needed something to work for us...***

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** I sort of feel like I'm raving about Dancing Bears, LOL.  By no means is it perfect.  Like I said:  I think the in-text stories are WEIRD and we skip them.  And I have supplemented with RfR.  But DB was such a help when we desperately needed something to work for us...***

 

I get this! *I* really love AAR...DS, not so much, LOL. I'm having a hard time switching...I'm still undecided.  Thank you again for all of your help! 

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I found DB and A&P after using SWR, Recipe for Reading, Writing Road to Reading...and a few other things.

 

 

It was not confusing having different flashcards.  The phonograms are pretty much the same.  DB does have kids memorize a few patterns (that fit into Spalding/O-G rules) rather than memorize the rules and then have to remember to apply them.  This works better for some kids.

 

 

I used Fast Track b/c my ds had been through 2.5 years of SWR and KNEW his phonics forwards and backwards.  He needed the practice of tracking, decoding, applying the phonics to actual reading.  I highly recommend DB - agreeing that the stories are horrid.  We used McGuffey Readers simultaneously for a short while b/c the controlled vocab made it easy to gain some confidence.  As soon as we could, we ditched McGuffey and went to the library.

 

 

Apples & Pears is a ton of writing for a 7yo.  Even broken up into one page a day, it's a lot of writing for a spelling lesson. However, it's effective.  That said, for my dyslexic child we went through A&P book A twice...actually finishing A in May for the 2nd time.  We took a break in between, trying WRTR and SWR *again* and realizing that we were spinning wheels with the words words words with no context AGAIN.  We went back through A&P and he has done very well this time through.  I think the big difference is his reading level, even more than writing ability.  b/c of that, I'd recommend starting A&P *after* completing FT (or equivalent).

 

For my non-dyslexic, A&P lessons are 5-10min per page and *HIGHLY* effective, retaining the spellings in other writing.

 

 

My non-dyslexic completed books A and B.  I am moving her on to Rod and Staff spelling next fall b/c she doesn't need such intensive work and can do spelling independently from here on.  My dyslexic will complete the series (hopefully before high school LOL).

 

 

My current 7yo will start Book A in the fall.  He'll be 8yo, and he's reading fairly well.  He has many markers for dyslexia, though he hasn't struggled like his big brother...maybe b/c I am a better teacher of dyslexic boys now.

 

 

 

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We use Apples and Pears and never looked back. It just plain works for my kids. I did borrow AAS 1 and 2 to use with my younger ds first. That was only bc he couldn't handle the writing in a& p until second grade. However, I think it's fine to wait, too and just work on dictating short vowel words until they are ready to write. We do a lesson over 2 days.

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Thank you, Paula & Anne :)

 

I'm *thisclose* to ordering. LOL....I think I'll sleep on it *one more night* and order in the morning so I can quit obsessing and move on already!

 

I do love AAR though...it is so pretty and fun :( Would it be too confusing to do 20 minutes of AAR and 10 minutes (at a different time) of DB? I don't want to let it go, LOL.

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DD was diagnosed as dyslexic at 6 years old (which now I wonder about because she's now 10 and has no lingering issues) and during that difficult time we switched over to DB and A&P. I'd heard it was a wonderful program for struggling readers, etc. Well, after she got past that difficult year, we switched. To us, it was a very boring curriculum. And the stories and sentences were just plain strange.

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No, never looked back. Eldest is now in book C. Actually, I like it so much I'm using the Fast Track book for my almost 8yo - I think other methods would work for him, but Dancing Bears is just so easy and effective. (And quick, youngest son is rather hyper although he is improving.) We must be mutants because we find the stories funny. :D As soon as I have the funds I'll be ordering the Apples & Pears set for my eldest.

 

We used various vintage books, SWR / WRTR, video lessons, readers, ... nothing worked. I did continue to use the SWR flashcards for my eldest with no problem when we started DB. I finally broke down and laminated the DB flashcards since my youngest son will be using them - he can be rough.

 

Dancing Bears is the single best curriculum I've purchased. There was a miracle inside the cover.

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I can't wait for the books to get here. I have read through the entire first book TM and Student Book and this IS going to help my daughter.  I know that by the end of next year, she is going to be able to spell without tears and frustration!  I will be so happy for her.

 

 

Phonetic Zoo ended up coming in the mail because I was unable to cancel it quickly enough.  It was WAAAAYYY too difficult for someone like my dd who cannot see parts of words.  And the Zoo cards were disappointing.  It seems like a great program for auditory learners who do not have dyslexia, though.

 

I never, ever would have found Apples and Pears without this forum.  Thank you all.

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No, never looked back. Eldest is now in book C. Actually, I like it so much I'm using the Fast Track book for my almost 8yo - I think other methods would work for him, but Dancing Bears is just so easy and effective. (And quick, youngest son is rather hyper although he is improving.) We must be mutants because we find the stories funny. :D As soon as I have the funds I'll be ordering the Apples & Pears set for my eldest.

 

We used various vintage books, SWR / WRTR, video lessons, readers, ... nothing worked. I did continue to use the SWR flashcards for my eldest with no problem when we started DB. I finally broke down and laminated the DB flashcards since my youngest son will be using them - he can be rough.

 

Dancing Bears is the single best curriculum I've purchased. There was a miracle inside the cover.

 

I'm wondering what to do about the DB flashcards since we have been learning the phonograms, and they are different, right?

 

DS knows all the sounds for A-Z as well as th, sh, ch, ck, ng, nk, oo, ee, ow, ou & ar.  When I flash the DB cards....should he just say the sound on the back of the DB card....or should he say the sounds he knows and has learned from the phonograms? (We used AAR, AAS & Spalding for handwriting).

 

Thanks!

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I can't wait for the books to get here. I have read through the entire first book TM and Student Book and this IS going to help my daughter.  I know that by the end of next year, she is going to be able to spell without tears and frustration!  I will be so happy for her.

 

I never, ever would have found Apples and Pears without this forum.  Thank you all.

 

I so hope that it works as well for you as it has around here!

 

I noticed that your dd is also a 10 year old creative dreamer. Maybe it's something about that personality type and not getting spelling since those are perfect descriptions of my dd10 as well!

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I just ordered :) I'm feeling hopeful and honestly, a little relieved...lol.

 

I'm a little at a loss for what to do until the books arrive? I found a cute online program with a 14 day trial with the I See Sam books....maybe just use that?

FYI...it is readingteacher.com

 

Many thanks to all of you for your help!

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I just ordered :) I'm feeling hopeful and honestly, a little relieved...lol.

 

I'm a little at a loss for what to do until the books arrive? I found a cute online program with a 14 day trial with the I See Sam books....maybe just use that?

FYI...it is readingteacher.com

 

Many thanks to all of you for your help!

I think it's important to remember that this program is not as cutesy or fun as others...I think the A&P is also very writing intensive which my dd really needs.

 

But the goal is to ensure that struggling learners can read and spell for life.  And it's so much easier to use and learn than O-G phonics and spelling.

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I think it's important to remember that this program is not as cutesy or fun as others...I think the A&P is also very writing intensive which my dd really needs.

 

But the goal is to ensure that struggling learners can read and spell for life.  And it's so much easier to use and learn than O-G phonics and spelling.

 

For as hard as reading is for DS, I would think that writing would be a problem...but thankfully, it hasn't been.  He does quite a bit of writing per day between his handwriting practice, oral phonogram review, spelling dictation, and copywork.  He also is getting to be embarrassed of the cutesy stuff in AAR.  Although I don't think he will *love* either DB or A&P....I'm hopeful that he will progress. Thanks for your help! :)

 

Best of luck with A&P and your DD! I hope it is a great fit for you both! :)

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I just ordered :) I'm feeling hopeful and honestly, a little relieved...lol.

 

I'm a little at a loss for what to do until the books arrive? I found a cute online program with a 14 day trial with the I See Sam books....maybe just use that?

FYI...it is readingteacher.com

 

Many thanks to all of you for your help!

 

Well, we use I See Sam along with Dancing Bears.  I don't care for the "stories" in DB... but I like for DD to have some outside practice reading books... but she's not ready for real BOOKS yet (or not any that she wants to read).  

 

We read an I See Sam book every evening (sometimes we repeat if a book was challenging) -- I think they work well together.  We're just finishing up DB A and DD is on Book 18 in BRI 3.  (We've been slacking off a bit in ISS lately, so she could probably read higher, but I don't push it.  This is her "confidence-building-reading-practice.")

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My oldest had no trouble switching to the DB flashcards.  I think it was probably a relief that the DB cards are so much quicker.  I forgot to mention that we also tried PR so she went through several sets of OG flashcards, including the LOE app, and knew them backwards and forwards. :)  I bought the first set of I See Sam readers for the ipad app and DD6 is loving them.

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I'm wondering what to do about the DB flashcards since we have been learning the phonograms, and they are different, right?

 

DS knows all the sounds for A-Z as well as th, sh, ch, ck, ng, nk, oo, ee, ow, ou & ar.  When I flash the DB cards....should he just say the sound on the back of the DB card....or should he say the sounds he knows and has learned from the phonograms? (We used AAR, AAS & Spalding for handwriting).

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Do what seems right for your dc.  When you come to a page where you are working on a phonogram like ch that has several sounds, just explain that on this page all of the ch will say /ch/ like in chain.  As you go through the book, it will become a non-issue.

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I am currently using DB FT to remediate my almost 8 year old daughter. Even though I was uncertain after looking at the online sample, I purchased the curriculum based on the positive reviews. I am beyond thrilled at the progress that she has made. She has come so far that she is actually bringing books to read to me. Two months ago she never would have had the desire or confidence to do so. She is beginning to enjoy reading. I am so thankful to have found this program. I hope it works well for your dc.

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Thanks for the advice and encouragement :)

 

I read through DB A-C last night. I'm having a little panic attack about all the sight words, LOL. I'm tempted to build them with letter tiles. I'm also glad that DS understands open/closed syllables.

 

Do you really use the cursor for all 3 levels? I wasn't expecting that either.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "all the sight words" because there are no sight words in DB - they sound out all of the words.  And that is the whole point of the cursor - to show them each sound. In fact the cursor kind of acts like tiles 'on the fly' as you read across the page.  And that was my biggest struggle with the cursor at first - making sure to 'jump' the correct number of letters for each 'sound'.   

 

We didn't use the cursor throughout, only at the beginning and later if DD struggled with a word or resorted to guessing.     More cursor work is better than less though imo.

 

 

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I would say that there are sight words.  If you look in the table of contents, some lessons list words taught [these are the words presented in the box at the top of the page that day].  I would say that those words are taught as sight words, since there is no effort made to teach them phonetically.  Of course, you could teach many of them phonetically .... but I've noticed that they do, at least, try to group them with similar words.  

Pretty early on in DB A you learn:

me, you

he, she

my, why

we, be

to, do, who

try

give, have, live (silent e, short vowel)

so, no go

(and so forth....)

 

ETA:  I will say that for my DD, sight words have not been a big deal.  I have found that she is pretty visual and can remember many of these words (better than she can sound out c-a-t) and it allows her to read more material, more quickly.  

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Re: the cursor....

 

We used it religiously for the first several weeks of DB A.  Especially for an older child, you do have to retrain them to read L-to-R.  My DD needed retraining b/c she tends to jump all around when trying to sound out a word, very scattered.

 

Where we are now with the cursor...  I don't use it very often unless DD is having trouble with a word (then I whip out the cursor and break the word into segments for her).  Some days she can't seem to focus at all and we use the cursor for the whole lesson.

 

One thing I do... even on days that I'm not using the cursor:  I use an extra-wide bookmark-type piece of paper and I block out all the lines to come.  DD used to balk at having to do the ENTIRE page of decoding practice, but I found that if I covered up everything but the line she's reading (and the lines she's already read), then she's fine.  It also gives her focus.  

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My eldest just said all the sounds of a letter/combo, SWR style. If he didn't know them we just did the DB style. I didn't stress about it. My younger son doesn't have the SWR sounds so engraved, so I told him he just needs to say the first sound. But if he says them all it's still "right".

 

I use the cursor still and will to the end I think. My son still tries to rush sometimes, or he'll get frustrated, or some days he has troubles with some sounds, ... so it's just easier to use the cursor, slow and steady. One mod is that on the timed readings he controls the cursor.

 

The 'sight words' weren't an issue for my eldest, because he knew them from SWR (just not very fast). I just said some were tricky and we'd practice them each time we did that page. For my younger son I will build them phonetically if needed, and point out the sounds.

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Update: well, there are definitely sight words in DB - they are listed at the start of some reading passages (especially the early ones) and the close sentences sections.  Also apparently at the beginning of sentence reading in the early sections of DB A - where they are teaching my/he/she - just as alisonCooks states.  Those are all listed in the table of contents as a list of words.   So I take back the advice below for those sections  (although generally it is correct advice for DB, it is not correct for those words/sections).

 

 I don't know why some sections have the phoneme/morpheme's they are trying to teach named at the top and others have the words listed - but I don't believe it is because they want those words to be taught as sight words.  The whole program is about splitting every word into sounds  -- that's why they are insistent on always using the cursor.

 

In practice, the word titled sections should be treated no differently than the sections that list sounds for the title instead of words...  you just tell the child how to say the new sound verbally and then they practice reading the words, saying each sound separately.   So in the case of these early words it would be...  h-e, m-e, th-e (with long e's).

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 I don't know why some sections have the phoneme/morpheme's they are trying to teach named at the top and others have the words listed - but I don't believe it is because they want those words to be taught as sight words.  The whole program is about splitting every word into sounds  -- that's why they are insistent on always using the cursor.  In practice, the word titled sections should be treated no differently than the sections that list sounds for the title instead of words...  you just tell the child how to say the new sound verbally and then they practice reading the words, saying each sound separately.   So in the case of these early words it would be...  h-e, m-e, th-e (with long e's).

 

 

Hmmmm... I see what you're saying.  And even from looking on Sound Foundations FAQ page, they claim to be staunchly "anti-sight word."  

 

That said, there is no indicator or directive for how one should teach these phonetically -- and these words are introduced well before the phonograms in them are introduced (eg. the /oo/ sound that "ou" makes in "you"... that is not one of the phonogram cards taught in Book A.)

 

So ... all that said, I do try to break these down for DD when a new word is taught.  And they repeat the exposure over and over -- lots of repetition!  But this is one area where you are on your own (everything else is open-and-go... total hand-holding).  If you want to teach them phonetically, you'll need to gather the rules/reason elsewhere.

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In fact the cursor kind of acts like tiles 'on the fly' as you read across the page.  And that was my biggest struggle with the cursor at first - making sure to 'jump' the correct number of letters for each 'sound'.   

I like this....thanks :)

 

I would say that there are sight words.  If you look in the table of contents, some lessons list words taught [these are the words presented in the box at the top of the page that day].  I would say that those words are taught as sight words, since there is no effort made to teach them phonetically.  Of course, you could teach many of them phonetically .... but I've noticed that they do, at least, try to group them with similar words.  

Pretty early on in DB A you learn:

me, you

he, she

my, why

we, be

to, do, who

try

give, have, live (silent e, short vowel)

so, no go

(and so forth....)

 

ETA:  I will say that for my DD, sight words have not been a big deal.  I have found that she is pretty visual and can remember many of these words (better than she can sound out c-a-t) and it allows her to read more material, more quickly.  

One thing I do... even on days that I'm not using the cursor:  I use an extra-wide bookmark-type piece of paper and I block out all the lines to come.  DD used to balk at having to do the ENTIRE page of decoding practice, but I found that if I covered up everything but the line she's reading (and the lines she's already read), then she's fine.  It also gives her focus.

 

 

 

I like that they are grouped too. DS knows most of them from AAR so I don't see them being a problem.  But I probably will give him more explanations for the words he is unfamiliar with as we go.

 

Thanks for the wide bookmark idea....I see that being helpful. :)

 

 

 

My eldest just said all the sounds of a letter/combo, SWR style. If he didn't know them we just did the DB style. I didn't stress about it. My younger son doesn't have the SWR sounds so engraved, so I told him he just needs to say the first sound. But if he says them all it's still "right".

 

I use the cursor still and will to the end I think. My son still tries to rush sometimes, or he'll get frustrated, or some days he has troubles with some sounds, ... so it's just easier to use the cursor, slow and steady. One mod is that on the timed readings he controls the cursor.

 

The 'sight words' weren't an issue for my eldest, because he knew them from SWR (just not very fast). I just said some were tricky and we'd practice them each time we did that page. For my younger son I will build them phonetically if needed, and point out the sounds.

 

Honestly, from reading the samples last night, I don't think I would start DB until DS knew some of the phonics rules and second sounds of the phonograms.  For some reason, I think it will be so helpful for him to have this background before we start. I think we are in a good position to use the program and build his fluency (my main reason for using it).

 

 I don't know why some sections have the phoneme/morpheme's they are trying to teach named at the top and others have the words listed - but I don't believe it is because they want those words to be taught as sight words.  The whole program is about splitting every word into sounds  -- that's why they are insistent on always using the cursor.  In practice, the word titled sections should be treated no differently than the sections that list sounds for the title instead of words...  you just tell the child how to say the new sound verbally and then they practice reading the words, saying each sound separately.   So in the case of these early words it would be...  h-e, m-e, th-e (with long e's).

 

 

I think this is how we will do it too :)

 

Hmmmm... I see what you're saying.  And even from looking on Sound Foundations FAQ page, they claim to be staunchly "anti-sight word."  

 

 

That is funny...because on page 45 of book A it says:

 

"Sight Words:

In the box at the top of each page, you will find the sight words that the pupil will need in order to read the sentences. Ask the pupil to read them - tell him the correct response if he does not know it.  Use the cursor - but reveal the entire word at once. Using the Flashback Technique, repeat each word until firm."

 

I get the feeling that the program is mostly used for remediation and assumes that the students have probably had some (failed, LOL) reading instruction at some point.

 

 

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That is funny...because on page 45 of book A it says:

 

"Sight Words:

In the box at the top of each page, you will find the sight words that the pupil will need in order to read the sentences. Ask the pupil to read them - tell him the correct response if he does not know it.  Use the cursor - but reveal the entire word at once. Using the Flashback Technique, repeat each word until firm."

 

 

Ah, I *thought* I had read somewhere to reveal them as a sight word. 

Strange...

 

Well, I'm sure you've got some good ideas of how to proceed from here (no matter how you approach it!)

Good luck!  I hope it works well for your DS. :)

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Ok, so I dug out my DB FT - and when I go to all the "group word" sections listed in the table of contents they are all   'close sentences'  sections, with the words listed to be used to fill in the blank.  I found that instruction about reading the words and treating them as sight words before the first one too.    So I have to admit,  I never even did those with DD, I just 'assigned' them (we had done so many close sentences before starting DB, I had no belief that doing them would help her - but she wanted to do them so I let her :leaving:  )  No wonder I believe there are no 'sight' words :lol:

 

ETA: I searched in the DB A book on their site - and I couldn't find the word "sight"  in it at all (I could find it in DB FT in that close sentence description

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RE: sight words...I have a SWR background and uncover w/ cursor sound by sound like every other word. 

 

But how?  I know for some words this makes sense, but what about words like "said."  Do you reveal it as s-ai-d ?  And why would the child think to make a short e-ish sound for that "ai" -- it's not one of the phonograms taught in the program and it's not even a sound of "ai." (Is it?)

I'm not trying to put you on the spot, I truly want to know how this works for those words.

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I do some in the regular sections as sight words. Very few and I can't think of an example. I assumed they might be pronounced differently in British English - DS couldn't decode them because of our pronunciation (maybe 4-5 words in the whole Fast Track book).

 

I think sometimes it's better to jump in. Cross the bridge when you come to it and all that stuff. :D And I would recommend knowing the rules yourself and then explaining when you come to it. That way there is real, concrete practice instead of an abstract concept. At least I know my sons didn't do abstract well. I'll be starting my youngest son on the actual book on his birthday (Tuesday). He knows several of the phonograms and those will be cemented as he practices on real words.

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Searching through DB A& B,  'said' is apparently taught as a sight word - it is listed in a 'group' of words at the beginning of a reading passage and then only used in the passages or close sentences, it is not ever listed on any of the word reading pages  (note: DB FT that I used is just a subset of DB A & B  )

 

 We did DB FT as remediation and I made no attempt to 'teach' DD anything throughout.  We only went over the cards and used the notched card  for the first few weeks (except if DD started guessing or was having trouble - then I pulled out the notched card again).   We did not read the passages, and DD only did the close sentences on her own.    And yet DB FT is one of the few programs I have done with DD where I saw a clear jump in DD's reading ability.  I credit it to the notched card and the uncommon words - DD was forced to read each sound and then practiced that on a lot of words she had not seen before.  And for the main part of the program, DB does practice each sound immediately after introducing it - and then continues to have words with that sound later so that it isn't presented once and done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But how?  I know for some words this makes sense, but what about words like "said."  Do you reveal it as s-ai-d ?  And why would the child think to make a short e-ish sound for that "ai" -- it's not one of the phonograms taught in the program and it's not even a sound of "ai." (Is it?)

I'm not trying to put you on the spot, I truly want to know how this works for those words.

 

I want to know how it works too. :)

 

I do some in the regular sections as sight words. Very few and I can't think of an example. I assumed they might be pronounced differently in British English - DS couldn't decode them because of our pronunciation (maybe 4-5 words in the whole Fast Track book).

 

 

I remember reading "been" in the regular section and wondering if it is pronounced differently in the UK.

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But how?  I know for some words this makes sense, but what about words like "said."  Do you reveal it as s-ai-d ?  And why would the child think to make a short e-ish sound for that "ai" -- it's not one of the phonograms taught in the program and it's not even a sound of "ai." (Is it?)

I'm not trying to put you on the spot, I truly want to know how this works for those words.

 

I've not used Dancing Bears, but that is exactly how I taught 'said' - 's-e-d', just explaining that 'said' is a funny word and the ai makes a different sound than usual.

 

I want to know how it works too. :)

 

 

I remember reading "been" in the regular section and wondering if it is pronounced differently in the UK.

 

Well I don't know how you pronounce 'been' (and of course it'll vary around the UK quite a lot for regional accents) but I pronounce it b-ee-n (same as I pronounce seen, clean & green bean!)

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Well I don't know how you pronounce 'been' (and of course it'll vary around the UK quite a lot for regional accents) but I pronounce it b-ee-n (same as I pronounce seen, clean & green bean!)

 

:D

In my region, it's pronounced quite like "bin" or "ben."

DD loved the long /e/ pronunciation -- went around the house saying "How have you been?" for days...

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As far as the sight words, I just taught them by sight. When we had to read one, I uncovered the entire word. My son didn't have a problem with it. But we only did level A. His reading really took off on its own after that and I am very grateful to Dancing Bears as all the phonics in the world weren't clicking in his brain.

 

The cursor was so helpful to really teach him HOW to read/look at a word. I recently made my own cursor to use in Phonics Pathways with my five year old dd. I may use DB with her but for now wanted to avoid the stories as they are a bit, hmm, inappropriate for a little person. My son kind of liked them, but he was eight when we did DB.

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