The foundation of the I Am Ready Program is phonemic awareness. Students are prepared to become strong readers after they understand that words are composed of sounds, and that those sounds are represented in the words we read.
Phonemic Awareness practice is woven throughout lessons, but the Daily Dos is the systematic, daily practice.
Through movement and play, students will identify and isolate sounds, blend and segment auditory words, be introduced to phonics and letter recognition, and more.
Phonics is the knowledge of sound-to-symbol relationships. In the I Am Ready Program, a significant emphasis is placed on the sounds spelled by letters and the recognition of those letters.
The program has hands-on activities, teacher-led lessons, mini-lessons, and consumables to help teach, practice, and review all of the basic phonics skills needed to begin decoding and blending.
Language acquisition and vocabulary growth are essential in the early years of education, especially for students learning English. Through vibrant visuals, planned class discussions, and a multitude of opportunities with resources, students are given the words and repetition to expand their communication
Reading foundational skills begin long before ever seeing letters, as students listen to sounds in spoken words and watch modeled reading in Express Readers.
In the I Am Ready Program, the beginning of decoding and blending based on written phonics begins shortly after students learn a handful of sound spellings. Reading is taught and practiced with letter cards, activities in the Practice Pages, decodable books, and more.
Handwriting is a combination of skills; Express Readers believes that in order for students to feel successful, we need to help scaffold the process for children and provide adequate practice at all levels.
Students begin with a focus on the direction of letters and the large, muscle-memory for formation; next, students learn and practice holding a writing utensil with the specific purpose of writing letters; Ultimately, students learn and work to fit their letters correctly within handwriting lines.
Sight words in the Express Readers program are categorized as either see-me-say-me words or sticky words.
See-me-say-me words are words that are decodable at the skill level of the child and are high frequency. Many sticky words from previous Steps become see-me-say-me words in Step 6.
Sticky words are words that have irregular spellings or are not decodable for the student yet. Students need to orthographically map the difficult sound-spellings to retain and retrieve those words quickly during reading. Sticky words are identified, mapped, and then practiced in decodable activities until mastery.