All About Reading Level 2 continues to be all that I have come to love and appreciate about All About Reading. We are a good way through the program and I am ready to share my review with you, by sharing a day-in-the-life using Level 2, with Malachi, my 7 year old.
All About Reading (AAR) is an open and go program, so I pull out everything I need for our lesson, while Malachi is doing his math on the computer (Mathletics).
|Doing his math while I pull out our lesson for the day.|
I am combining AAR with All About Spelling Level 2, and to do this I look to see what the new teaching is in the reading manual and then align it with the same teaching in the spelling manual. We are on lesson 23 in AAR - "EE and the Vowel Team Syllable Type," and on Step 13 in AAS - "Vowel Team EE." The teachings are very similar. (Both programs are compatible, but occasionally, AAS will cover a concept not yet taught in AAR. Because Malachi is an older student he does well with this, but with Eliana I am only covering the concepts taught in AAR Level 1 when I correlate her reading with AAS 1, so keep that in mind if you use both programs together.)
(Malachi doesn't need to review the phonograms ~ he has those down pat. We also skip the word card review as he doesn't need it and gets plenty of review with the fluency sheets.)
Today, we are learning a new phonogram.
|"Teach New Phonogram EE."|
"E-e says /e/ double e. Repeat after me: /e/, double e." Student repeats.
In the teacher's notes, I learn that learning this phonogram as "/e/ double e" is for spelling purposes later (which we are using now, so I really love that the reading prepares your student for the spelling!).
I set out the new letter tile and we blend sounds with letter tiles, following the script as needed.
|Blend Sounds with Letter Tiles|
After we practice blending, we play "Change the Word."
After this, I jump over to the All About Spelling manual and review what we just learned with Step 13 - Vowel Team EE.
|All About Spelling manual|
The review is not always necessary, but good reinforcement. (I used to teach the reading lesson and THEN the spelling lesson, but I felt like I was mostly repeating the lesson from AAR).
|From Step 13, AAS.|
Back to the Level 2 reading manual to teach the vowel team consonant tag. . .
|Level 2 uses a "team of horses" to represent vowel teams, which are two or more vowels working together|
to make one sound. Malachi is pointing to the ee team on the wagon.
|The manual shows you EXACTLY what to do! It is super easy to follow, with lots of illustrations!|
|Here he is dividing the word into syllables. First syllable is closed (short vowel) and second syllable|
is Vowel Team.
The same lesson is covered in AAS 2, so we use it for more practice and Malachi builds the word sixteen and labels the syllables.
Having both books open at the same time makes teaching both programs easy.
We continue on with the reading lesson and read the "sheep" words from the Leap Into Reading activity book. . . (To save time, I did not have him cut them out).
Then, he does the practice reading cards.
And we learn a sight word - a "Rule Breaker" in All About Spelling's Western theme. . .
And a "Leap Word" in All About Reading's "Leap Into Reading" theme. But, they are the same concept.
We first learned them as "rule breakers" in AAS, so he likes to call them that still, and because we "throw those words in jail."
Our final reading lesson is to read the fluency practice sheets.
Malachi dreaded these in Level 1 because they were hard for him, but he doesn't mind them at all now! It really shows me how much he has grown in his reading!
This finishes our reading lesson for the day.
We finish our All About Spelling lesson by spelling the words on the list for Step 13. We spell on the board, on paper, OR on a moveable alphabet app on my iPhone called Word Wizard. (When we use Word Wizard, I turn the voice or volume off ~ it is often not phonetically correct and is a distraction. And, we sometimes use it instead of the board for reading!)
Malachi is doing copywork for writing today from Language Lessons for the Very Young. He is writing and memorizing Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
After we do writing, we snuggle up for our reading time on the couch. Today, we are reading Sonlight Bible (Core A) and two Five in a Row selections.
The All About Reading manual suggests that you spend 20 minutes reading to your child. We spend quite a bit more because we are using a literature based curriculum, but it is always a nice reminder to see it in the manual!
Later, we made "snowballs" for an activity. I'll share more soon what we have been up to!
In the next lesson, we will read a story from the level 2 reader "What Am I?" and one of the things I appreciate about Level 2 is that each story now comes with a practice sheet so that students can "warm up" and practice words and phrases that are found in the story. This helps build confidence and fluency and I think this is a brilliant addition to All About Reading!
The teacher's manual also provides excellent pre-reading discussions and activities for each story. Reading is an active process and Level 2 helps me model and encourage this process by introducing new vocabulary words that will be used in the story and asking questions that will "activate my student's prior knowledge." With the help of the manual, I have the opportunity to model comprehension strategies and help my child make predictions about what might happen next. The manual also offers post-reading discussions and activities that include discussing the main character or conflict, story sequencing, how the story relates to my child's life and more. It takes reading beyond the process of decoding and makes it come alive!
Of course, the process of teaching phonics and decoding in this level continues to be outstanding and follows the same pattern of instruction as level one, with step-by-step lesson plans that are gently scripted, giving me the confidence that I need to teach effectively.
Since beginning All About Reading, it has really made a difference for me and my child. I am teaching with confidence and my child is learning to read with confidence. I am so thankful for this program!
P.S. You can start in Level 2! Check out Level 2 materials, PDF samples, and even download a placement test to see if Level 2 is right for your child.
I received Level 2 for free in exchange for a frank and unbiased review. If you purchase a product using any of the links in my review, I receive a commission. If so, thank you! The small income is a huge blessing!
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