Reading Teacher

How to choose decodable texts for 1st-grade reader

Decodable texts are a great resource for first-grade readers who are learning to read independently. Decodable texts are books that feature a high percentage of words that can be decoded using the phonics skills that children have learned. In other words, they are books that are specifically designed to help children practice and apply the phonics skills they are learning in their reading instruction. If you are looking for decodable texts to use with your first-grade readers, here are some tips to help you choose the right ones.


Consider your students' phonics knowledge: The first step in choosing decodable texts is to assess your students' phonics knowledge. You will want to choose texts that are appropriate for the phonics skills your students have already learned. Look for texts that feature simple, one-syllable words and short vowel sounds, as these are the types of words that early readers are most likely to encounter.


Choose texts with high-frequency words: While you want to choose texts that feature words that can be decoded using phonics skills, you also want to choose texts that include high-frequency words that are not decodable. These are words like "the," "and," and "said" that children will encounter frequently in their reading. By including these words in your decodable texts, you can help your students build their sight word vocabulary while still practicing their phonics skills.


Look for engaging content: Decodable texts don't have to be boring! Look for texts that feature engaging stories or interesting topics that will capture your students' interest. This will help to motivate them to read and make the experience more enjoyable.


Consider the level of support provided: Different decodable texts may provide different levels of support for struggling readers. Some texts may include picture cues or additional support for decoding difficult words. Others may include comprehension questions or other activities to help students practice their reading skills. Consider the needs of your students and choose texts that provide the appropriate level of support.


Don't forget about digital options: With the rise of technology, there are now many digital options available for decodable texts. Consider using online resources or apps that provide decodable texts that your students can access from their devices. These options can be especially helpful for students who may not have access to physical books at home.


In conclusion, choosing the right decodable texts for your first-grade readers can help to support their development as readers and provide valuable practice with phonics skills. By considering your students' phonics knowledge, choosing texts with high-frequency words, looking for engaging content, considering the level of support provided, and exploring digital options, you can find decodable texts that will be a valuable addition to your reading instruction.

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