Friday, January 15, 2016

I Can Read It! A Little Review

Since Rose is officially finished with her phonics primer, she has been spending a bit of time reading aloud to me each day. She is currently reading through BookShark's Grade 1 readers, starting with the delightful I Can Read It! books. We're on Book 3 (the last one), so I thought I'd share just a few thoughts about this little series.

Before starting ICRI, Rose read to me from a set of Fun Tales each day. We started reading through the ICRI series in September, and I think we will finish in just a few weeks.

I really like this series! First of all, I love the title. Rose has had a rougher time learning to read than my other three did. Although she is finished with phonics, she still needs plenty of practice. My favorite thing about these books is that she doesn't complain about reading them (usually). That says a lot right there. She really can read it.

The books are divided up into short stories or "lessons", and those stories are further divided up into mini-chapters of about two pages each. It takes Rose about a week to read each story. I ask her to read at least one mini-chapter each day, and often she will read two just to find out what happens next.

The books progress in difficulty, but the third book is still very doable for a beginning reader. I am trying to strike a balance between challenging her to read harder things and keeping her confidence high. These books have been wonderful for building her confidence.  The stories are colorfully illustrated and she often finds the pictures humorous. I also like that while the illustrations certainly complement the story, she can't usually guess what the story says just by looking at the pictures...which she has been known to do;). 

I ordered the Grade 1 Readers schedule with discussion questions and notes from BookShark. It certainly isn't strictly necessary at this level, but it was inexpensive and I like checking boxes. So after she reads I take out the discussion questions for that day.  These are just very short questions  that help me gauge her reading comprehension. We probably spend about 15 seconds each day on these. 

A nice bonus is that the answers are also there....I will admit my mind sometimes drifts as she reads. I am checking that she is reading the words correctly, but I don't always pay attention to what's going on! Having the answers means I don't have to flip back to the story.

So, these little books are working very well for us right now. There is also a book of Word Lists that goes along with the three I Can Read It! books, but we have never used it, so I can't comment on it.

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