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Decodeable Reading Books

What are decodeable reading books?

Decodable reading books are books that are written for the beginning reader and contain the specific grapheme–phoneme-correspondences students have learned. This provides them with the opportunity to use their developing segmenting and blending skills to read words in order to recognise words quickly and effortlessly, and experience independent reading success.


Decodable books encourage children to sound out words using decoding strategies rather than guessing from pictures or predicting from other cues. 


Does Song of Sounds have matching decodable books? 

Yes!  Song of Sounds are fully aligned with Big Cat Phonics for Letters and Sounds decodable readers. The books are matched exactly to the Song of Sounds scheme and are mapped through the programme. At every stage of the programme, the children are provided with texts that are fully decodable for them. This means they are composed entirely of words made up of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and a small number of tricky words that the child has learnt up to that point.


Each week the programme teaches or revises a list of target GPCs. However, this does not mean that reading books will be automatically be given to children when they have learnt those GPCs that day or week, as that knowledge may not be secure. Books should be matched to children's secure phonic knowledge. This means they must have a secure knowledge of the GPCs and tricky words identified in each book, and they must be able to blend. As this happens at different times for children, some children will begin reading sooner than others. Any child who cannot blend will recieve additional blending practice until they can blend and then can begin reading using decodable books. 


The programme includes regular assessment points, where teachers spend time assessing children on a one-to-one basis, so they can determine their secure knowledge of GPCs and common exception words(Tricky words). They are then able to allocat the appropriate book level for each child.


How should children practise reading? 

Children need to gain fluency in reading these GPCs in words through practice and so re-reading at home is very important. They also practise the GPCs in words and short phrases or sentences in their daily phonics sessions. This repeated practice helps children get to the point of being able to read with fluency, so they are able to tackle appropriate decodable books with a feeling of success, rather than frustration. As the children progress in their reading, they not only tackle more complex GPCs but also multi-syllabic words, compound words, contracted words and words with suffixes.