Fun Phonics Multi-Syllable WordBuilder

Substantially revised and expanded, the new Multi-syllable WordBuilder materials help older students crack the complex codes of multi-syllable words. The combination of decoding assistance and vocabulary building helps students in third grade and beyond make the leap to proficiency. Help students un-lock the much more complex, two- and three-syllable words found in social studies, science and other texts used by older students.

Many students who have mastered the codes of one- and two-syllable words become confused by the new patterns which occur in three-syllable words. Multi-syllable WordBuilder is one of the few sets of teaching materials which teach these more advanced skills, using vocabulary geared to a wide range of ages and skill levels.

Multi-syllable WordBuilder is the advanced level of the Fun Phonics series. It uses the same principles of providing clear instruction in each new pattern, along with structured practice in reading many examples in a carefully constructed progression. The arrangement of the words is designed to teach student to respond automatically to phonetic structures. Decoding then becomes intuitive, rather than a set of memorized rules.

Each lesson builds upon and reinforces patterns taught earlier. Because learning to decode the words is only part of the process of learning to read, Multi-syllable WordBuilder adds vocabulary development exercises (definitions and sentence completion tasks) to expand the struggling reader's ability to recognize words and their meaning.

By carefully linking decoding with word meaning, each reinforces the other, and students learn to respond to both at the same time. Rereading the words in order to answer questions about meaning serves to make each word more familiar and more nearly a sight word. Research findings suggest an “interactive” process between meaning, phonetic structure, and the familiarity of words.

Multi-syllable WordBuilder Includess:

A Teacher's Manual to guide instruction and enable teachers to adapt the materials to students with varying vocabulary and skill levels;

Six books designed for individualized instruction in decoding and vocabulary development. Each student page includes six words which follow a single code pattern (or contrast two related patterns) using a progressively more difficult vocabulary. The facing teacher page contains a suggested dialog for presenting the material, along with questions to ensure the student understands the words being read.

An optional book of Word Lists, similar to those in the Fun Phonics, which presents the Multi-syllable WordBuilder words in a format more readily used with groups of four to six students. When using the Multi-syllable WordBuilder Word Lists, the dialogues and questions contained in the six Tutorial Books serve as the Teacher's Manual for presenting information.

For Whom is Multi-syllable WordBuilder Appropriate?

Multi-syllable WordBuilder continues and expands the skills learned in Fun Phonics Kits I and II. It reviews two-syllable phonic structures, and develops the ability to read words with more than two syllables. WordBuilder is useful for teaching poor readers in third grade or beyond, who can read most one-syllable and two-syllable words. It reviews two-syllable words with specific phonic structures, and then teaches children to read the three-syllable words with that structure. Because of this built-in review, second or third graders who have not mastered reading two-syllable words with all structures can be included in groups using WordBuilder. Older poor readers, who often resent learning to sound out “baby” words, find WordBuilder a grown-up way to learn the skills they missed earlier. It stretches vocabulary and comprehension skills by teaching decoding skills with a continuously expanding vocabulary. When students have successfully completed the WordBuilder books, if their listening comprehension skills are at the sixth- or seventh-grade level, they should be able to read successfully at a sixth- or seventh-grade level.

Overview of the Skills Taught

The Fun Phonics series relies on the strategy of carefully planned, step-by-step decoding instruction. WordBuilder provides many experiences reading words that require children to apply each new decoding skill, along with supportive vocabulary-building and comprehension activities. These decoding and comprehension activities need to be accompanied by time spent reading stories orally. The stories children read should usually be those they are also reading in their classrooms, so stories are not furnished in the Fun Phonics series.

In Fun Phonics programs, reading a large number of words on each word list is one of the major strategies for helping each child learn to sequence and blend the sounds and respond to each rule or code signal. In Fun Phonics, children do not learn a rule by memorizing the rule and then reading one or two examples to illustrate it. At the beginning of each lesson, they are told the rule and shown a few words that illustrate it. Then they learn to respond automatically to the new signals by reading many words on carefully organized word lists that illustrate the new rule. Gradually they learn to respond automatically to the new rule or new code signal. Although they may not always be able to recite the rules, they are able to read new words with these signals on other lists and in stories.

Kit I teaches the sounds for the letters, and how to sequence and blend these sounds to read and write one-syllable words, with particular emphasis on short vowel words. Kit II briefly reviews these Kit I skills, adding less common digraphs, longer and more difficult blends, and one and two-syllable words with long and short vowels, vowel-R, silent-E, and vowel teams. Multi-syllable WordBuilder reviews and builds upon these skills to teach the decoding of multi-syllable words.


Fun Phonics II

Fun Phonics



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