Reading Blocks

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Reading Blocks: A Step By Step Method to Teach Reading is a multisensory, step by step method that YOU can use to teach anyone how to read.

 

Unique Components of Reading Blocks:

  • A complete systematic, multisensory, phonics based, reading program, which can be customized for any age learner and any learning difference.
  • An original “Wall of Knowledge” scope and sequence which allows the instructor and learner to “see”, and understand exactly where they are on the path of learning to read, as well as exactly where they need to go.
  • Exclusive activities and reading material for each reading block that is perfectly matched to the skills being learned at that level. This takes the guess work out of finding appropriate material to use for practicing skills.
  • An easy to follow format which does not require months of training and a huge financial commitment.
  • A unique reading method that can be used by Teachers, Parents, Tutors and Reading Specialists alike; no training or background is necessary.
  • A multisensory learning method that is based on Orton-Gillingham methodology.
  • An easy to use assessment which is crucial for designing an effective, customizable, reading plan for each unique learner.
  • The ability to begin the program at a level appropriate to each learners’ needs, based on the assessment. This component saves time and minimizes boredom.

 

Lessons in Each Reading Block

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The Reading Blocks program breaks the learning to read process into 32 blocks, or chunks of knowledge. Think of each block as like a chapter. Each chapter contributes to the whole process of learning to read. Each block contains six separate sections which are:

  • Review – review previously learned material.
  • Introduce New – introduce new material and practice together.
  • Activity – reader independently practices new material.
  • ReGroup – discuss and review new material after independent practice.
  • Writing – practice independent writing using new material.
  • Reading – practice independent reading using new material.

 

All Materials Included

Each individual Reading Block contains all the materials needed to complete the block, including mini books and activities. The included mini books use controlled vocabulary to provide practice with the new skills covered in the current block as well as skills covered in previous blocks. Additional optional Decodable Readers are also recommended for each Block. 

Each new block builds upon the previously learned block/blocks and becomes progressively more challenging. The reader can take as long as he needs to master the material in one block before moving on to the next block. Mastery of all 32 blocks will give an individual the knowledge base in reading necessary to become a confident and fluent reader.

Origin of Reading Blocks

Strategies teaching reading

I developed the Reading Blocks method while working as a Reading Specialist with a client load of over eighty learners per week. The program I used had to be efficient in order to effectively work with this number of readers within the time constraints of a traditional school setting.

After hundreds of hours of research, and a lot of trial and error, I developed a method that finally worked. This is the book I was always looking for but could never find when I was searching for the best way to teach struggling learners how to read.

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This reading program can be used effectively with individuals who have: Autism, Dyslexia, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, and other learning challenges. The Reading Blocks method combines literacy research and brain research with common, inexpensive office supplies, and explicit instructions to form a unique and powerful reading program. Reading Blocks was developed to cover all the phonics skills necessary to becoming a good reader, in an incremental multi-sensory format. The content naturally must be geared towards a younger audience but the older non-readers were always kept in mind when developing the text.

Great For Ages 4 and Older – This program can be used in Kindergarten to Grade 3 when learning to read and in higher grades when there are gaps in a person’s reading skills. Reading Blocks can also be used with adults struggling to read even though the content is for younger ages.

Fry Sight Word List –  Each block only contains skills which were taught and practiced in a previous Block. Sight words do not always follow phonics rules but are necessary for fluent reading, so they are included in each block. The sight words were chosen according to the skills being taught in that Block as well as frequency of use.

Controlled Text – As a Reading Specialist, it was always frustrating using a reading program that included so many words that were too advanced for the level of the reader and never strategically taught. The reader would become frustrated and self-esteem would plummet. This program uses very controlled text and every skill is taught first and then reviewed periodically throughout the program. This ensures a high level of success for the reader.

 

Reading Blocks is a powerful resource that is easy enough for anyone to use for teaching anyone how to read.

This reading program can be used effectively with individuals who have: Autism, Dyslexia, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, and other learning challenges.

The Reading Blocks method combines literacy research and brain research with common, inexpensive office supplies, and explicit instructions to form a unique and powerful reading program.

The “Instructor” can be a teacher, a parent, or a tutor. No Experience Necessary!

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Veronica McCarthy

I am a Certified Reading Specialist who has taught reading in the school system as well as privately for over 25 years. Parenting two children with dyslexia, I have addressed the challenges of a struggling reader as a parent and as a teacher. My mission is to assist parents and teachers to help children become fluent readers, one reader at a time!


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7 thoughts on “Reading Blocks
  • Chris

    Wow, this is a very informative article! You have explained in detail all the components of the Reading Blocks teaching method. It really seems like a wonderful program.
    There is a learning method that you mentioned in your article “The Teach to the Wall strategy.”
    I know that this method really works because although I didn’t know it existed, that has always been how I prepare my EFL classes. I write my own material and before I actually teach I always “teach to the wall” out loud. This allows me to check if the material makes sense and to practice and prepare for the class. I always get new ideas to add to the lesson while practicing in this way.
    Thank you so much for the article.

  • Kurtis Quick

    Wow! I wish I had this when I was growing up. My dyslexia kicked my butt when I was young and had trouble reading and writing. This would have helped me a ton!

    • Hi Kurtis,
      Dyslexia is so common but it still goes undiagnosed! I’m sorry you had trouble reading and writing. But did you know that dyslexia is really an asset? You are one of the lucky ones that is able to use your brain differently than people without dyslexia. You are better able to think outside of the box and come up with unique solutions than others. So maybe it was difficult in school as a kid but now you have the upper hand in the computer age. If you know anyone else with dyslexia, let them know about my reading program. I think they will be grateful. Thanks for writing!
      Veronica

  • Kevin Bulmer

    What a terrific site & resource! More and more, I think people are looking to become more resourceful and empower themselves and their families with tools for success, or to supplement what’s available at preschool and elementary school. Your site is going to be a great help to those folks!
    I was (am) lucky. My first wife was (is) a home childcare provider and did a FABULOUS job with the kids and their reading. It really gave them a jump-start on life, and so I’m excited to see what you’re doing here. Keep it up!
    Best wishes,
    Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,
      You were lucky that your first wife took such an interest in teaching your kids how to read! I think more and more parents are getting involved with their kids learning, and this is a great thing for everyone. If you have a child who is struggling to read, you have to get involved. Sometimes the school just does not have the resources and this skill is mandatory now in this age of information. The technology available today has made it easier and easier to find the resources you need to teach your kids, which I think is why homeschooling is growing larger every year. Any parent that wants to teach their child how to read can find my program here. Thanks for writing!
      Veronica

  • marcia

    I just purchased your book. I am hoping this will work with my 10 year old downs syndrome daughter. She is mostly nonverbal. You suggest games but what do you do in the case when they don’t like to play games. Finally, I had tried to teach her reading in the past but she seemed bored by it. Her teacher suggested , she may not accept me as her tutor.

    • Hi Marcia,
      Reading Blocks will definitely work with your daughter, just make sure to move forward at her unique pace. You said she is mostly nonverbal. Does she have the physical ability to make sounds? Reading Blocks teaches every sound in the English language individually. She needs to see a picture of the sound (letter card), and hear the sound to make for this letter. I suggest the letter “a” and “p” for your first two sounds. These two letters are made by using completely different mouth movements. Have a small hand mirror so she can look at you making the sound and then look in the mirror at her own mouth making the sound. Just work on the letter “a” until she knows it and then begin the letter “p”. Another good tool is the small phone piece that you can buy on Amazon. I put a link in my store for the right one. This is a good tool because as she says the sound into the mouthpiece she will also hear the sound in her ear. This technique uses three senses; touch (holding the phone), hearing (hearing the sound she is making in her ear),and muscle movement (the muscles in her mouth). All of these have different pathways going into the brain. This will give her more to “grab” when she is learning the sound which will make it easier to remember.
      What are your daughter’s strengths? You want to incorporate any of her strengths into your lesson. Let me know more about her likes and dislikes and I can help you plan your lesson. Study all the information in the section before the Reading Block material. This will give you what you need to know to set up your lesson for success. You know your daughter better than anyone else. You can teach her to read. One more tip – use positive reinforcement only! That is very important!! If you feel you are getting frustrated, end the lesson. You need to keep the lessons happy and fun to create the most effective connections in the brain.
      One final suggestion, you may want to take a look at a product called Reliv (www.reliv.com). There is a children’s product that has a lot of ingredients for the brain. I am a distributor and I can give you my discount if you want to try it. I think if you give your daughter the extra nutrition while you are working on each Reading Block, you will see great improvements. I have personally seen this with other kids.
      Congratulations on taking the first steps! You can do this! Feel free to contact me with any questions. I will gladly help you to be successful. This is a challenging task but I don’t think anything else is as rewarding as helping your child learn how to read.
      Veronica

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