Dandelion Launchers and Dandelion Readers

Dandelion Launchers and Dandelion Readers are designed to launch children into reading. They introduce new sounds very gradually and provide plenty of opportunity for practising reading the sounds in words.

Dandelion Launchers are ideal for children who are at the very early stages of learning to read and need extra support when blending sounds to read words. Each page has just one line of text with simple CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words to read, enabling children to gain confidence and build self-esteem.

Dandelion Readers follow the same phonic progression as the Launchers, but offer more text to a page as the series progresses. The length of text in the stories increases very gradually to keep pace with the child’s developing reading skills. The Readers go on to cover more complex parts of the English phonic code.

Dandelion Readers Levels 1, 2 and 3 and the Split Vowel series cover the vowel sounds and introduce the concept that the same sound can have alternative spellings:

 

Book

 

Level  1 Level  2 Level  3 Split Vowel Set
1

 

ai ai, ay, a ai, ay, a, a-e, ea a – e
2

 

ee ee, e, ea ee, e, ea, y e – e
3

 

oa oa, o, ow oa, o, ow, oe, o-e i – i
4

 

ur ur, er, ir ur, er, ir, or, ear o- e
5

 

ea ea, e, ai ea’ as, ae, ee or e u – e
6

 

ow ow, ou ow’ as ow or oe All spellings
7

 

oo oo, ew, ue oo, ew, ue, u-e  
8

 

igh igh, i, y igh, I, y, ie, i-e  
9

 

oo oo, oul, u oo’ as in boot or look  
10

 

or or, a, aw or, a, aw, au, al  
         

Dandelion Readers Level 1, 2 and 3 books can be used in two ways:

  • Children can read all ten books in Level 1, which will introduce them to one spelling of each vowel sound. They can then read Level 2, followed by Level 3, which will offer alternative spellings of the sounds learnt in Level 1.
  • Alternatively, children can read Book 1 from Levels 1, 2 and 3, followed by Book 2 in all three levels etc. This will introduce children to alternate spellings for each sound before moving on to the next sound.

The Workbooks that accompany the Launchers and Readers provide fun multisensory activities linked to the stories and characters in the books.

For more information on the sounds covered in the books and discounts available, these books can be found on the website here.

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Decodable Reading Books

 

Why are good decodable reading books so important for early readers?

Decodable reading books are books used in the early stages of teaching children to read with phonics. They contain only (or mainly) text that can be ‘decoded’ (or sounded out) based on the letter-sounds the child has already been taught. This encourages children to sound out words and blend sounds to read words, rather than guessing words from pictures or context.

This recent thread on Mumsnet is a good example of how frustrating it can be for children who are given the wrong sort of reading books when they are in the early stages of learning to read with phonics.

If a school is teaching a certain phonics programme such as Jolly Phonics, Read Write Inc., or Letters and Sounds, then in an ideal world the children would all be given decodable reading books that follow the same sequence as that particular scheme. Unfortunately, many schools still have large stocks of the Oxford Reading Tree ‘Biff and Chip’ style books. These use predictable, repetitive text with illustrations that are deliberately designed to provide clues to the text content. They also use many ‘sight words’ that cannot be decoded so the child who has been learning phonics gets very frustrated when presented with lots of words that contradict what they have been taught.

Children using these books soon develop a bad habit of guessing what the words might be rather than reading them. This may not be a problem whilst their reading books contain lots of pictures but eventually their memory for sight words will reach overload and if they haven’t learnt how to read the alphabetic code properly they will struggle to read more complex texts as they move on in school.

If your child brings home books that they are unable to read based on the phonic sounds they already know, the best advice is to share the book with them and help with any words they are unable to work out, to avoid them struggling and guessing words.

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