Prep and Use of All About Reading

This little reading program is quite effective. It also has more "pieces" to it than any other program we have used.

  • 3 Reading books
  • Teacher book
  • Student Activity book (with tear out activities and reading practice pages)
  • Green Word cards
  • Yellow Phonogram Cards
  • 3x5 storage box
  • Phonogram Tiles
  • Magnetic White Board

That is a lot to keep track of and actually USE during a lesson. But we do use it all! I have a kinestetic child who really flourishes with this program. Each piece is just as important as the next. She would be bored with just the Reading Practice Sheets. So we read them from green Word Cards too. She would be bored with just the yellow Phonogram Cards, so we use the Tiles on the white board too. It all goes to gether so perfectly, to keep her involved in learning to read. She loves the cut out activities too.

And in order to keep my head in the "All About Reading" game, I have to have it organized so I'm not floundering and searching for one of the key elements.

1. Cut off Bindings

My first order of business: Bindings have to go. I cut the bindings off most of our workbooks. Ripping pages from books drives me crazy. The mess, the tearing. So I take them to my local print shop (who luckily lets me do it for free) and apparently it is rather inexpensive if you do have to pay. When I get all my books in the beginning of the year, I cut those bad-boys off. Good bye bindings!

2. Organize Lessons for Easy Access

I use a 3 ring binder and plastic sheet protectors to separate out the lessons. (AAR Level 1 only required 26 sheet protectors, but AAR Level 2 needed more.) For Level 1 the activities and reading practice sheets are combined, but AAR Level 2 they are separated, front and back portions of the Activity Book. I separated Level 1 and inserted each lesson's activity sheets in a sheet protector. Each page says the Lesson number on the bottom of the page. One lesson goes in each plastic sleeve, whether it had 1 or 3 pages.

Next, I pulled apart the green Word Cards and the yellow Phonogram Cards being sure to keep them in order. Luckily, they say the Lesson number at the bottom. So I inserted the Lesson's green and yellow cards.

I inserted three things into each of the sheet protectors: Activity sheets, green Word Cards, and yellow Phonogram Cards. I staggared the location of the cards so that it wasn't a huge stack sitting at the bottom of each sheet protector in the binder.

The point is to have all the lesson's stuff grouped together, so I can just pull out everything in the sleeve and be ready to work. (You could also add the Phonogram Tiles, but I use All About Spelling with other students, so I have to keep them all on my white board.)

3. Reading Practice Sheets

I wanted this to be separate from the activity sheets. My dad has a comb binding machine that I just love using, so I bound these sheets back together. I was originally going to slip them into sheet protectors and put into a 1/2 inch 3-ring binder. (But I love that binding machine!) It works well so I can open it all the way, fold it back, and have only one page showing at a time.

4. Where we keep it all

Workboxes. I've written about how we do workboxes. (Check out the workboxes post here.) So one workbox drawer is dedicated to All About Reading. The little card box doesn't fit in the drawer so that just sits on top of her drawer system. And, of course, the white board hangs up high, so little people can't wipe the letters off. (Had happened several times.) We pull it down and lay it on the desk for when we want to work with the tiles.

There are so many elements of this program, I didn't want to get lost in the cards and tiles and activity pages. Everyone should experience the fullness of this program. And being a little better organized could help you be more effective and prepared.