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Promoting Early Literacy of Preschool Children: A Study of the Effectiveness of Funnix Beginning Reading by Jean Stockard University of Oregon 2010
Effects of a Computer Based Beginning Reading Program on Young Children by Tara Watson and Kerry Hempenstall RMIT University 2008
The Effects of the Funnix Beginning Reading Program on the Reading Skills of Preschoolers. Lorraine A. Parlange Eastern Washington University, 2004, unpublished
Funnix is a Direct Instruction program. Direct Instruction has been demonstrated to be the most effective method of teaching beginning skills to children. Direct Instruction was developed by Zig Engelmann, who is senior author of Funnix.The research overwhelmingly concurs that the best way to teach beginning reading is through a phonics method of instruction. Here are some of the important requirements that the research has identified:
Before children begin reading, they must learn the sounds that letters make. There is more than one common sound for the vowels and for some of the other letters. For initial reading, children learn one sound for each letter or letter combination. All the words they read at first are made up of letters that make the sounds children have learned.
|All the words children read at first should be made up of letters that make the sounds children have learned.|
|Blending skills . . make learning to sound out words easier.|
|"text". . . should be decodable|
|Programs that have a cumulative review are greatly superior.|
|Children's ability to read . . increases when children are observed and monitored while they read out loud.|
City Springs Elementary School, in Baltimore for instance, the school that was once the lowest in a district of 115 elementary schools, is now 5th in reading performance. City Springs Elementary School, is a full-immersion Direct Instruction school. Similar results have been observed in elementary schools in California, Texas, Arkansas, Utah, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Boston, and many other cities and counties (such as Broward County, FL) and towns (such as Gunnison, UT).
An Educator's Guide to Schoolwide Reform
The Direct Instruction approach has been recognized by the American Institute for Research (AIR) as one of only two approaches for school-wide reform that has substantial research evidence that documents its effectiveness in elementary schools..
To see the report by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read, visit their website.
Funnix scores a 10.
SOUNDS: Funnix teaches sounds for the letters that will compose all the words that children read and teaches them before they appear in words. Funnix teaches all the "phonological" blending skills and rhyming skills that children need.
DECODABLE TEXT: Funnix has text that is 100% decodable, because its stories are composed entirely of words that children have been taught earlier in the program.
The program has a tight structure that is built around cumulative reviews and the principles that (a) everything that is taught is used in later applications and (b) every application is composed entirely of things children have been taught earlier.
AMPLE PRACTICE: Funnix provides lots and lots of practice in reading out-loud individual words, questions, and many stories-so it looks like fun, not practice. Funnix is set up so that parents who are observing and monitoring their children's performance can respond instantly with encouragement or correct answers.