Today I added a page to this site that shows an overview of all the Sound City Reading books. You can find it under these menu headings: A Phonetic Reading Program - Teaching Levels And Materials - Overview Of Teaching Books. I've listed the books by levels with a brief explanation of how they relate to each other. I hope this is helpful. I'll be adding it to the Sequence Charts Book.
I also added two cursive handwriting books. The first one is to be printed on legal paper. Students trace and copy large cursive letters in this book. The second one is to be printed on 11 by 17 inch ledger paper, if you have that printing capability. Students trace large letters only in this book. To find the books go to PDF Files For Phonics Books And Workbooks - Scroll down to the cursive handwriting heading. I've used large handmade cursive patterns in my second grade classroom years ago. I've used the handwriting books I just uploaded with my grandchildren and students that I've tutored. If you're willing to take the time to have students trace these large letter patterns, I think you'll be pleased with the results.
My granddaughter was very slow to pick up manuscript handwriting, so I used the cursive patterns for a few weeks before she started third grade to prepare her for her initial cursive handwriting instruction at school. We had to work very hard together to get to the point that she could write the letters accurately. We didn't get through the whole alphabet, but we managed to cover enough letters so that she did well when she began third grade.
I tutored a student who went through the large manuscript handwriting patterns and then the following year he went through the large cursive patterns. It has taken a lot of practice but he is now writing cursive very nicely.
I have been trying for weeks now to finish a book of sequence charts so that I can put it on this site. I usually don't see how time consuming a job will be until I'm in the middle of it. The book has been helpful for me to use when planning, and I know it will be helpful for others. The charts include a list of the letters and phonics patterns taught in each book, in the order in which they are taught. I decided I needed to add a short description of each book to provide a better idea of what is taught at each level. This has slowed me down quite a bit. I thought it would be helpful to provide a few small pictures, including the cover and some sample pages for each book. I think this will be worthwhile but it is taking much longer than I expected - with me this is usually the case.
The first set of sample pages I inserted had a resolution far too high - the file became so large it crashed repeatedly. So I had to redo the pictures in a lower resolution. In order to provide the small cover pictures I had to finish revising the covers so that they're all in color, and I still have a few left to do.
Before I can finish making the sample page images I have to make sure all of the books are complete and the pages are up to date and accurate. There are several books that still need to be completed, including some handwriting books and a short vowel workbook. I'm too stubborn to leave out those things because I want anyone who downloads the book to get a complete picture of what is available and be able to see how all the parts of the program fit together. I've been working with the materials for years, but there are many pieces to the program and it is truly challenging to explain them all.
I am continuing to work on all of this as much as possible and still hope to get the book finished soon.
I've been working on creating color covers for all of the Sound City Reading books, even the books that have all black print on the inside pages. This makes them look a lot more appealing, but it has been a time consuming process to redesign so many covers. To make things more difficult, I design them in Microsoft Publisher but must save the new file as a pdf file to share with others and the colors don't turn out exactly the same going from a Publisher to a PDF file. It takes a lot of time to tweak the colors going back and forth between the two types of files.
I'm anxious to get the covers finished because I want to use images of the covers, as well as images of a few of the inside pages, to create an overview of all the books in the Sound City Reading program, with a brief written explanation for each book. I'm adding this overview to a Sequence Charts book that I've created for my own use for many years. The book has the sequence charts for all the books in this program. It includes which patterns are taught and shows the order in which they are introduced, along with a list of phonetic words taught for that pattern and any related sight words. I realized not long ago that I need to add the Sequence Charts book to this site so that anyone who is using various parts of the program can benefit from it. I'm in the process of expanding the book to include a description with images for each book at each level. It always takes me much longer than I had hoped to complete projects like this. I'm anxious to finish soon and get the book posted for those of you who need it.
I'm going to use this blog to update readers about any additions to this web site or changes that I make. I'm using a blog format because that allows visitors to make comments. This will allow you to ask questions about the web site, teaching materials, pdf files, etc. If you are using any of the materials and have comments I would love to hear them.
I've purchased screen recording software (Camtasia) and have learned how to record my voice - modeling how to teach the picture/word lessons in the Phonetic Words And Stories books - while I point to the words and pictures on the page with the mouse. I'm planning to record each page in all eight books. This will provide a resource for parents, teachers, and tutors who want to use the books with students but are unsure of how to proceed. It will take some time to record so many pages. I'll post them as I complete them.
I've discovered that I can post these screencast recordings as well as any of my regular videos on a web site called Vimeo. This allows me to control what is shown so that anyone who watches will see only my videos and no others. This is important, so that random, possibly inappropriate videos won't pop up at the end of one of my teaching videos. Vimeo also provides excellent streaming so that the videos play smoothly when you watch them. I'll post the links to the Vimeo videos on this Sound City Reading site, so you will be able to reach them from here.
I'll start by recording the sound story and sound charts for each book. This will be a big help for adults who aren't familiar with the letter and phonogram pattern sounds. I'll post these on a "sound chart" page in the video section. Look for the video tab on the menu bar.
Whenever I complete and upload a new screencast or video I'll post that information on this blog so that you'll know what is available.
I haven't had a blog before, so I'm new to this. It seems like this would provide a good way to communicate with visitors to the Sound City Reading web site. If you have comments or questions, you'll still be able to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can also post them here. I'll try to answer any questions you may have.
As you can see, this site is still under construction. I'm working hard trying to get the pdf files for all of the newest materials loaded onto the web site. For each item that I upload, I have to check it to try to eliminate any errors, create a new table of contents, and think carefully about adding instructions.
The new materials are similar to the books, workbooks, and games that I've loaded onto my old website at www.soundcityreading.com. They use many of the same stories and pictures. What I've done is rearrange, in some cases, the order of introduction for the phonetic patterns, which also involves changing the order of some of the stories. I'm really happy with the way the new books are turning out.
I've gone to a rhyming format for two of the new short vowel books. Two other short vowel books have both rhyming and body-coda word lists (words that begin with the same letters). I'll explain more about the short vowel books in another post.
I'm hoping to add more videos after I've uploaded all of the new books and workbooks. It will take me some time to get to that point.
I hope you find something on this site that you can use.