Reviewed by Alex Scoble
Action Factor®, Inc.
PMB 218, 3195 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Suite 900
Beavercreek, OH 45434-6390 -- Ph & Fax: 937/426-4364
Sing Your Way through Phonics" is a 3-Volume Classroom Ensemble set of phonics programs that are ideal for creative and active learners. The packet includes 3-volume instructional music compact discs, Mini-Charts for visual reinforcement, reproducible song lyrics and transparencies, a teaching suggestions booklet included in each compact disc and read-and-sing picture books with sing-along compact discs.
Learning phonics can be difficult for children because of all the different rules the English language holds. That is why it is ideal to learn in an active way, which allows for children to have fun while learning. Reading is not an easy process. Material must be taught in a manner that may be easily absorbed and that can be practiced and applied. The combination of music and education makes learning a fun process that will inspire children to want to learn.
The "Song Lyrics Booklets" hold the lyrics to "Song Lyrics" volumes I, II and III. Inside the booklets are songs such as "Alphabet Letters" and "What’s That Sound?" that provide catchy lyrics, which help teach children the fundamentals of phonics. Another key feature of "Song Lyrics" is how the booklet has highlighted the key words and letters in the lyrics in order to make the particular lesson easier to understand.
The three different "Mini-Charts" booklets are comprised of big letters and words, which make it easy for children to learn phonics concepts such as letter formation, phonics rules, spelling patterns and more. Concepts such as short vowel spelling patterns, common contractions and letter/sound correspondence are integrated into the three different volumes, which allow for different sets of difficulties.
A good example of how Action Factor has developed an imaginative way of teaching children is in Volume I of the "Mini-Charts," where the alphabet is illustrated in big bold letters, which are accompanied by drawings that resemble the shape of the letter that is being shown. The way that Action Factor displays the information makes it a lot easier for children to recognize the letters of the alphabet. This constant reinforcement helps children recognize the shapes of the letters so that when they go on to learn how to write, they may have a better recollection of what the alphabet is comprised of.
All three volumes use similar strategies, since they all tend to use big bold letters and are all orientated toward helping children learn and pronounce a variety of different kinds of words such as once, nice, circus while underlining the emphasized portion of the word or name. The larger letters and underlining of the segments make it easy for children to learn how to pronounce words quickly. Overall, the three volumes cover phonics basics such as "capital letters, lower-case letters, consonant sounds, vowel identification, short/long vowel sounds, short vowel spelling patterns, consonant digraphs and blends, long vowel and silent vowel, silent e spelling patterns and irregular spelling patterns." They also teach children how to "recognize and spell words with letter combinations like c-h= k" to educate children how to use contractions properly by teaching them, long vowel spellings, syllables and more.
The "Teaching Suggestions" booklets are quite helpful in guiding the lessons for the different activities. The booklets guide the parent or supervisor by giving tips on how to introduce the topic, help the students learn the material, and give advice on how to reinforce the material that is being taught. The booklets also give specific instructions under every lesson plan that will help children learn with more ease. This is an excellent tool for helping children learn the fundamentals of phonics. -- A.S.
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