Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Review: REWARDS Intermediate

REWARDS Intermediate published by Sopris West
Reading Excellence: Word Attack Rate Development Strategies

This is not something you'll find on the tables at curriculum fairs, but if you have an upper elementary level student that is struggling with decoding and upper level reading skills - this is a great resource!

First, I appreciate that this program packs so much into only 25 lessons. The scope of the lessons is limited, but considering that the program is not a long term approach to remediation that's to be expected. Each lesson takes about an hour and is broken down into bite size components that keep it interesting and give it a nice pace from start to finish. With a strong emphasis on recognizing affixes for decoding, there is also minimal spelling and vocabulary instruction.

Rewards teaches the student how to decode multisyllabic words, first by walking them through the overt strategies (circle prefixes, circle suffixes, underline the vowels, say the parts, say the whole word, make it a real word). then by moving into a covert use of those strategies. There's also a spelling component that encourages students to successfully spell by recognizing word parts (syllables), but overall the spelling portion is too little and insufficient to support gains in this area.

As affixes are taught throughout, it's worth noting that it is built on the premise that 80% of multisyllabic words have one or more affixes. Also in each lesson, select vocabulary words are introduced with usage examples provided. The student is then given a prompt to use the word by sharing an experience related to the vocabulary word, i.e.: tell me something that is "repulsive" to you.

In the final 10 lessons, in addition to sentence and passage reading and comprehension exercises, there is a word family component, which strikes me similar to the method of Sequential Spelling. This exercise visually reinforces the morphographic nature of english language by building on the root of a word:

Pre-test and post-test allow you to measure progress in decoding and reading fluency. Recommend for students in grades 4-6, who have mastered the decoding of single syllable words and basic reading skills, though not reading fluently and accurately on grade level. Some of the text is worded toward a group setting, but it is easily adaptable and well suited to a one-on-one teaching situation.

The teacher's guide alone is a whopping $89, but add in the student book and for around $100 you'll have a very effective and efficient short-term remedial reading resource at your fingertips.

1 comment:

Gabe said...

Hi Tina,

I stumbled upon your blog while googling for reading programs. My partner of mid 20s is diagnosed with dyslexia and is struggling with reading and writing at school. Which of the programs would you recommend I try first? REWARDS sounds pretty good although not sure how it compares to other reading programs in the market. Your advice would be much appreciated. email:

Related Posts with Thumbnails