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FreeReading.net: An Open Source Reading and Phonics Program

written by: Laurie Patsalides • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 3/2/2012

Many times teachers hear the word "free" and get excited only to be disappointed with the content of what is really provided for "free". No catch here. The freereading.net website is a research based Internet resource that provides an intervention reading program and phonics program for teachers.

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    Freereading.net: The Best Phonics Program on the Net

    Free Reading is an open source website for teachers that has a control board of researchers, and is authored by teachers.

    With the push for Kindergarteners to read earlier, many school districts in the United States now require students to master the alphabet sounds prior to December, so the teacher can begin teaching words in January; however, some of the outdated phonics programs are created to be taught across the whole school year for letter sounds and writing letters. This may lead teachers scrambling to search for material to update and/or supplement their phonics programs in compliance.

    All phonics programs are not created equal. Freereading.net is the web's best hidden phonics resource. In this program, letter sound and writing letter instruction is completed by week 16-20.

    The purpose of the creation of this program and website is to give teachers a free phonics and reading program. The premise being, if utilized in the classroom, then the school could decrease expenditures on phonics textbooks. This is a truly innovative and thoughtful concept to help administrators, teachers, students, families and the environment.

    The program is designed for K-1st grades, but can be used to differentiate instruction from PreK through second grade or higher if necessary. The information in the program can also be used as a reading intervention program for struggling readers.

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    Components of the Program

    Teachers can use the program in the following ways:

    • to use the forty week phonics program (bear in mind that the program is created to go at your own pace, you can use some or all of the forty weeks or you can change the pace to suit your classroom needs);
    • to get great lesson plans, including those for fluency and comprehension,
    • to share their own lesson plans,
    • to find free picture phonic cards,
    • to find learning games,
    • to create word lists,
    • to download decodable texts, and/or
    • to find free assessments.

    There are even audio and visual examples of the lesson being taught to help if needed.

    Quite honestly, I have visited the site several times since finding it and every time I visit, a new treasure is discovered. My advice would be to keep reviewing the website as I have, whether you want to use the whole instructional program or just its parts to supplement your own phonics program, you will not be disappointed. It is rare to see a quality program like this given in its entirety to help teachers for free... don't miss out.

    Source: personal experience trying the program