About Toolkit 2 – reaching full fluency
Learning to read without help
This toolkit is for those who have completed Toolkit 1 or who already have a basic reading skill. They’ll want to continue to build their success and confidence until they can read without needing any further structured reading lessons. It’s the standard that children normally reach by the age of 11, just as they are leaving primary school.
Which toolkit should I use?
If your child needs help to reach reading fluency but can read more than a handful of words, you may be wondering which toolkit to buy. This list will help you decide whether to use Toolkit 1 or Toolkit 2. It shows every word introduced during Toolkit 1. All you have to do is ask your child to read down through the list, noting when they stumble over a word or struggle to read it. When the child makes his or her third mistake, start reading at whichever book they reached at that point in the list. If the child can read every book in Toolkit 1, it’s time to move on to Toolkit 2.
What’s different about Toolkit 2?
Taking off the stabilisers!
Those of you who have used Toolkit 1 will notice a few innovations with the second toolkit, and these subtle differences have been included for very good reasons based on years of research. The changes are around the theme of gradually taking away the structure that the reader has been supported with in the previous books, so that they can begin to read on their own without losing confidence. It’s a bit like that moment when you take the stabilisers off when learning to ride a bike!
No word cards
Toolkit 1 began with learning the words of the first book from flashcards. It’s an essential first step to build confidence with the first book but there is no need for further flashcard training. Children get demoralised when they learn from flashcards because they don’t see adults using them, so we don’t use them unless we need to either.
Disappearing blue boxes
In Toolkit 1, every time a new word was encountered, it was highlighted at the top of that page in a blue box. In Toolkit 2 the first half of the books have the blue boxes but the second half does not. The new words are being introduced but we don’t draw attention to it, because we want the reader to be comfortable with noticing new words and learning them, as indeed they will with any piece of reading in the wider world.
Less structured language
In Toolkit 1, the new words in the books were always introduced in a controlled way, with plenty of practise as they kept cropping up in later pages. Later on in Toolkit 2 the strictly structured language is relaxed. There’ll still be plenty of words they already know, but with general words included that they’ll encounter in other reading material they’ll be looking at elsewhere. It’s all part of getting ready to read anything.
Changing layouts and fonts
The last few books include chapters and chapter headings for the first time. The font changes too – instead of the unfussy font widely used in early reading books, you’ll notice that the font used is one you’ll see in ordinary books. The font size will get smaller as Toolkit 2 progresses too, more in line with ‘normal’ print.
There are exercises at the end of the last six books of Toolkit 1 and in the first six books of Toolkit 2. Our experience shows that children enjoy them and find them useful to embed their learning but after that children don’t tend to need the extra help.
The writing book
When Reading Revival was called upon as consultants by parents and schools whose children were falling behind with their reading, we found that many of these children were also struggling with their writing skills as well, having very poor handwriting when doing joined up writing.
This little book prepares a child for joined up writing, teaching the crucial skill of learning to form the letters in the right way. When the book is complete the child will be able to start practising joined up writing, but most importantly, with the ability to write quickly and neatly. The book is an added extra that teaches the very useful knack of neat handwriting. We’ve received great feedback about it so we included the book for your benefit too if you would like to use it.
I don’t think I need Reading Revival’s help any more – I just got 100% in my reading test!
Paul, age 12
He received extra help at secondary school that propelled him in a few weeks from the bottom to the top of his class.