Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Magic Stories: Reading Comprehension and Fluency {review}

Anyone that has taught a child to read knows you go from one phase to another and it can be painful at times, but it is so rewarding.  Now, with four kids, it seems like I get through one phase of reading with a child, and the next child is ready for their next big hurdle!  As my third child is moving from letter-sound recognition into the "learning to read" phase, her old brother has moved solidly from the practicing for fluency into into the "reading to learn" phase with the oldest.  There are many ways to help bridge the gap and help children develop fluency, but today I want to bring The Magic Stories to your attention.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

The Magic Stories is a new supplemental reading program from Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series.  The stories are written around a 2nd-3rd grade reading level, and designed to follow up The Reading Game, though the game is not actually a prerequisite for using this program.  If you're not familiar with The Reading Game, it is a game that teaches high frequency words (with instructions for incorporating phonics) through memory matching, and then allows the child to use those words to read books! The Magic Stories help children move from those early stages of reading, and build confidence and comprehension through fun and interesting stories and activities.

The entire package is available as a one-time download.  The books are optimized for iPad use, but can be printed or read from other devices.  In addition to the six books, each book comes with a set of Naughty 40 flashcards, and a set of activities.  The Naughty 40 are words that may be more difficult for children within the transitional phase of reading.  Parents are supposed to go over the words first, to make sure children are comfortable reading the words and understand the meaning.  In the file of exercises, there are four activities.   One of the most interesting activities, in my opinion, is the True/False maze.  As a comprehension exercise, children read a phrase and follow the True/False path.  Depending on their answer, they may progress successfully to the end of the maze, or if too many mistakes are made, they may be instructed to read the story again.  The other exercises are Finish the Sentence (more comprehension), Imagine, and Finish the Story.  These last two activities vary for each book, but encourage creative thinking and writing.

You can find the full instructions and more information about the worksheets and how to implement the program on the website (navigation bar) and under the Free Resources section.  I think it is pretty straightforward though, and once you read through and look at the material, it is very easy to implement.  An activity or two a day would make the book last about a week, making the program last about six weeks, barring any struggles or issues.  I like that the schedule and pacing is at the discretion of the parents, particularly for this phase of reading.

Overall, I think this is a cute little program with quality stories.  I could see this being used in tutoring sessions, but it seems like an excellent supplement for transitional readers who need practice with fluency and comprehension, especially those who enjoy worksheets and extra activities to go with their stories.

You can currently receive a 25% discount on The Magic Stories by entering the code raisingreaders at checkout.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

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