Friday, March 15, 2013

R.E.A.D.S: A Review

I was asked to review the R.E.A.D.S program by EGM Educational Systems, LLC for the TOS Review Crew.

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I was given all that is shown in the above picture to use.
- Parent's Manual: It explains how to use the program with your children.  How to utilize each of the components you receive from the reader strip to the question cards.
-Question Cards: There are 30 cards on a metal ring that you use to gauge how much your child has comprehended from their reading material.
-Reward Chart and Stickers: A great way to motivate your child to read and work on improving their skills.
-Magic Finger and Reading Guide Strip: The finger is a fun way to keep track of where the child is reading and the strip blocks surrounding content except the line the child is currently reading.
-Speedy Speller: Contains 1,400 spelling words with room to add more words as the child learns them.  Also includes common abbreviations and punctuation.
All of this comes in a nice reusable pouch to keep it organized.  The cost for this is $19.95 USD.

A sample of some of the benefits of  R.E.A.D.S. from the website:

  • Works with any reading material whether it’s chosen by the teacher, parent or child. There is no need to buy supplemental reading material.
  • Enhances the parent’s skills to effectively help their child with reading.
  • Provides a method to verify that the child comprehended the material read.
  • Works for elementary grades 1 – 4 for readers below, at or above grade level.
I found this benefits list to be rather accurate.  I tested the product with my 2nd grade daughter who was on the verge of truly reading, and this program helped her because it allowed her to read books she wanted rather than a text book.  She was able to grab one of the many Easy Reader 1 books we own and use the strip to guide her in the reading of the book.  The strip really helped to keep her focused on what she was reading and not wandering on the page to other words or pictures.  The sticker chart was also a great motivator as well because she was able to see her progress as she finished her goals. The nice thing with the reward chart is that it's versatile for your family.  You create the goals, whether it be to read one complete book a week or one a day.  This way, you're able to tailor the program to many in your schoolroom based upon their individual reading levels. Another aspect of the program that was neat, though I didn't use quite as much, were the question cards.  They are vague enough to be used with any book to gauge your child's comprehension of the story.  They ask questions about the main character, plot, and the like allowing you to use any book on hand.  

My favorite part of this program is the versatility.  I didn't have to buy any extra materials.  I could use what I had on hand.  Though the site says it's recommended for grades 1-4, I believe that even struggling 5th and even 6th graders would benefit from the program as it really helps them to concentrate on what they're reading as well as help them to comprehend by asking them questions from the cards.  It also allows for dialogue between the parent and child that may not have happened with use of the guided questions. 

Overall, I enjoyed the program and plan on using it with my other littles when they get to this stage.

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