The First Focus Reading System
The First Focus Reading System incorporates phonics in helping children to learn to read. First Focus Reading teaches specific phonics and reading skills through a series of charts that is shared with students and parents. Parents are welcome to participate in the program as we provide weekly updates on the progress and the current skills being taught in the classroom. We also offer Parent Training for those parents who wish to understand the curriculum and to be trained in the First Focus Reading methodology (see Parent Training). By using phonics, we start developing a solid foundation in reading and related language arts skills.
The First Focus Phonics System does not require the student to memorize lists of words or have a photographic memory to read successfully. Each "Chart" focuses on one phonics reading skill concept. The First Focus Reading Chart skills provide the opportunity for a student to master each reading and phonics skill at their own pace. Each reading skill is reinforced through a series of reading games and exercises.
A brief outline of the First Focus reading skills taught via the Chart system is as follows:
Chart 1 - Letters of the Alphabet, the lesson where students learn the names of the letters
Chart 2 - Consonant sounds as described by the imaginary symbols
Introduction to the First Focus Reading Code: How to decode a word into the correct vowel and consonant sounds.
Chart 3a - Reading Long Vowel words
Chart 3b -Reading Short Vowel words
Chart 3 ab - Reading Combined Long & Short Vowel words
Chart 4 - Consonant Digraphs, such as sh, ch, bl,
Chart 5 - Consonant Blends, such as bl, br, cr, st, etc
Chart 4&5 - Combined digraphs and blends
The Charts 6-10 Course is designed to teach a student how to master the many exceptions and blended sounds in English.
For example, when a Y is the first letter of a word, the sound is consistent, such as yes, yesterday, yacht, yahoo, yawn, year, yellow, yogurt.
However, in words with a Y at the end of the word, we have some challenges. For example, listen to the sound of the Y in the word cry and then the sound of the Y in the word Candy. In the first word, (cry) the y has the sound of an I, in the second word, (candy) the Y has the sound of an E or EE.
Charts 6-10 provide a systematic way to address the unique sounds created by vowel and consonant combinations. The program builds a core foundation that will serve the student throughout his or her academic and professional career.