Road To The Code: A Phonological Awareness Program for Young Children / Edition 1

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For helping kindergartners and first graders who are having difficulty on their early literacy skills, Road to the Code is a successful, 11-week program for teaching phonemic awareness and letter sound correspondence. Developmentally sequenced, each of the 44 15-20-minute lessons features three activities - Say-It-and-Move-It, Letter Name and Sound Instruction, and Phonological Awareness Practice - that give students repeated opportunities to practice and enhance their beginning reading and spelling abilities. Road to the Code is backed by more than 10 years of study in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. Detailed scripted instructions and reproducible materials - such as Alphabet Picture and Sound Bingo cards - make this program easy for teachers to use. Teachers have the flexibility to work with students individually or in small groups and may adjust the amount of time it takes for a student to complete the program. With these proven phonological awareness activities, educators can confidently intervene before children have a chance to fail.

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Editorial Reviews

Hugh W. Catts
Great new program! . . . Has the potential of being the most useful product of its kind on the market. I plan to recommend it highly.
Reading Specialist, Larchmont, NY - Cathy Melamed
"Engaging and easy-to-use . . . provides beginning readers with the practice and reinforcement that is so crucial to the development of early reading skills."
Assistant Professor Elementary Education, Queens University of Charlotte - Darilyn M. Butler
"A great phonological awareness program for young children . . . activities and strategies are developmentally appropriate and can be adapted to meet the needs of individual children."
Behavioral Associates of Runnemede - Charles C. Wills
"Very user-friendly and easily adapted to serve our student's needs. The information particularly was informative for my paraprofessional staff to assist in supporting the students."
Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama - Myrtis Johnson
"The strategies and activities presented in this book will be very beneficial in preparing young children to become proficient readers and writers."
The Midwest Book Review - The Bookwatch
"A successful 11-week program for teaching phonemic awareness and letter/sound correspondence."
Joan Waldman

DO NOT PUT IN PRINT I apologize for not getting back to you before Aug 19, but I'm not so interested in having my endorsement in print. I do want you to know, however, that I found the Road to the Code program extremely effective for a VERY language disabled but bright student. The amount of structured repetition and review were better than any other materials I have used, and they have allowed him to begin to read. I was only sorry that the program did not continue with more letters. I used the model of the program to extend it and created the lessons and materials myself for those letters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557664389
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: SPIRAL
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 206,294
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Wynne Ball, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she was the recipient of two major teaching awards. She has a doctoral degree in education from Syracuse University, where she also earned a master's degree in urban education. Before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Ball received a second master's degree from Northeastern Illinois University and taught at Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois; she also taught at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she created and coordinated Le Moyne's program for special education teachers. Prior to her university work, Dr. Ball was an urban classroom teacher for 12 years. In Chicago, she directed and taught in The Parents School, an early model in alternative urban education, and she continues to do educational consulting nationally. Her research in phonological awareness has won her grants and fellowships from the National Dyslexia Research Association, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Ball is returning to UIC after completing another 2 years as a full-time third-grade classroom teacher during which she deepened her belief that classroom practices and classroom teachers must inform educational research.

Benita A. Blachman, Ph.D., is a professor in the Reading and Language Arts Department and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Learning Disabilities in the School of Education at Syracuse University. She also holds a courtesy appointment in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. She has a doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut and is a former special education teacher, reading specialist, and learning disabilities consultant. She has published extensively in the area of early literacy, focusing her research on early intervention to prevent reading failure and on the factors that predict reading achievement. Dr. Blachman is currently directing a project at Syracuse University (in collaboration with researchers at Yale Medical School and the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center) funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to investigate the influence of intensive reading intervention on patterns of brain activation in young children. Dr. Blachman has served on the professional advisory boards of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the National Dyslexia Research Foundation, and the Neuhaus Center. Her edited book Foundations of Reading Acquisition and Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention was published recently by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Rochella Black, M.S., has been a kindergarten teacher, first-grade teacher, and special education resource teacher for 24 years, teaching in both the inner-city schools of Syracuse, New York, and the suburban schools in Northport-East Northport, New York. Over the years, she has also served as a private tutor for students of all ages who were experiencing difficulty learning to read. In addition, Ms. Black was the project coordinator of the large-scale kindergarten and first-grade reading research project directed by Dr. Blachman during which the Road to the Code manual was developed and evaluated. She has presented numerous seminars and in-service courses for teachers on the effectiveness of specific activities for developing phonological awareness in children at the beginning stages of reading. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in social studies and two master's degrees from Syracuse University in elementary education and special education with a specialization in learning disabilities. Her publications have appeared in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Darlene M. Tangel, Ph.D., is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Reading and Language Arts

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Road to the Code: A Phonological Awareness Program for Young Children, by Benita A. Blachman, Ph.D., Eileen Wynne Ball, Ph.D., Rochella Black, M.S., & Darlene M. Tangel, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2000 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Materials: 1 Say-It-and-Move-It sheet per child

2 disks or tiles per child

Today you will work on single sounds and single sounds repeated:

  • /a/
  • /s/
  • /t/
  • /t/ ^ /t/
  • (^ indicates a slight pause)

To begin the lesson, each child has one Say-It-and-Move-It sheet and one disk. You should also have a Say-It-and-Move-It sheet facing the children, so it is actually upside down for you.

For this first lesson, when you give directions or ask questions, it is expected that the children will respond as a group.

Teacher (T) says: We are going to play a game called Say-It-and-Move-It. What's the name of the game?

Wait for the students to respond with "Say-It-and-Move-It."

T:Watch me and listen. I'm going to say a sound. /a/.

Remember to use the short sound of a as in apple.

T:Now I'm going to say it and move it.

Demonstrate for the children by placing your finger on a disk, drawing out (holding) the /aaa/ sound, and simultaneously moving the disk below the thick black line to the black dot at the left hand side of the arrow at the bottom of the Say-It-and-Move-It sheet. Then point to the disk and say,

T:/a/, one sound.

T: Now I'm going to sweep the disk back to the __________(clown, boat, or whatever object is pictured).

Move the disk back to the pictured object.

T: Now it's your turn. Listen first.

T: Say /a/.

T: What sound?

Wait for a response from the children.

T: Now, say it and move it.

If the children have difficulty, this is a good time for you to model the correct response again. Say, Watch me, and then demonstrate Say-It-and-Move-It, just as you did earlier. The children should then repeat the activity with /a/, as described above.

T: Let's try some different sounds.

Use the same procedure as above for introducing /s/ and /t/. Hiss with the /s/, and be careful with the /t/. Don't elongate the /t/ when you say it and move it. Say it quickly. Sometimes it is helpful to refer to these stop sounds as "hot sounds" so that the children "get off" of these sounds quickly.

T: Now we're going to try something even harder.

Take a second disk.

T: Are you ready? Listen and watch me.

I'm going to say a sound, but I may say it more than once.

T: /t/ ^ /t/

T: Now I'm going to say it and move it.

/t/ ^ /t/.

Move one disk below the line as you quickly say the first /t/, and move the second disk as you say the second /t/.

Move your finger from left to right under the two disks and say,

T: Two sounds.

Sweep the disks back to the picture.

Give each child a second disk.

T: Now I want you to try it.

T: Ready? Listen.

Say, /t/ ^ /t/.

Wait for the children to respond.

T: Now, say it and move it.

Again, wait for the children to respond and then say,

T: How many sounds?

If the children don't respond correctly, you should say,

T: Two sounds.

Have the group or individual children try various combinations of /a/, /t/, and /s/, presented as single sounds or sounds repeated.

Letter Name and Sound Instruction

Introducing the Letter "a"

Materials: Large alphabet pic

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Preface and Acknowledgments


  • What is Phonological Awareness?
  • What Makes Phonological Awareness Difficult?
  • What Makes Learning to Read Difficult?
  • Can Phonological Awareness Be Taught?
  • Is Phonological Awareness Enough?
  • Can This Program Be Adapted to Meet Individual Needs?
  • A Word About Pacing
  • Some Prerequisite Skills
  • Getting Started
Lessons 1-44


  • List of Materials
  • Say-It-And-Move-It Sheets
  • Jingles to Accompany Alphabet Cards
  • Large Alphabet Picture Cards
  • Small Alphabet Picture Cards
  • Small, Plain Alphabet Cards
  • Sound Categorization Cards
    --By Rhyme
    --By Initial Sound
  • Sound Bingo Cards
  • Elkonin Cards
  • Sound Board Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions
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