In the article Middle School Phonics Course, you'll find the following statement of ours addressed to classroom teachers in middle schools and high schools:
If a lot of students in your typical class are having trouble with the more complex vocabulary words in your regular curriculum, it's likely that they missed out on phonics instruction in elementary school. In this mini-curriculum, you will be teaching them an efficient way to attack multisyllable words phonetically. In addition, you will be setting them up to improve their phonics knowledge on their own,
If your students are having difficulty with reading generally, and particularly if they routinely struggle with the longer multisyllable vocabulary in subjects like science, math, and social studies, consider field-testing our Middle School Phonics Course with one or two of your teachers at the beginning of the semester. You realize that your students are no longer in the "learning to read" phase of their studies and now must read to learn. If you have some concern about their overall reading ability, our course can change that. It has the potential to significantly improve their phonics skills, especially if their elementary curriculum didn't put much of an emphasis on phonics instruction.
Give It a Trial Run
The Middle School Phonics Course is a full-classroom presentation of the multisyllable method found in the OnTrack Reading Phonics Program. That program consists of a phonics workbook and an instruction manual/curriculum guide and was field-tested on nearly two hundred struggling readers, mostly third to seventh graders, in one-on-one instruction. The multisyllable method in that program was extremely effective but, again, that was with one-on-one instruction.
The curriculum in the Middle School course is the same, but it was developed for full-classroom presentation by all classroom teachers. We haven't had the experience to know either how well it works or how it should be fine-tuned, but it should work because it's almost identical to the workbook curriculum. Still, there could be issues with lesson content or timing, or with the teacher prep time required, that still need to be addressed.
The licensing agreement is a per teacher license. One license authorizes the purchaser (whether a school district or an individual teacher) to grant lifetime use the curriculum in the PDF to one teacher.
So, again, if you are wondering whether your student body would benefit from some catch-up phonics instruction, consider purchasing this PDF for a teacher or two in your school who are willing to try it out this semester. If they do see a significant change in their students' ability to deal complex content-area vocabulary, you will have found an inexpensive curriculum that can be used by your entire teaching staff in the future, to the benefit of your entire student body.
Special Offer to Principals
If you are a Middle School principal and email us using your school email address, telling us both your name and the name of your school so we can verify your position there, and that you intend to try our program with one or two of your teachers, we will send you one or two free licenses.
In return, we would appreciate it if, after the semester ends, you would share your observations regarding the use and results of the program. And if the teachers using the program wish to give us progress reports and suggestions for tweaking the curriculum as they use it, those too would be appreciated. This offer will remain open until we are satisfied that we will be receiving sufficient feedback on the program.
Our Message to You
We here at OnTrack Reading know we have an excellent core product. We're excited to spread that core content to as many students as possible in the hope that it will enrich their future learning and, ultimately, their lives. We think this is one way to accomplish that, but would like that confirmed by those of you who hold their futures in your own hands.