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Tiger Tuesday Reading Program (Module 1) Review by Jennifer LandLinda Bress Silbert, PhD and Alvin J. Silbert, EdD
Strong Learning, Inc.
Mahopac, NY 10541
The Tiger Tuesday Reading Program is made up of 7 different modules, with 2 covering pre-reading skills and 5 teaching the reading skills of CVC words, VCE words, vowel digraphs, R-controlled words, and diphthongs. If you use all of the modules, it is a complete reading program.
Module 1 covers CVC words, which stands for Consonant-Vowel-Consonant. This includes words such as sun, box, fin, and ten. The program has many components, including a Teacher’s Guide, Student FunBook, and Storybook of “The Tale of Tiger Tuesday.” Additionally, there are 7 decks for card games, including a Fill-the-House Game that comes with game boards to use.
The Teacher’s Guide contains step by step information about implementing the program in your home or classroom. It works well being used one-on-one, in small groups, or even in a large classroom setting. At the end of the Teacher’s Guide, there are detailed instructions about how to play the games, which further reinforce the concepts taught during the lessons. The games become an important part of the program as the author reiterates often that children learn best when they are having fun.
Each module also includes online access to various downloads. This is where you can find extra copies of detailed game instructions. You can also print out fun little newsletters to give to your children, as well as Smartboard friendly scenery for performing the plays and paper puppet shows as suggested in the book.
Each module begins with the teacher reading the storybook. This story introduces students to the characters that will be used throughout the curriculum. Engaging students is important, so this is a way to draw them in and to get them interested in hearing and learning more.
The FunBook is the student workbook and is made up of 7 chapters. The chapter begins with a list of CVC words that will be studied, followed by a list of sight words. Next, there is a short story to read, again, using the same characters introduced in the storybook.
Following the story, there are comprehension questions for students to answer. There are also other questions which incorporate other subjects a bit, such as math or social studies. These are simple to answer as students are given two choices and simply circle the correct one.
Next, there is a writing prompt that relates to the short story they read for that chapter. This allows students to practice their penmanship and grammar and spelling skills a little bit in a very low pressure way. Below that is a place for them to illustrate their ideas.
On the following pages, there are word finds, sentences with words that are missing letters for students to fill in correctly, activities with rhyming practice, word jumbles, sentence scrambles, and more.
Finally, each chapter ends with an actual play written out for students to perform based on the short story at the beginning of the chapter. This can be done in multiple ways. Some of the suggestions include using the Characters and Props card deck and attaching the ones being used to a close pin for easy puppets, printing out finger puppets from the downloads section of their website, or simply having the children actually stand up and act it out. The most exciting part of this process just might be assigning a part to the child and letting them highlight all of their lines to read! Kids love highlighters, and this gives reading practice a fun new dynamic.
While this program was obviously made for a traditional school setting, it is an interactive and easily adaptable way to teach homeschooling children to read. It is intended for struggling and beginning readers all the way from PreK up to Grade 3 or beyond.
This particular level is meant for students who understand the alphabet fairly well and know the sounds of each of the consonants. There is a Reading Inventory provided on the Strong Learning, Inc. website that can help you place your child in the appropriate level.
I enjoyed using this program with my son. He is typically very hard to calm down to teach, and this held his attention beautifully. The FunBook was not overwhelming for him. The games were his favorite part, especially playing Go Fish with the various decks.
I love that this teaches children to read while appealing to all of the learning methods. It is simple to teach because students actually enjoy it. The characters in the stories are fun and encourage students to want to read more into the modules.
Being able to pick and choose which activities to do was helpful as well. None of the activities took very long, but some things are more exciting to my son than others. This program encourages you to follow their lead and do things in the order that works best for your family or classroom, even omitting things if you wish.
The only problem that we ran into with using it was keeping up with all of the card decks. There are so many and they do not come with reusable packaging. We transferred them to small zip top bags after we opened them for easier storage so they wouldn’t get lost.
I also feel that the price might make this out of reach for many homeschooling families. I could not find information about a less expensive version for homeschooling families. The current price for this single module is $185.
Overall, I’m pleased with this program. I appreciate that each module follows the same familiar flow of story and activities, ending with the play. There are so many hands-on ways to study and practice the material, so students can’t help but feel motivated when it is time to work on their reading. The methodology is sound, and the resulting program is fun, simple to use, and engaging to help kids learn to read.
-Product review by Jennifer Land, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016