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Phonics Intervention Review by Christine Field

Saxon Publishers

Leave it to Saxon to create an effective phonics intervention program for struggling readers from grade four to adult! Specifically designed for older students, the materials are not "childish" and the system is easy for the teacher to use.

What are the sound principles on which all Saxon programs are based - from Kindergarten phonics to calculus? They are incremental development, continual review, and frequent, cumulative testing. All of these are incorporated in the Phonics Intervention package.

The Teacher's Manual has lesson plans, assessments, vocabulary tests, speed drills, rule charts, and word lists. The Student Workbook is both a practice book and a reference book, containing reference lists of all phonics and spelling rules, practice reading paragraphs, worksheets, speed drills, assessments, vocabulary tests, and a glossary. A handy box contains card decks of letters, spelling, picture, sight words, affix and vocabulary, an audiotape of phonetic sounds, and classroom masters of tests and assessments.

I was thrilled to learn about this program. There are many products on the market for younger students who struggle with reading - some good, some mediocre. There is not much for older students. This program is fabulous! It is so complete and teacher friendly. Saxon once again has thought of EVERYTHING to help our students succeed. I was impressed with the tone and completeness of the Teacher's Manual. It gets right to the heart of tough areas for readers and has a no-nonsense approach that is respectful and interesting for the older student.

The program was created for Saxon by Ms. Lorna Simmons, a classroom and special education teacher. She utilizes the latest research and techniques, and provides a consistent program - a critical feature for the type of incremental learning that is the hallmark of all Saxon materials. The program builds on reading and problem-solving skills, rather than rote memorization.

Carefully planned and executed to the smallest detail, the record keeping forms allow you to meticulously track your student's accomplishments and weak areas. The flash card decks even have separate dividers for current items and "retired" items, which are to be periodically reviewed.

Even though the program is so complete, it is not overwhelming. It is truly student friendly and teacher friendly. It lives up to the standard of excellence that we have come to expect from Saxon.

-- Product Review by: Christine Field, Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine