You may have seen the recommendation to use decodable readers or decodable text with your students, especially early on in their learning. Let’s take a closer look at what that means, why it might be beneficial, and how to go about it. Many newly trained Orton-Gillingham educators or classroom teachers ask how to use decodable readers. This post will hopefully serve as a helpful guide for you as you plan, as well as offer suggestions as to where to find decodable readers, and decodable passages.
What are decodable readers?
Decodable readers or decodable text can be books or passages that use a controlled set of words. This may include a specific group of learned words (such as irregularly patterned words) and specific syllable types and spelling patterns.
Decodable text generally follows a systematic progression or specific scope and sequence building in complexity and difficulty. These stories are written and published expressly for early readers. These books are usually very clear about what sequence of skills they use and what patterns are found in a particular story or set of stories. While it is rare for a text to be 100% decodable, those we want to use should be close using common irregular words and names that mirror the student population.