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BFR Innovatived a use of this instructional strategy that is multi-sensory and lends itself to overteaching and overlearning. Children enjoy the rhythmical nature. Teachers enjoy low-prep and noticeable results.
Children use their arms to break words apart into their phonemic (sound) segments for spellling. Also, they use their arms to blend sounds together for reading. Arm Spelling and Chart Tapping work together to prepare a child for phonics instruction.
Playing games provides opportunities for meaningful repetition of reading and rereading words with similar patterns. It's essential for the many, many children who need repetition.
BFR's program covers 80 cumulative phonics lessons that bring children up to 4th grade level reading and provide a solid foundation for teens with significant delays before tackling advanced concepts. The lessons provide for systematic instruction that is direct and explicit.
We tell the children a story that three parts of the brain have to talk to each other for reading to happen. The work they are doing is laying down those tracks between the stations. (Or whatever analogy will appeal to that child.)
Whole language is not based on the latest science. The instructional strategies don't match how the brain learns to read.
Not all struggling readers are dyslexic. It turns out that what is essential for dyslexics also is best for everyone else.
Children enjoy making their own card decks (which involves listening, spelling) and then using them to pay all kinds of different games (for repeated reading).
Seeing patterns in the English language can be hard for struggling readers. So, we train their brains to recognize the patterns through direct and explicit lessons and game playing - lots of game playing!
Arm Spelling is simple. It's just like finger spelling but easier to do and see. The child breaks the words apart into their individual sounds (or blends or teams) one syllable at a time.
These are adults in training learning how to tap the Blends Charts. But, this is what it looks and feels like in classrooms as well. 7 min.
BFR didn't create arm spelling but we've used it for decades, and it works miracles with struggling readers when used the BFR way. (You'll notice it's not the same as OG arm spelling for red words.). 9 min.
Did you know that research shows that book reading is an end point and not a key instructional strategy for helping children to read (decode)? Find out why. 25 min.
Brain Friendly Reading is a program designed by two long-time OG practitioners. Based on extensive experience working with dyslexic children across a variety of instructional situations (classrooms, reading labs, private tutoring once a week), they modified some of the instructional strategies to achieve the same goals (and based on the same science) as OG but that are straightforward enough to teach other adults without extensive training.
Chart tapping replaces the card decks followed by sound dictation and then a review of a previously taught concept. There is space for new instruction and for teaching 'Red Words' (called puzzle words in the BFR program). Word, phrases and sentence dictation are all part of the BFR Program as is reading from decodable texts and spelling instruction that follows the lesson taught.
So, this isn’t a traditional OG program but is OG-based like Barton or Wilson or any other program that follows the principles and elements of structured literacy.
If you are looking to equip yourself with evidence-based strategies that follow the science that you can start using weeks in the training that are also low-prep and kids enjoy — this is your training.