Bear Necessities Book A1
This book works in almost exactly the same way as Dancing Bears Book A, but new material is introduced much more slowly. The earliest exercises have been redesigned so that even the most severely dyslexic children can master them. In the earlier stages, print size is larger. Additional features include multi-sensory exercises to introduce capital letters, and little mini-scripts that can be used for group readings. Most 4- and 5- year olds will need no further help learning to read. After they have completed Bear Necessities Book A1, they should make good progress with normal, whole class instruction. The slowest readers should progress to Bear Necessities Book A2.
Bear Necessities Book A1 starts with our oral blending exercises, which teach phonemic awareness in a matter of days (if not minutes!). The basic flashcards—which are used at the start of each session—teach children instantaneous recognition of simple letter sounds and unambiguous digraphs (e.g., ee, ar, th, oi). The oral blending skills are gradually combined with letter recognition and transfered to print. The transition is gentle enough to make sure that the pupil rarely makes a mistake. Within two or three weeks, children are beginning to read simple three-letter words, such as hot and can.
Once basic blending skills are in place, pupils read Decoding Power Pages consisting of carefully-structured word lists. By using a cursor, children are taught to scan from left to right—this eliminates the need for coloured overlays or tinted lenses. Old material is constantly reviewed, so nothing is ever forgotten.
Irregular words are introduced after the pupil has good basic decoding skills—these are introduced with our cloze sentences, which are designed to be amusing and instructive (later on, they play a big role in teaching vocabulary). There is also the "Tim the Dim Cop" series of stories to maintain interest.