The reading scheme is split into sets of colour coded books with ten books in each set. They are designed to become progressively more challenging, with a carefully selected number of digraphs and blends in each book. Each story also has a few 'sight words' that are repeated in the sentences throughout. The books are available in full colour but I bought the black and white versions, which come in at around 75pence per book.
I went through and listed the new sounds and sight words in each story, in order that I could provide corresponding activities and worksheets to prepare and reinforce the new digraphs and blends. For example, set one story one (pictured) has 'sh', 'th', 'ck', 'ng' and 'nk', and the sight words 'the' and 'your'.
I had prepared word lists for the 'blue series' in the Montessori curriculum a few months ago, and was able to use these lists now to make reading activities for each sound. (The blue series posts can be found in the August 2010 archives.) I adapted these word wheels by putting white stickers over the pre-printed letters and writing my own lists around the outside edges, with the beginning blends of 'sh', 'th' and so on on the top wheel. Eve loves using these.... a bit gimmicky but hey if it meets the needs of the child, I think Montessori would have been all for it!
I have also searched out some worksheets from various websites that I sorted out into an order for Eve to do a few each day to reinforce the new sound. Worksheets are a new venture for us. As Eve learned cursive writing, I had always 'written off' (excuse the pun!) worksheet and resources sites as nearly all the printables were in print rather than cursive. Lately though, Eve has become able to distinguish between the two quite happily. She will read print then write the same word in cursive, so I looked again at what was available and I was pleasantly surprised. I have always been very careful to present only phonetically decodable words to Eve and to use 'English' words that she will be able to recognise and match to pictures. For example, sheets that used a word such as 'wash' would have hit the 'cutting room floor' so to speak! Recently though as Eve becomes more mature, I have been able to explain that some words change the sounds of the letters and 'wash' is one of them, and that in other countries such as America, people use other words for things, such as 'trash' for 'rubbish' for instance. it seems to be another natural step in her broadening her knowledge.
I will not list each worksheet that I used specifically for 'sh' or 'th, but some general links that you may find useful if you wish to do similar!
We were using a home made movable alphabet to build words but as Eve is keen to write now, we have naturally moved on from it.
The sight words I downloaded and printed from twinkl as they do many cursive literacy resources and Eve learned to write in cursive (for the reason that she was struggling with print as all of the letters started in different places; with cursive letters they all begin at the bottom left and flow from there and she took to it like a duck to water!)
I am putting together the work for each book as we come to it and there is no set time for each book. If it begins to lose it's effectiveness I will once again re-design my approach! I hope some of this may be useful to someone!