Over the 30+ years I’ve been an educator, I have heard countless conflicting arguments about the best way to learn reading. I doubt if this can ever be settled fully, because the reality is that each learner is unique in how he or she learns. An approach based in phonics alone simply does not work for some learners. For others, an ability to sound words out is essential. So, good phonics resources are always needed. I believe the one I’m writing about here may have potential to help develop sight vocabulary as well.
Reading Bear is a totally free high quality and ad-free online resource for beginning readers. Videos, which may also be viewed as slide shows, systematically introduce and re-enforce phonics principles and sounds. Each presentation is customizable for individual learners. Registration is not required, but it is highly recommended for each individual user.
Reading Bear offers a 5-minute ‘Quick Getting Started Video’ that does an excellent job of introducing and describing the resource in detail. I’m embedding the video here because it not only explains Reading Bear so well, but because the quality of the video illustrates the exceptional quality of the site as a whole.
Reading Bear is a project of WatchKnowLearn. I wrote about WatchKnow, an extensive repository of well organized videos “for all learners” here. WatchKnowLearn and Reading Bear are both spearheaded by Larry Sanger.