Workbooks for Teaching Reading explains what each workbook series teaches and how you can know which would be best for your student.

For 25 years, I have used three series:  Explode the Code, Primary Phonics and Recipe for Reading.  

Explode the Code
Primary Phonics
Recipe for Reading

These three workbooks were the best at the time I started teaching systematic phonics and I believe they are still the best.  However, there are other ones being used.  I find these are the easiest to use if teaching one to one.

Explode the Code

Get Set (A), Get Ready(B), Go (C) for the Code are for preK or K students that haven't mastered their ABC's.  These books show the student's how to write the letter as well as gives the student plenty of practice.

Use Beyond the Code Workbooks to expand a child's comprehension and reasoning skills.  For instance use Beyond the Code 1 AFTER the child has finished the Explode the Code Workbook 1.  Beyond the Code is a little more challenging and reinforces what the child has learned in Explode the Code.

Explode the Code 1 teaches the short vowel sounds in consonant-vowel-consonant words.

Explode the Code 2 continues to review the short vowels as well as introduces consonant blends used at the beginning and end of words.

Explode the Code 3 introduces one syllable words ending in y as well as silent e, sh, wh, ch, tch, ng, ck and the double vowels ai, ay, ea, ee, oa, ow.

Explode the Code 4 introduces a child to the 6 syllable types such as a r-controlled vowel or consonant plus le syllable.   The student will also learn how to decode or divide unknown multi-syllabic words, such as pep/per, lit/tle, or bo/a.

Explode the Code 5 teaches the three sounds of ed and the other combinations: all, alk, old, olt, oll, ild, ind, qu, thr, shr, scr, str, spr, spl and ey.

Explode the Code 6 teaches the sounds of r-controlled vowels, and other sounds like: wor, war, igh, oo, ea, ie, oi, oy, ou, ow, au, aw, ew, ui, ue and ou.

Explode the Code 7 introduces c and g followed by e, i, y; dge rule, silent consonant combinations, ear, ei and eigh.

Explode the Code 8 introduces common suffixes.

These books are numbered from 1 to 8 but this doesn't mean these correspond with a grade level.  I have used Explode the Code 4 with students in 3rd grade if I thought they were ready for this next level.  AND I have used #4 with 5th graders if I thought they weren't ready for more advanced workbooks.  

Knowing which book to use can be determined by giving the student a sound/symbol relationship test.

Primary Phonics

I use Primary Phonics for a young student that is ready to learn to read and may even be above her peers.  Primary Phonics uses larger font than Explode the Code and therefore it is easier for a younger student to use.

Primary Phonics is more appropriate for the younger learner in first or second grade that may be behind her peers; or for the kindergartner that already knows how to read c-v-c words.

Recipe for Reading

Recipe for Reading has decodable readers that correspond to the workbooks.  However, these are not available through Amazon and must be bought as a 3 volume set that has 39 starter books with controlled vocabulary.  The last six books are chapter books also with controlled vocabulary and with only about 35 pages.  

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