To beginning readers, coming across a new, complicated word is very intimidating. Early in the process of learning to read, we learn to recognize sight words, common sounds, and phonics or informally “sounding it out.”  

A recent article, Why phonics was key in one district’s reading growth, profiles one school district. It shows that revisiting phonics at various ages made reading at grade level easier for many students. For the most part, teachers are not given training in teaching phonics, so Lumpkin County Schools adopted a phonics program with professional development. They began using phonics in upper elementary grades as well as with struggling readers in middle grades. The district has seen readers transfer the skills and become successful readers.

As important as instructional techniques are in the classroom, years of studies have shown that seeing adults read, reading to kids, and having frequent conversations, leads to a better reader. Listening to the different sounds of language is meaningful as kids begin connecting those sounds to the written words.

Fathom supports these skills in a digital setting when kids are reading independently and need a little help with pronunciation. While nothing can replace story time between a parent and child, each story on Fathom is read by a native speaker of that language. Kids can play, replay, and tap single words to learn pronunciations.

Supporting kids with a diverse collection of titles is also very important for kids just learning to read. Kids are more likely to practice reading skills with books that interest them. Giving kids a library filled with choices of fiction and nonfiction is very important to foster reading progress.

Fathom has choices for teachers using phonics to teach reading, options for parents supporting their child’s learning progress, and programs for school districts needing a digital library for a variety of reading levels.

Learn more about our library and its features here


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