I came across a really lovely new series of books for Junior Infants last week. It is produced by Edco Primary English and it is being launched for the start of the next school year.
” My Little Box” is a lovely concept and very well thought out. The box contains 10 little stories books for small little hands. The stories are about the adventures of Danny, Zeb ( his stuffed zebra), Emma and Josh. Not a weird alien or odd sounding name in sight for a change! The stories are based on topics that young children can easily relate to: Halloween, the market, saying hello and goodbye, the playground, “I can”, the telescope, tree houses, the swimming pool, Danny and his Mum and making a spaceship from an old box.
I love that they books contain lots of high frequency words and that each book only covers 6 new ones at most. They are also repeated over and over in the book. The controlled introduction and frequent use means that children will find them easier to learn to read. The HFW are based on the Dolch list.
The back of each book clearly lays out the HFW that will be focused on:
Inside the text is lovely and clear and well spaced. It also has a font similar to that used in Jolly Phonics. I love joined up thinking!
I am delighted to see that Irish textbook manufacturers are finally waking up to the importance of these for beginner readers. I have spent far too many years teaching children words that are not “valuable”. By this I mean words that are not likely to pop up in the next book they read. I think that Infant books should be based on Dolch words and the others should be decodable. There is no point in teaching phonics if the first book you hand out contains precious few words that can be sounded out!
I love the idea of beginner readers getting to take home 10 stories rather than 4 big books. It can be demotivating for struggling readers to be faced with a large book and lots of words to learn in one go. This format means that children only need to learn a few words before they can take a book home and read it for Mom. How motivating!
“My Little Box” costs 9.95 Euro. Follow this link for further details. Edco have even thought of Reader Rental schemes and will allow you to purchase books individually to replace books that are sodden with orange juice ;).
Unfortunately, my school is not searching for a new scheme at present. I really wish that we were! It is one to keep in mind for supplementing your classroom library even if you, like me, are stuck with older schemes.
If you are a parent of a Junior Infant next year it is worth buying and reading with your child to supplement other schemes used in your child’s school.
Miss Mernagh 🙂