A NOTE TO EDUCATORS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND PARENTS
To begin Level One of the Program, students need to be able to follow simple, one-sentence directions and demonstrate their understanding of a teacher’s request by either pointing or responding verbally. Students must also be able to see words on a page and somehow point to or otherwise indicate identification of those words. They need to be able to communicate a response to a question or directive. Students do not need to know the alphabet, although they must be able to visually discriminate between words and letters. For students who need additional practice in visual discrimination before beginning the program, teachers should use the lesson plans in Unit One of the Building Reading Skills binder.
It is important to note that Level One of the PCI Reading Program is a systematic, whole-word approach to reading with a large amount of built-in repetition and review. This program is not intended for general education.
It was developed for students with special needs who have not learned to read in traditional or multisensory phonics curriculums. In general, the students who begin Level One will be true nonreaders, regardless of age. At the start of the program, they may not be able to read or recognize a single word.
Why Repetition and Review?
One of the keys to the success of the PCI Reading Program is the thoughtful use of repetition and review to ensure both short- and long-term retention of the words taught. Many basal and other mainstream reading programs provide only 8 to 12 repetitions of a sight word or other vocabulary word to be learned. Quality intervention reading programs often provide 30 or more repetitions. But for students with developmental disabilities and significant learning differences, short- and long-term memory is often one of the problems that make it difficult to learn and retain skills.
With these students in mind, the authors carefully constructed the activities to include over 100 practice and review opportunities for every word taught. Words are introduced and reviewed continually in every step of the program. This repetition is varied, involving every major learning modality, including visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic. As a result, short- and long-term retention is virtually assured. When a student does demonstrate a lack of retention, teachers can remediate this immediately by having a student redo the appropriate Word Building or Guided Word Practice Lesson. The included software version of the Word Building Lessons also provides an excellent means of additional review.
For Nonreaders of All Ages
The authors developed the PCI Reading Program with nonreaders of all ages in mind. All three levels of the program are supported by realistic illustrations of everyday objects and settings. The books provided in each leveled kit feature contemporary adolescent characters and age-appropriate story lines. Ultimately, the program is appropriate for students ages 5 to adult.
While this program was specifically created for students with special needs, it is also appropriate for English-language learners who have a learning disability. It is important to note, however, that the high level of repetition and review in the program is not appropriate for some English-language learners.
An Individualized Program
The PCI Reading Program is intended for use as a one-on-one program. All of the lessons and materials are structured for an adult facilitator to use with one student at the student’s own pace. This facilitator can be a teacher, paraeducator, parent, or any other adult working under the direction of a certified teacher. Scripts and cues are provided in the various lesson books to make the program easy to administer. In general, a facilitator can be trained to administer all of the elements of the program in one-half day or less.
Because of the one-on-one nature of the program, students can complete the program at their own pace. As a result, it is not uncommon for a classroom using the PCI Reading Program to have every student at a different point in the curriculum, even if all of the students started the program on the same day.