How I Use It
I use Starfall at times with my Smartboard to review letter names and sounds and demonstrate blending across words to the whole class. It is also used as an independent center during our guided reading rotation. Students progress through the phonics readers at their own pace. I have purchased paper copies of these books. After practicing a particular book online, if the student demonstrates the ability to read the paper copy independently, they can place it in their book box or take home to read to their parents. They then move on to the next book to master it. I have also purchased the soft covered high frequency word books. Students can also practice these online and when mastered receive the book to place in their book box to review or buddy read. I have found that my students receive a great foundation in blending cvc words, recognizing what makes a long vowel sound, how vowels change sounds with the added r, and building a sight word bank.
Starfall reviews letter names and sounds with entertaining activities and great sound support. It has videos that also introduce digraphs. They have many phonics readers that progressing from short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, and r controlled vowels. Students can click on each word to hear the word blended across the phonemic sounds. The stories are simple and interactive. Their also some simple books that focus on building beginning high frequency words. There are also books including Chinese folk tales that challenge more advanced beginning readers.