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12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling

Teachers love AAR and AAS

Did you know that All About Reading and All About Spelling are great options for the classroom?

Both programs are used in a variety of educational settings, including regular and special education classrooms in public and private schools. Many schools also use the programs in their RTI (Response to Intervention) programs, including Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.

This post explains why teachers love to use the All About® programs and provides some tips for using the curriculum in the classroom and tracking student progress.

So why are so many teachers excited about All About Reading and All About Spelling? Let’s take a look.

12 Things Teachers Love about AAR and AAS

Educators appreciate that the curriculum provides regular and at-risk students with the tools they need to break down literacy and spelling barriers. To do this, All About Reading and All About Spelling use very specific teaching methods.

Our programs are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach

Our programs are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.

This highly-structured multisensory approach uses multiple pathways to the brain to make reading and spelling accessible. Feel free to download our free e-book called The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach to learn about the hallmarks of the OG approach and how these proven methods are incorporated in All About Reading and All About Spelling.

AAR and AAS incorporate reading research findings

AAR and AAS incorporate the research findings of the National Reading Panel.

All About Reading and All About Spelling thoroughly address the five essential components of reading identified by the National Reading Panel: Phonological/phonemic awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.

Our programs use explicit and direct instruction

Our programs use explicit, direct instruction.

Direct instruction is a proven method in which students are taught exactly what they need to learn. With direct instruction, the information is presented very clearly through well-tested materials that rule out the possibility of misinterpretation and confusion. Language rules and patterns are taught explicitly, so students don’t have to guess or struggle. Download sample lessons here.

Our lessons are incremental

Lessons are incremental.

Incremental means that lessons start with the most basic skills and build gradually to more advanced skills. Each lesson builds upon previously mastered material and gradually increases in difficulty. This provides a “no-gaps approach” that allows students to learn one new piece of knowledge at a time in a well-developed, logical sequence.

Our programs teach through multiple pathways to the brain

Our programs are multisensory.

Multisensory learning happens when sight, sound, and touch are used to learn new information. Children learn best when they can use all their senses. When students can see a concept as it is explained, hear about it, and then do it with hands-on activities, it is easier for them to learn and retain the new information.

Our programs teach the 72 basic phonograms

We teach the 72 basic phonograms.

Struggling learners often believe that reading and spelling are about memorizing strings of letters. But it’s difficult for most kids to memorize words this way, so they get frustrated and give up. Instead, we teach how each sound in a word can be represented by a phonogram, such as OA for the sound of /ō/. When students learn the phonograms and the sounds they represent, reading or spelling become much easier.

Our programs don't dump too much info into your child's funnel

We teach just one new concept at a time.

When too much information is dumped into a child’s mental “funnel,” his or her memory can only attend to a certain amount of the new information, and the rest gets “dumped” from memory. Teaching one concept at a time respects the limitations of a student’s short-term memory and allows concepts and skills to be more easily stored in the long-term memory.

We teach reading and spelling separately

We teach reading and spelling separately.

Reading and spelling require different teaching techniques and different pacing. Reading is easier than spelling, and learning these subjects separately is much more effective for most kids. Separating reading and spelling allows students to progress as quickly as possible through reading while taking as much time as they need to become good spellers.

Spelling is easier with reliable spelling rules

We teach reliable spelling rules.

Spelling is much easier when children learn a small number of reliable spelling rules. For example, knowing the rules regarding the use of C and K can help children spell words like kitchen, acceptable, and automatic. When students learn trustworthy spelling rules—like the Kids’ Club Rule—they have guidelines to help them make the right letter choices.

Review is a priority

We make review a priority.

Consistent review is the key to getting spelling facts and spelling words to “stick.” Teaching something once or twice does not mean students have mastered it. Mastery takes time and practice, and our lessons provide interesting review activities.

We keep lessons short - 20 minutes per day

Lessons are short.

We recommend just 20 minutes a day for AAR and 20 minutes a day for AAS. Short lessons five times a week are more effective than longer, less-frequent lessons because you avoid overwhelming your students with new information and you can keep their attention more easily.

Teachers don't need special training

No special training is required to teach our programs.

You don’t have to go through a seminar or watch training videos to learn how to teach our programs. Everything you need is right there in the teacher’s manual as you go through the lessons, so it’s very open-and-go, which cuts down on your prep time. And if you ever need a substitute teacher or paraprofessional to fill in for you, he or she can follow the scripted lesson plans.

Download my “12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling” Quick Guide
to share with your principal or curriculum team.

Using All About Reading and All About Spelling in a classroom setting is not only possible, we’ve also done everything we can to make our programs easy for you to implement.

Tips for Using AAR and AAS in the Classroom

Tip 1: Determine the Correct Level for Your Students

As you know, every student is more than just her “grade” or numerical age. A child’s unique experiences and aptitude play an important role in where she should be placed in the programs.

AAR and AAS are are not 'grade-level' programs

All About Reading and All About Spelling are “building block” programs. This means that each level builds upon the previous level. For example, the rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those from Level 2 are applied in Level 3, and so on.

This also means that the level numbers you see on the book covers don’t refer to grade levels. This is good news for teachers because you can place your students in the levels they need, regardless of grade level.

All About Reading and All About Spelling are mastery-based programs that

  • place students according to ability rather than grade level;
  • teach students at their individual pace; and
  • progress to the next level only after mastery is achieved.

You can find specific placement information here.

Although All About Reading and All About Spelling can be used in regular classrooms, they are especially valuable when used one-on-one or in small groups with “at-risk” children.

Tip 2: For Struggling Students, One-on-One Instruction Is Highly Recommended

One-on-one instruction for struggling students is always the best option. Here’s why one-on-one instruction works.

  • With one-on-one instruction, you can tailor each lesson to more effectively address a child’s individual needs and specific issues.
  • Not all kids in your classroom are going to learn at the same pace. One-on-one instruction allows you to adjust the pace of the lesson for each student.
  • If a student misses a lesson, you don’t have to catch him up later, overwhelming him with too much content.
  • When you teach a struggling child one-on-one, she doesn’t have to be embarrassed by her errors.
  • Since some kids need more review and activity time to “get it,” one-on-one instruction provides time for focused review.
  • At-risk students need the lesson intensity that only one-on-one instruction can provide.

Tip 3: Use AAR and AAS with a Small Group

Teacher teaching a small group of children in the classroom

If one-on-one instruction isn’t possible, we highly recommend that struggling students be taught in small groups of two or three students. Here’s why small-group instruction works.

  • It allows students to watch the teacher demonstrate the concepts being taught.
  • It gives students a chance to practice.
  • It provides the opportunity for the teacher to listen to each child read.
  • It gives teachers the ability to notice and correct small problems before they become big problems.
  • It makes it easier to hold the students’ attention and keep them motivated.

When forming small groups, consider the following guidelines.

  • Use the placement tests to guide you in grouping kids together.
  • Group students who will benefit from the same type of strategies. For example, if you have “word guessers,” they will all benefit from the same type of instruction.
  • Consistency is critical. If at all possible, meet five days per week.

Tip 4: Student Achievement Can Be Tracked with These Easy-to-Use Tools

In many schools, teachers are required to track and report student progress. Here are some sample progress tracking documents that have been created for use with AAR. Feel free to adapt them for your own needs.

Running Record download

Running Record: This running record is used to record errors or miscues while the student reads 100 words of text. This helps you see error patterns and plan appropriate instruction.

Guided Reading Notes Download

Guided Reading Notes: Use this document for taking notes during guided reading. When used consistently, you can see student progress over time.

Sight Word 'Leap Word' Assessment Download

Sight Word (Leap Word) Assessment: Each level of AAR has a set of “Leap Words.” Use this chart to keep a cumulative assessment of your students’ sight word fluency.

Tip 5: Consider Using Fidelity Checklists When First Implementing the Programs

Fidelity Checklist Download

Fidelity Checklists:
These simple observation tools can be used to give feedback to teachers and paraprofessionals regarding their implementation of AAR and AAS. This helps ensure that the programs are being used as intended.

Lifetime Support

And finally, please know that we provide lifetime support for you as the teacher. If you ever need help, just email us or give us a call! We’re happy to help!

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Leave a Comment

N

says:

We are just beginning AAR, and my son loves it. It has been so exciting to see him be able to read what he considers a “big kid” book.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I love that he calls our Readers a “big kid” book! However, I can see his point. They are thick and hardbound, so they do seem more grown up than many beginner readers.

Victoria Robertson

says:

We absolutely love AAS! My son is a great speller because of it and it is a subject that I don’t spend extra time having to plan for.

Megan

says:

I have several friends that have used this program and love it! I will be starting my first grader in All About Spelling later this year, and my 6 year old in the All About Reading next fall. Looking forward to it!

Jen Spencer

says:

I know a school using this in TX – I thought it would be too hard with all the varied levels in a class but they keep the parents involved and it works.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
Teaching a whole class of students is harder than teaching one or two or five, no matter what curriculum is being used! However, we have lots of feedback that All About Reading and All About Spelling are working out well in classroom settings. Keeping the parents involved is a great way to increase learning success in all subject areas too!

Margarita Diaz

says:

I would absolutely love to try this program. Everyone seems to have nothing but amazing reviews about it. I have a homeschooled kindergarten/ first grader who would do great with this. He is getting into reading and makes me so proud that he even tries even when he gets stuck and frustrated. He has a heart for reading and this would be perfect to help him better understand.

Deidre

says:

I love this approach

Kimberly Watson

says:

Both programs are great, they start small and build upon that, slowly adding rules/exceptions.

I love using AAS as a homeschool mom because it is so logical and builds upon itself. It makes spelling time fun and easy for my second grader, and the lessons learned from the phonics spill over into our reading and writing times as well

Mary

says:

I like your approach about spelling. I never liked how they do spelling at the public school where some of my kids go. The words never made sense for what they were learning. Thanks for the giveaway.

Linda

says:

Both of these programs look very interesting. I would love to try them with my struggling readers.

Judith Martinez

says:

I’m glad to read that some classrooms are using such a great curriculum.

Lourie B

says:

Using your program for a year now and have seen great progress on my daughter. Thank you for providing us with more tools to track child’s progress.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lourie,
We’re happy to hear that you have seen such great progress with your daughter. Thanks for letting us know.

Mary

says:

I am so excited to try this with my daughter! She has really been struggling with Spelling.

Kayla Barnes

says:

We love AAR!!!!

Barb

says:

We love AAR!

Mickey H

says:

AAS and AAR are the best programs I have found for my daughters. We have been using these programs for 3 years now.

Ashley

says:

This look awesome! Great insight. Very educational information.

Samantha Higley

says:

We love AAR and AAS! So awesome to watch my struggling readers grow confident and competent!

Vanda

says:

Looks interesting!

Brittany Gell

says:

This seems so awesome!

Amery D.

says:

This looks like a very useful program.

Brittany Alessio

says:

As a struggling mother of 4 kids this would be amazing to win! Thank you

Janelle

says:

I’m super tempted to try AAS next year…

Kiersten Krajcar

says:

I have a student who is a great reader/writer and could use some help with spelling. I’d love to try this curriculum!!

Brandy thompson

says:

We love it! I wish I had learned to spell with a program like this!

Kelli

says:

Such a wonderful program

Stacy

says:

This is our first year using AAS and love it

Laura

says:

I’ve taught K for 20 years, and now I am homeschooling my own children. I LOVE these programs!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Laura!

Jenni Jones

says:

We truly love the AAR lessons – my 6yo is almost through with AAR1, and ready to start AAS1 soon! Thank you for such a phenominal program!

Katie R

says:

This looks great. I can’t wait to try the spelling.

We did AAR 1, took time off when baby #3 came, and now are starting AAR2 and AAS1. My 6 year old is so excited about spelling that he sits with the tiles playing after our lessons. He also wrote his own book today! The fact that my kid loves it and my mom (a 35 year early el teaching veteran with a masters degree in reading) love it makes it me so happy and confident!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
I love that he wrote his own book!

Alissa

says:

We are currently using Level 1 and it’s a great program!

margaret

says:

Wear can I try this for a discounted price?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Margaret,
We don’t really have sales or offer discounts. We offer our products as economically as we can year round.

Thanks for your interest.

Kimberly Watson

says:

We love AAR and AAS, on L3 for daughter and L1 for son of AAR and it has given them such a great foundation!

Sue Manning

says:

AAR and AAS have both helped my dyslexic daughter so much!!

Kelly

says:

AAS has saved our homeschool mornings! No more tears.

Rachelle

says:

I am not a classroom teacher, but I homeschool 5 children. I have used this curriculum for a couple of years and agree with the points in this article.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Rachelle!

Amber

says:

We have loved Aar1 and already have Aas1 for afterward

NICOLE BUSHLING

says:

I would love to try AAS. We just started AAR with our kindergartener and she loves it.

Love All About Spelling!!

Kristin Plitt

says:

Would Love level 3. I have level 1 and just bought 2! My son just got diagnosed with Dyslexia and the Neuropyschologist noticed that we had been working on phonograms. He said keep doing what you’re doing!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristin,
It’s great that the neuropsychologist could tell he had been working on phonograms and said to keep doing what you were doing. Thank you for letting us know!

Shelby Huchthausen

says:

Looks like a great program. All about Spelling for my 6 year old would be great.

Regina

says:

We love all about reading and can not wait switch to All about spelling!

Navine

says:

Love all about spelling. Both of my girl use it. Took them from struggling to spelling with ease thanks to the simple steps they can use over and over as a guide.

Elissa

says:

I love your programs! I am even learning from it.

Kimberly

says:

Our son is improving so much with AAR. Can’t wait to try AAS! Thank you!

Dana

says:

We love All About Reading!

Greg

says:

hoping to teach my kids more pronunciation

Kristen

says:

I want to try a new spelling program for my kids

Erica

says:

We love All About Spelling!

Sharon

says:

We have just started AAR 1 with my daugh term after finishing up the PreReading program. We love it! She is enjoying practicing her phonics! Would love to win the spelling pack to use with her in the future!

Faye

says:

Would love to try this with my children. 7 year old, learning to read. 9 year old, is advanced. 13 year old, autistic, multiple learning disabilities and has problems spelling simple words.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Faye,
Please let us know if you need help with placement or have any questions.

Jennifer D.

says:

Really excited about trying All About Spelling!

Emily Dunn

says:

I love All About Reading! It was a great way to break into homeschooling with my oldest, and I don’t plan to use any other curriculum as long as I’m teaching him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Emily,
I’m so happy to hear that All About Reading helped you as you started homeschooling. Thanks for letting us know.

Amanda

says:

I am excited to try All About Spelling next year!

Lily

says:

We just started the Pre Reading Program for our 4 yr old and we just LOVE it. I’m SOO excited to move onto Level 1, and later do AAS!

Would love to try AAR and AAS

Stephanie

says:

We just started this program with my 3rd grader. He really loves the hands on approach so it it a perfect fit for him. Wish I would have tried it sooner!

Sonya

says:

I have been thinking abut trying this program

Kelley

says:

We would love to try this program!

Rachel

says:

I’m excited to try All About Spelling!

Nicole

says:

We are moving full steam ahead with these materials for both of our kiddos.

Eve

says:

I would really love to try this program! I have heard so many great things about it and the AAR!

Joanna

says:

We LOVE AAR!!! Recently my struggling 9 year old daughter looked at me as we were reading the level 3 reader and said “are these getting easier?” I said, “no”. You’re just getting better! She beamed with joy and self accomplishment. AAR made it so simple for us.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joanna,
What an accomplishment for reading to become easy! Congratulations on this milestone!

Holly W

says:

We just love All About Reading….We are currently doing the Pre-Reading program and both of our girls love it!! Can’t wait to continue on with the next levels!!

Cathy

says:

We started All about Spelling after Christmas and I have seen so much improvement as we work through the books. I would love to get Level 3 for free!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cathy,
It’s great to hear your student has shown so much improvement since Christmas! Thank you for letting us know things are going so well.

Thanks for the easy-to-use Sight Word Assessment list. Will use with all the children I tutor.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Marie! I hope the form helps you to help your students succeed in reading. Please let us know if you need anything.

Marifer Hunt

says:

We love AAS!!! My daughter has completed level 1,2, and 3 this school year. We are excited to start level 4

Amber Hoover

says:

AAR has been so wonderful for our family

Amy McPherson

says:

I am so grateful that I purchased all about spelling years ago.

Laura Hafner

says:

My daughters are 4 and 6 and they are flying through AAR 1! They can’t get enough of it. I love that I can depend on it to be progressive and cover all the information, but they love that it uses such a variety of creative techniques to practice the skills they need. Thanks for sharing articles like this to make it even easier for me to teach reading.

Sabrina

says:

We love AAS at our house!

LeAnn

says:

I learned a few new things from reading this article. It was helpful.

Ashley

says:

I homeschool my kids, but I was public schooled, and I do think it would have been so much nicer to learn the rules of reading and spelling in school rather than just memorizing!

Alyssa

says:

We love AAS!

Jessica

says:

Interested in trying aar

Holly

says:

We love level 1! This is a great program!

Lindsay

says:

We love All About Spelling and Reading

Nicole

says:

I love both AAR and AAS! They were easy to teach and I so enjoyed watching my daughter grasp each new rule and phonogram sound! He reading has dramatically improved this year!!!

Yvonne

says:

I’m looking forward to using this with my kids.

Love the short lessons and the mastery approach!

Annette

says:

Love aar

Beth

says:

I love this program. Easy to execute and my child(Ren) are not just memorizing words like I did as a kid. I am learning the spelling rules with them! When we are out and about my kids will recognize their helpers in other words and love it when we discover a word that belongs in JAIL or a new homophone, many times by yelling it out loud in public. Lol. I highly recommend to others.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for recommending us to others, Beth!

Emily

says:

I wish our school district used a method like this. They do some sort of word recognition and sight word method. We are doing the AAR program at home but it is hard to find the time. Our school is a Spanish immersion program so it at least so far it is working to do both.

Charnelle

says:

Can’t wait to begin this program!

Elizabeth

says:

I love AAR and look forward to starting AAS soon!

Jennifer G

says:

What a great program! We are currently using AAS Level 1 and love it. My children are becoming more confident with spelling.

Mellisa Huibregtse

says:

I really love the multisensory approach. That it advances as they master each piece.

Jennifer Bulpitt

says:

We have been using AAS for two years now and I have been very pleased with my daughter’s progress. I like that it’s incremental and reminds the teacher to review.

Lisa Ingle

says:

I’ve taught 4 children to read and spell using this method and I love how simple and straightforward AAR and AAS make the process!

Jody B

says:

My girls and I love All about Spelling! We have used it for 2 years and are excited to continue to grow with level 3 next year!

Rebecca T

says:

We have not tried the program yet, but are anxious to begin it with out 4 year old :)

Marcia

says:

We love our aar curriculum! Even my 4 year old is learning to read!

Mikki Larch

says:

Love aas and aar//

Michelle Long

says:

I love its multisensory.

Vanessa

says:

These are the reasons I love this program, too! :)

Danielle

says:

I am so excited to start Spelling in the fall. We love AAR and have been doing so well with it, I know we’ll love AAS just as much!

Brenda

says:

Thank you for this. I’m going to try the running record for my own children.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Good idea, Brenda. It can help you to either see things more clearly, or it will confirm that you have a good idea of where your children are.

Leah

says:

My daughter is using AAR level 1 and is so excited about reading now. I can’t wait until we get started with AAS.

Michelle Jernigan

says:

I love the Leap Word checklist!

Melissa G

says:

I love All About Reading and Spelling program. All my children use it.

April S.

says:

This curriculum was a life saver for our family. Our kids really enjoy and it there aren’t any more tears.

Laura

says:

I’ve stated All About Reading 1, and it’s as amazing as I expected, but these extra resources are awesome too!

Amanda Banks

says:

We love All About Spelling.

Kevin Q

says:

My wife uses this to teach our daughter and loved it when she was still in the classroom!

Holly L

says:

I love this program. It has helped my boys tremendously.

Jasmin Queen

says:

This program has really helped my daughter. When we started, she struggled with spelling. Now she excels. So happy I found AAS!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jasmin,
We are so happy to hear your daughter is excelling with All About Spelling. Thank you.

Laura Evans

says:

I love the incremental step-by-step nature of this program!

Julie

says:

I love AAS. Kids haven’t complained since we started the program a few years ago.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wow, Julie. No complaints for a few years; that is some recommendation!

Ashley

says:

I love the open and go ability of AAR and AAS!

Jennie

says:

My dyslexic daughter has found learning fun thanks to AAR!!

Tana

says:

So glad I came upon this blog! It’s so helpful and encouraging!

mari

says:

excellent tool for teachers. Great post!! Informative and will hopefully reach more teacher about the program.

Jessica

says:

I can’t wait to try this with my boys

Tru

says:

I work in the Special Ed program at our high school, and I have several teens that are very below grade level for reading and spelling. Our administration has chosen a different path for reading, but I hope to convince them that AAS is the way to go for spelling, because it just makes sense! I love the way it addresses so many different learning styles, and the rules of spelling help the kids understand the “why.” Thank you for providing this program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Tru. Please let us know if you or your administration has any questions.

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