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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 general 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 all students, including 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.

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.

Reasons Teachers Love AAR and AAS Download

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.

All About Spelling Word List Assessment Download

All About Spelling Word List Assessment:
Use this chart to assess student progress on word lists and dictation exercises in All About Spelling lessons. Find trouble spots and incorporate review as needed.

All About Spelling Phonogram Mastery Record

All About Reading Phonogram Mastery Record:
Use this chart to assess student progress on the mastery of phonograms taught in All About Reading lessons.

All About Spelling Phonogram Mastery Record

All About Spelling Phonogram Mastery Record:
Use this chart to assess student progress on the mastery of phonograms taught in All About Spelling lessons.

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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Jennifer

says:

If using All About Reading in a school classroom, is it possible to just use 1 set of the readers for the whole class?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
I can’t think of how it would work to share a single set of Readers with more than two or three students. All About Reading schedules students to read a story, sometimes two, in the Readers approximately every other lesson. In fact, reading a story is the main activity, with other activities directly related to the story, for about half of all the lessons. Ideally, there will be a set of Readers for each student, as many students benefit from rereading stories more than once, particularly in the areas of fluency, speed, and accuracy. I do think it might work to have one set of Readers for every two to three students if you staggered their reading of the stories over two to three days, but I can’t imagine having fewer Readers than that.

Please let me know if you would like more information about implementing All About Reading in a classroom setting.

Nisha

says:

Hi…my 7 year daughter have phonology dyslexia. My Dr. Is suggesting me AAR and AAS programs to help my child.can you please suggest me how to get it and how many programs I need. Thanks

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nisha,
Sure! Start with our All About Reading placement tests. If your daughter places into level 2 or higher, then also start All About Spelling level 1 at the same time. However, if she needs the Pre-reading level or level 1, wait to begin All About Spelling until she has completed All About Reading level 1.

You can order our products through our website.

I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have further questions or need anything else.

This is soooooo helpful! Thank you for putting this together for hybrid homeschool co-op like ours! We’ve been using your products in the classroom and at home for three years now and we love them. This resource is just what our classroom teachers needed to remind them of the why, what, and how of what we do in AAR. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Angela! It’s great to hear that All About Reading is working out so well for your hybrid school even after three years. Let me know if you need anything or if your teachers, classroom or home, have any questions!

Rina

says:

Do I need to buy spelling tiles for all of my students (4), or would the app work well? I was thinking that it would be quicker and easier using the app instead of the tiles so I don’t have to spend time setting up between groups.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rina,
Great question. Either one set of letter tiles or one download of the app will work with multiple students, so which would be best for your four students is a matter of personal preference. Here we list the pros and cons of each option to help you decide. Let me know if you have more questions or concerns about the app or tiles. I have used the tiles for years with my three students, but we are now loving the app. Both, however, lead to great learning.

Aimee

says:

I’m using spelling with my older struggling speller and she’s excelling with the multi-sensory approach. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Aimee,
Thank you for letting us know that your struggling speller is now excelling with the multisensory approach!

Kerry

says:

I’ve done the first 4 levels with my ow home schooled children and love AAS. I’ve been teaching for 27 years and the spelling rules suddenly made sense!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kerry,
Wow, you have been teaching for 27 years! That is a real testimony to how well All About Spelling makes things easy to understand. Thank you.

Sherry

says:

We have been using AAR1 for a few weeks now. I had hoped my 9 year old would “fly” through it but even though he considers it “too easy” he struggles with some of the sounds and combination of sounds. So he definitely needs this level to consolidate. I’m glad I started here. My 7 year old is thrilled to be learning to read and looks forward to his reading lesson. I chose to read this article to see if/ how I could translate the AAR/AAS programs to the resource portion of my teaching. It’s possible but ultimately it will depend on the students and their literacy needs.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sherry,
If you have any questions about how you could use All About Reading and All About Spelling as a resource teacher, please ask. It does, of course, depend on the students’ needs, but our programs have been used with a lot of success in such classrooms.

Amanda Bass

says:

We use AAS at home and I love it with my daughter! We will continue to use it until it’s completed!

Helen

says:

Hope to be able to start the reading and spelling programs this summer.

Braci

says:

I am looking for a new reading program for my 6 yr old son. He loves math and does okay with sounding out words but does not enjoy reading. I want him to read well and enjoy reading.

lindsey

says:

we have been so encouraged using this curriculum reading is finally clicking with my son and he loves the multi sensory approach.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsey,
We are so happy to hear that reading is clicking with your son!

Jenny

says:

I have using AAR and AAS for 6 years now, and I love it! My second child has dyslexia, and her reading tutor is super complementary about the foundation she has received from this program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenny,
Thank you for sharing this. It’s great to hear that your child’s reading tutor is pleased with the foundation that AAR and AAS have given her.

Vanessa

says:

We love All About Reading!

Tammy

says:

I love All About Reading and All About Spelling. It is a very parent friendly program and is great if you have struggling readers. One of my children had some visual perception issues and I tried lots of reading programs but AAR and AAS have helped our family the most. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Tammy. We are happy to know that All About Reading and All About Spelling have helped your family.

Tracy

says:

Thanks for the great information. I haven’t used either AAR or AAS but they sound great!

Karen

says:

I was able to share both programs with my children’s private school this spring. The teachers liked it so much, that they purchased the entire reading and spelling program for the school! Thank you for offering a quality program for our children!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
This is great! Thank you.

Marci

says:

I love AAS!

Tammy

says:

I LOVE AAR and AAS! I am using them with my 9 year old grandson and 6 year old granddaughter. They are making huge progress and actually enjoy coming into my “reading classroom”. :)

Sara Miller

says:

We are a homeschooling family…. We use both All About Reading and All About Spelling. They’re fabulous programs! So thankful for them. Thank you!
Lessons are laid out nicely, the student workbooks are excellent and readers are so fun!
All of the activities in the All About Reading student workbooks are so fun for our students. Fun, engaging learning.

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.

Gina Poirier

says:

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.

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