All About Reading Level 1

We are plugging away so nicely in All About Reading Level 1 that we have finished half of the program! We have completed 25 lessons over the last 5 weeks and I am ready to share my review with you!

I will give you some information about the program, share how it is working for us and then I will give you a chance to WIN an All About Reading Level 1 Kit and a Deluxe Learning Kit from All About Learning Press! ~ a $156 value! {Giveaway has ended.}

The All About Reading program includes:

  1. Teacher's Manual (sample
  2.  Student Packet (includes Activity Book) (sample
  3.  Run, Bug, Run! reader (sample
  4. The Runt Pig reader (sample
  5. Cobweb the Cat reader (sample)
Price: $107.70 ~ on sale now for $99.95.

Level 1 consists of the above plus your choice of one of the interactive reading kits shown below. 

The Basic Reading Interactive Kit is $28.95 and contains:
  1. Letter Tiles
  2. Magnets for the letter tiles
  3. The Basic Phonograms CD Rom
  4. Reading Divider Cards

The Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit is $48.95 and contains all of the above plus:
  1. Reading Review Box
  2. Reading Tote Bag
  3. Star stickers for the progress chart

The extras are nice, but you could easily get along well with the basic kit. You would just need an index card box to hold the cards that are a part of this program. If you are using All About Spelling, you already have the letter tiles, magnets and CD rom from the basic kit! You would just need the reading divider cards ($3.95) along with an index card box.

You will also need a magnetic whiteboard for the letter tiles.

Is it worth the price to try it out?


All About Learning Press' products come with a Go Ahead and Use it One-Year Guarantee
"That's right. You and your child have a full year to try out the programs! If you find that the curriculums do not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price."

All About Reading is worth the price, but if it seems a bit too much for you, remember that only the Student Activity Book is consumable and the program can be used again and again. I will teach at least three children to read with this program, so it is a bargain for me.  But even if I had only one child left to teach, I would still invest in this program. 

What makes All About Reading so special?

The program is clear.  The lessons are scripted and you know exactly what to do every step of the way.  It is easy to teach and easy to learn

All About Reading is logical. Reading concepts are taught in a logical, understandable order and there are no gaps. The program includes all the necessary elements to teach and learn reading. 

All About Reading is multisensory. The lessons engage the child using sight, sound and touch. 

All About Reading has continual review. While the child learns new material, there is still continual review of previously-taught concepts. 

Lessons elements include:
  • Review
  • New Teaching
    • New letter sounds
    • Practice Commonly Confused Letters
    • Blend Sounds with Letter Tiles
    • Play "Change the Word"
    • Practice Reading Words
    • Practice Fluency
    • Teach Key Concepts
    • Teach a Sight Word
    • Read a story from the Reader
  • Complete Activity Sheets
  • Read-Aloud Time 
  • Track Your Progress
Be sure to see the samples linked above! 

Here are some learning moments I captured along with more specific information about the lessons and our experience: 

"Ice Cream Cones" from Lesson 2. Malachi put rhyming words together to form double scoop ice cream cones. 

Our Reading and Spelling area ~including the magnetic whiteboard.  Here we had just finished Letter h in Level Pre-1 and Lesson 2 in Level 1 - I sit in one desk and work with a child in the other. I leave their work out for the day so they can show their dad when he gets home. (Malachi's Word Match from Lesson 1 is still hanging on the board along with his Progress Chart). 

Fluency Practice Sheet from Lesson 3. The Viewfinder Bookmark is a big help. 

Malachi was more than ready for this level, and while he knew all the sounds and letters (from All About Spelling) and could blend some words and spell them, he was lacking in fluency. There is plenty of fluency practice and tips to help him succeed in this program and I have seen him grow so much in his reading in such a short amount of time!

Bingo from Lesson 4. I gave Malachi the option to do this because it was easy for him,
but he wanted to do it. :)

Fluency Practice Sheets from Lesson 4. 

The Fluency Practice Sheets include "Phrases and Sentences." First he reads two short phrases, and then the phrases are combined into a sentence. According to the manual, this type of practice is called "phased reading" and is designed to improve phrasing. 

"Phrasing is important for fluency; fluent readers are able to phrase, or break text into meaningful parts." 

These sheets have been particularly helpful for Malachi in achieving fluency. They can be long for Malachi so I follow the suggestion to divide them into two sessions - we do one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Towards the middle of the program, we had to divide some sheets into 3 sessions over 2 days.

The lessons are FULLY scripted and tell you exactly what to say making this program easy to teach. In addition to the script, you can find tips in light grey boxes in the margins of the teacher's manual. These are a MUST read!

One tip that has helped me as a teacher is to allow him to read a whole sentence and correct himself if he makes a mistake. Often, he will figure it out on his own. 

Lesson 5 ~ Reading "Jam" and "The Tan Hat" from the Run Bug Run reader.
(Sight words on the board are from Lesson 3 and 4). 
The program discusses how a student moves from decoding words to comprehending words. While Malachi lacked in fluency, he had no trouble comprehending what he was reading.

Word Flipper from Lesson 6. 

"Word Flippers are used in several lessons and are a fun way to practice fluency."

Fluency Practice Sheets from Lesson 6.

Reading "The Sad Hog" from Lesson 13. 

"Over Easy" from Lesson 16.
Malachi used a spatula to flip over the eggs, one at a time, and then read the word. 

Playing "Change the Word" from Lesson 18.

Lesson 20 ~ The mouse sneaks up to the pile of cheese and takes a piece.
If the word is read correctly, the mouse keeps the cheese.
(The Word Flipper in the back is from Lesson 18). 

My thoughts: 

I LOVE it! I can't say enough good about this program and am excited to be using it. 

Malachi has shown much progress in a short amount of time. In the beginning, he had some reversal problems and struggled with some commonly confused letters. His main trouble was distinguishing between b and d. The teacher's manual offered several solutions on how to handle reversal problems, including ways to prevent confusion (built into the program) and ways to resolve the confusion if it exists. The solutions presented are multisensory and help solve the problem in a fun way. It took several weeks to resolve this issue with Malachi, but we did it! 

His confidence is growing and he feels good about reading. The program is just the right amount of challenge for him. But, as I mentioned, we have to divide up some of the lessons into several sessions so that it he does not get overwhelmed (thankfully that is a "Tip!" in the manual). 

Eliana has completed All About Reading Level Pre-1 and is ready to start Level 1. I will start her as soon as Malachi finishes. While she is ready to decode and blend words, I am sure that she will move at a slower pace than Malachi. But, I know she is ready because while blending with Malachi one day, she beat him to the blending! She is excited to learn to read with Level 1. In fact, I already ordered the student book for her. 

What about All About Spelling?

I used All About Reading (AAR) and All About Spelling (AAS) concurrently with an advanced 1st grade student, so I get asked often how I did this. I will share with the understanding that Marie recommends that you complete AAS1 after AAR1. Since, we were already half way through AAS 1 when we started AAR1, I did them together and share what we did below. 

You will learn all the sounds of the first 26 phonograms in AAS step 1, but only the first sounds in AAR, initially. You pick up the additional sounds toward the end of the program, so you could just teach the first sounds initially in AAS and follow the scope and sequence in AAR to introduce the additional sounds. {Update: see how I started with Eliana here if your child has not mastered the phonograms.}

Here is what I did:

Teach Step 1 in AAS -The First 26 Phonograms focusing on the first sounds only. 

Teach Step 2 in AAS - Segmenting Words. If your child has completed All About Reading Level Pre-1, he or she will be familiar with the exercises. In fact, I will be pulling Ziggy out during this lesson! 

Teach Step 3 in AAS - The Letter Tiles. Your child will be introduced to the letter tiles as well as the key concepts of vowels and consonants. 

Teach Step 4 in AAS - The Sound Cards. You dictate the sounds and have your child point to the letter tile that makes that sound. Once they can do that, they write the letter from dictation. Now you are ready to add in AAR and continue on with AAS! 

 Here's how:
  • Teach Lesson 1 in AAR.  Letters m, s, p, and a. 
  • Teach Lesson 2 in AAR. Letters n, t, b, and j. 
  • Teach Lesson 3 in AAR. Letters g, d, c, and y. 
  • Teach Lesson 4 in AAR. Letters h, k, and r. 
  • Teach Lesson 5 in AAR. Read a story.
  • Teach Step 6 in AAS. Short a.  
  • Teach Lesson 6 in AAR. Letters i, v, f, and z. 
  • Teach Lesson 7 in AAR.  Read a story.
  • Teach Step 7 in AAS. Short i.  
  • Teach Lesson 8 in AAR. Letters o, l, and w. 
  • Teach Step 8 in AAS. Short o. 
  • Teach Lesson 9 in AAR.  Read a story.
  • Teach Lesson 10 in AAR. Letter u and the Second Sound of s. 
  • Teach Step 9 in AAS. Short u. 
  • Teach Lesson 11 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Lesson 12 in AAR. Letter e. 
  • Teach Step 10 in AAS. Short e. 
  • Teach Lesson 13 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Lesson 14 in AAR. Letters qu and x. 
  • Teach Step 11 in AAS - s, x, and qu. 
  • Teach Lesson 15 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Lesson 16 in AAR. Consonant Team th.
  • Teach Lesson 17 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Lesson 18 in AAR. Consonant Team sh. 
  • Teach Lesson 19 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Lesson 20 in AAR. Consonant Team ch. 
  • Teach Lesson 21 in AAR. Read a story. 
  • Teach Step 12 in AAS. th, sh and ch.
  • Teach Lesson 22 in AAR. Words with Final Blends. 
  • Teach Step 13 in AAS. Segmenting Words with Blends. 
  • Teach Step 14 in AAS. Final Blends. 
  • Teach Lesson 23 in AAR. Read a story.
  • Teach Lesson 24 in AAR. Words with Initial Blends. 
  • Teach Step 15 in AAS. Initial Blends. 
  • Teach Lesson 25 in AAR. Read a story. 
That is as far as we have gotten, but you can see how the lessons correlate and after you get started, the spelling lessons follow the reading lessons! I feel that both programs are an integral part to Malachi's education right now. He is learning to read, spell, write from dictation and more. 

I had hoped for Level 1 to release at the beginning of this school year and was disappointed when it didn't. But, the wait was worth it. I'm excited about the potential of this program and anxiously await the release of Level 2!

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Disclosure: I received All About Reading Level Pre-1 in exchange for an honest review.