BEGINNING READING THERAPY
Learning Tree offers reading readiness and beginning
reading and writing skills for students ages 4-5 and those
entering their kindergarten year. Learning Tree offers
WatchWord: A Multisensory Beginning Reading and Writing
Program. WatchWord has been used for over 16 years and
has been a tremendously successful and effective beginning
reading and writing program.
Based on years of research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD),
WatchWord unravels the alphabetic code for young children and develops the phonological,
letter recognition, and phonics skills they need to become fluent readers. The program’s multisensory,
developmentally appropriate, and carefully sequenced activities can be used with the entire class,
small groups, or individual students.
WatchWord was designed for beginning readers and students who need extra help in learning to match
letters to sounds and to blend sounds together for reading. Children create simple objects that provide a
concrete “link” for letter/sound recall. A sound blending chart is used for learning and understanding
the “process” of basic word decoding and spelling. Controlled word lists can be used to provide the
necessary practice for successful word blending.
WatchWord was created by Karen Lacey M.S. CCC/SLP and Wendy Baird OTR, both with teaching
experience and expertise; therefore, providing activities that promote speech awareness of how speech
sounds are produced as well as a full handwriting program.
WHAT IS MULTISENSORY TEACHING?
Information is presented with simultaneous visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile input. Students learn to
link the letter name with the sound of the letter, how the letter looks, and the way it feels to form the letter.
Research has shown that multisensory reading instruction is effective.
WHO BENEFITS FROM MULTISENSORY READING PROGRAMS?
Multisensory reading programs have been found effective for dyslexic students, slow readers
who lack fluency, non-readers, poor spellers, students with poor decoding, and sight word readers.
WHO IS WATCHWORD DESIGNED FOR?
WatchWord is designed for young, beginning readers, ages 4-8 years. It has been
used in traditional classrooms, inclusion classrooms, small remedial groups, and for 1:1 tutoring.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT WATCHWORD?
ORAL MOTOR ACTIVITIES
- Develop awareness and motor control for good articulation
- Focus attention
- Students learn the mouth movements that form the letter sounds
- Students make an object to reinforce each letter sound
- Students make a picture or color provided picture card to reinforce each letter sound
SOUND BLENDING CHART
- Color coded for syllable type
- Emphasizes left to right sequence
- Students blend sounds together to form words
- May use objects, pictures, or letter cards
READING AND CODING
- Word and sentence lists provided—controlled text
- Controlled text stories available
- Students learn to code vowels, digraphs, silent letters, and sight words
- Use objects, pictures, or writing
- Students spell what they have been taught to read in spelling exercises
- Inventive spelling encouraged in creative writing
- Postural preparation activities
- Additional sensory activities
- Pre-writing development
PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS ACTIVITIES
- Sequenced activities to develop phonological awareness, phonemic awareness