Alphabet ≠ Sounds

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 7.55.41 AM

More than 42 million people have watched these colorful graphemes as they stretch and spin.  Many speech sound units are ignored because the lesson is ABC-based.

V01/a/ alligator, ax, apple, ambulance

V02/i/ igloo, internet, iguana, instruments

V03/o/ orange, octopus, olive, ostrich

V04/u/ umbrella, up, underwear, under

V05/e/ escalator, elephant, elevator, egg

V06 ???

V07 ???

V08 ???

V09 ???

V10 ???

V11 ???

V12 ???

V13 ???

V14 ???

V15 ???

C16/p/ pencil, panda, pig, penguin

C17/b/ bat, ball, bus, bed

C18/t/ television, ten, tomato, tent

C19/d/ dolphin, dog, dinosaur, duck

C20 ???

C21/j/ jello, jacket, jam, juice

C22/c/ cat, cow, car, cap

C22/k/ kangaroo, koala, kite, key

C22+C28/x/ x-ray, fox, box

C22+C36/qu/ quiet, question, queen, quilt

C23/g/ girl, gorilla, guitar, grapes

C24/f/ feet, fish, frog, fire

C25/v/ volcano, violin, vacuum, van

C26 ???

C27 ???

C28/s/ sandwich, sun, sock, sausage

C29/z/ zig-zag, zipper, zebra, zoo

C29/x/ xylophone

C30 ???

C31 ???

C32/h/ hippo, helicopter, hat, horse

C33/m/ monkey, moon, milk, mouse

C34/n/ nose, net, no, note

C35 ???

C36/w/ web, watch, weather, windmill

C37/l/ lemon, lollipop, leg, lion

C38/r/ ring, robot, rocket, rabbit

C39/y/ yo-yo, yellow, yogurt, yacht



ABCs predominate in Highlights PUZZLEMANIA workbook activities.


“Music Q’s” does not help learner know that vowels are sounds, not letters.  While some sound-letter patterns match letter-sound patterns, some do not and are misrepresented.


  • V02/I/ V02/I/ V13/OW/ V05/E/


  • V04/E/ V11/A/ V01/A/ V04/~E/ V01/A/ V15/ER/


  • V01/A/ V10/Y/ V15/IR/ V06/AY/ V09/O/ V09/OU/


  • V02/I/ V04/~E/ V05/E/


  • V01/A/ V10/EY/ V09/OO/ V04/~E/


  • V06/A_E/ V10/E/ V13/OU/ V09/O/ V04/E/ V11/A/ V06/A_E/


“Word for Words” requires using Letters /U/, /M/, /B/, /R/, /E/, /L/, /L/, /A/ to make 15 other words – letter-by-letter – sea, bus, bell, Mars, meal, ball, bear, ears, mule, blue, same, smell, lumber, smaller, marbles.  This task does not promote reading competence because, if a child knew literal sound-spellings, she would recognize that words are built sound-by-sound.  Here are errors:

V04 spelled Letter /U/ ≠ C39+V09/u_e/ mule; V09/ue/ blue

C38 spelled Letter /R/ ≠ V15/er/ lumber, smaller

V05 spelled Letter /E/ ≠ V06/a_e/ same; V06/ea/ bear; C39+V09/u_e/ mule; V09/ue/ blue; V10/ea/ ears, sea, meal; V15/er/ lumber, smaller

C37 spelled Letters /LL/ ≠ C37/l/ meal, mule, blue, lumber, marbles

V04 spelled Letter /A/ ≠ V06/a_e/ same; V06/ea/ bear; V10/ea/ ears, sea, meal; V11/a/ Mars, ball, smaller, marbles


“Scrambled Birds” is a game to unscramble letter-by-letter.  Compare to bird names scrambled sound-by-sound and syllable-by-syllable.


  • DEVO
  • C25/V/ V04/O_E/ C19/D/


  • CORW
  • C38/R/ V08/OW/ C22/C/


  • WKAH
  • C22/K/ V11/AW/ C32/H/


  • NASW
  • C36/W/ V11/A/ C34/N/ C28/S/


  • C34/N/ V02/I/ C38/R/ V03/O/ C17/B/


  • C22/K/ C38/R/ V08/O/ C18/T/ C28/S/


  • C28/S/ C23/G/ V09/OO_E/


  • C21/G/ V04/EO/ C34/N/ C16/P/ V02/I/


  • C38/R/ V04/O/ C18/T/ C16/P/ V01/A/


  • C38/R/ V08/OW/ C28/S/ C16/P/ V01/A/


  • V02/I/ C35/N/ C23/G/ V09/U/ C16/P/ V05/E/ C34/N/


  • C23/G/ V08/O/ C33/M/ V02/I/ C35/NG/ C24/F/ C37/L/ V04/A/


  • C34/N/ V04/A/ C37/L/ C19/D/ V02/I/ C22/C/ V11/A/ C38/R/

ABC orientation is outmoded

Rethink and reset conventional priorities.  Why?  ABC-based products – per se – provide incomplete information.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.51.12 AMShown here, Nellie Edge’s program engages visual modality (ABCs), auditory modality (speech sounds), and kinesthetic modality (signing cues) to create optimal learning.  Yet, since crucial speech sound-units are missing, 100% mastery of this chart cannot guarantee that the learner actually understands foundational literacy basics or how spoken language becomes text.

V01/a/ alligator

V02/i/ insect

V03/o/ octopus

V04/u/ umbrella

V05/e/ elephant

V06 ?

V07 ?

V08 ?

V09 ?

V10 ?

V11 ?

V12 ?

V13 ?

V14 ?

V15 ?

C16/p/ piano

C17/b/ bear

C18/t/ turtle

C19/d/ dog

C20/ch/ chicken

C21/j/ jump

C22/c/ cat; C22/k/ kangaroo

C22+C28/x/ x-ray (beginning sound V05)

C22+C36/qu/ queen

C23/g/ goat

C24/f/ fox

C25/v/ volcano

C26/th/ thread

C27 ?

C28/s/ sunshine

C29/z/ zebra

C30/sh/ sheep

C31 ?

C32/h/ hat

C32+C36/wh/ whale

C33/m/ monkey

C34/n/ nest

C35 ?

C36/w/ world

C37/l/ lion

C38/r/ rainbow

C39/y/ yo-yo


See Microsoft Word ABC Phonics and other fonts on display at Pinterest, again missing much necessary SOUND-BASED information:

V01 ?

V02 ?

V03/o/ opera

V04 ?

V05/e/ elephant

V06/ai/ airplane

V07 ?

V08 ?

V09 ?

C39+V09/u/ unicorn

V10 ?

V11 ?

V12 ?

V13 ?

V14 ?

V15 ?

C16/p/ penguin

C17/b/ baby

C18/t/ turtle

C19/d/ dinosaur

C20 ?

C21/j/ jaguar

C22/c/ car; C22/k/ koala

C22+C36/qu/ quintet

C23/g/ gorilla

C24/f/ fountain

C25/v/ viking

C26 ?

C27 ?

C28/s/ sun

C29/z/ zoo; C29/x/ xylophone

C30 ?

C31 ?

C32/h/ hippopotamus

C33/m/ mom

C34/n/ nest

C35 ?

C36/w/ water

C37/l/ lion

C38/r/ robot

C39/y/ yo-yo

We would never buy an alphabet product if letters were missing.  Why, then, are we willing to ignore all these speech sounds?

ABC orientation infiltrates all curriculum.  For instance, ABRACADABRA < > is an acronym for “a balanced reading approach for all Canadians designed to achieve best results for all”.  The general phonics program continuum could be modified away from ABCs as follows.

1st Level – Phonological sensitivity using words-to-be-read, including (a) Speech Sounds/intense [instead of Letter Sounds/intense], (b) Blending, (c) Segmenting

2nd Level – (a) Sound-spellings [instead of Sounding out/phoneme level], (b) Word Changing (ex. within/between)

3rd Level – Reading real words in text

WA Equations

E = C + V

English equals Consonant Sounds plus Vowel Sounds.

15 vowels + 24 consonants = 39 sound-units

E – C  = V

Consonant sounds/spellings subtracted from English words determine Vowel sounds/spellings.

88 words < 5 seconds each

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.48.59 AMWordsAhead is dedicated to solving big challenges by creating the most effective literacy outcomes in the most convenient ways.  Play Google interactive crossword puzzle at

Taught, then Self-Taught

IMPLICIT BIAS (Stanford School of Medicine definition):  A positive or negative mental attitude towards something which a person holds at an unconscious level.

WordsAhead intends to disrupt institutional wisdom by influencing parents, tutors and educators to teach speech sounds – rather than ABCs or any alphabet-based notion – as the default infrastructure for both spoken and written language.

WA wants to create an implicit bias favoring sound-parsing (phonemic awareness) but avoid muddling its focus with commingled phonics jargon (Long-A, Short-A, B-Sound, Hard-C, Soft-C, etc.).  WA uses *new* names for English speech sounds, V01-C39.

EXPLICIT BIAS is an attitude a person is consciously aware of.

*CloudSpelling* is an example of explicitly biased sound-based instruction.  WA urges ubiquitous opportunities for vocabulary instruction – including pronunciation and spelling – ahead of all formal so-called “content” instruction so that students can be completely primed to meet teacher expectations.  WA waits for demonstrable evidence that learners are actually being taught to spell-out speech sound units, not to sound-out ABCs.

Tools for this new paradigm have not yet been built because research and development remains incomplete.  Ironically, research and development remains incomplete because tools for this new approach are not yet built.

Nonetheless, biases will be automatically fostered from very early ages.  Our brains are naturally hard-wired to hear first, read second, but formal curriculum changes the flow.  Many brains obviously compensate around distortions or blatant misinformation to simply carry on.

In her January 26, 2015 article for The New Yorker [The Cobweb: Can the Internet be Archived?], Jill Lepore explores many organizational and ethical issues related to internet information.  WA alleges that relevance is the linchpin to successful learning.  Deep language analysis is a righteous intrusion if it means that every person’s underpinnings for both granular and global language study can be explicitly correct.

Time being, many people are functionally deaf and remain unsure about how language actually works.  Sounds are sounds, period. Spoken language may or may not get letter-representations, period.  But all vocabulary can be heard, said, spelled and read… exclamation mark!

Doing research in a paper archive is to

doing research in a Web archive as

going to a fish market is to

being thrown in the middle of the ocean;

the important thing they have in common is that both involve fish.

One’s study of any particular lesson (whether in a classroom or virtually on an electronic device) will be more focused than simply living one’s day-to-day life surrounded by swimming speech sounds.  One must become confident to catch any cluster of relevant sound-fish and enjoy a delicious and nutritious word-meal with friends!

Let’s do the good work!

A small group of people can make the future happen faster!!

Ansari: Usher in a new era of private suborbital spaceflight

Archon Genomics:  Sequence 100 whole human genomes (cancelled because the competition was not incentivizing the technological changes)

Global Learning:  Empower children to take control of their own learning

Google Lunar:  Develop a robot that can successfully land on the moon’s surface, travel at least 500 meters and then, transmit images back to Earth.

Nokia Sensing:  Affordable, personalized healthcare

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander:  Advance repeated rocket travel to the moon.

Progressive Insurance Automotive:  New generation of super fuel-efficient vehicles.

Qualcomm Tricorder

Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health:  Improve understanding of how CO2 emissions are affecting ocean acidification.

Open-source sustainable abundance time…

Do *CloudSpelling* Now!

V01/a/ Abstractions will become concrete

V01/a/ Clarify sound-letter confusions

V01/a/ “Granularity” (smallest sound-units) and “Singularity”

V01/a/ Manifest Bloom’s Taxonomy

V01/a/ Master sound-sequencing

V01/a/ Mastery, one word at a time

V01/a/ Practice makes permanent

V01/a/ Transcend English inconsistencies


V02/i/ If not YOU, then who?

V02/i/ If you have ears, please listen!

V02/i/ Improve your own understanding

V02/i/ Input. Code. Store. Access.

V02/i/ Springboard to other activities

V02/i/ This learning is self-perpetuating

V02/i_e/ Give correct and direct instruction


V03/o/ Conscientious word study

V03/o/ Consonants are C16-C39

V03/o/ Noninstitutionalized, noncommercial, nonprofit


V04/a/ Accomplish your language goals

V04/o/ Consolidate language foundations


V05/e/ Effective with any literature

V05/e/ Embrace life-long learning

V05/e/ Empower your learners

V05/e/ Engage learners of all ages

V05/e/ Examine relative complexities

V05/e/ Examine sound-sorted word lists

V05/e/ Extreme phoneme segmentation

V05/e/ Extreme phonetic analysis

V05/e/ Extreme speech sound awareness

V05/e/ Extreme word analysis

V05/e/ Get an “ear” for English sounds

V05/e/ Get and give a sound foundation

V05/e/ Get clarity for proper teaching

V05/e/ Get ready ahead-of-time

V05/e/ Get smart with WA

V05/e/ Segment words by sound


V06/a_e/ Make remediation unnecessary

V06/a/ AKA “Equational Literacy” E = V + C   E – C = V

V06/ai/ Brain-friendly lessons

V06/ay/ Way to grow confident readers


V07/i/ Identify individual phonemes

V07/i/ Mindfully focus on word-structure

V07/i/ Primal sounds vs. ABCs


V08/o_e/ Code speech sounds (encode/decode)

V08/o_e/ More precise.  More versatile.

V08/o/ Don’t major on the minors!

V08/o/ No skipping.  No guessing.

V08/o/ Phonemes vs. Graphemes

V08/o/ Phonemes will trump graphemes

V08/o/ Phonemic analysis for beginners

V08/o/ Phonemic awareness is not accidental

V08/o/ Phonemic processing is crucial

V08/o/ Profound instructional implications

V08/o/ Pronounce and spell speech sounds

V08/o/ Provide proper direction


V09/oo_e/ Choose your own literature

V09/ew/ Newer research, newer pedagogy


V10/-/ V01 through C39

V10/e/ Become consciously aware of speech sounds

V10/e/ Decide for yourself

V10/e/ Demystify alphabetic complexities

V10/e/ Precise sound-spellings

V10/e/ Prerequisite, not optional

V10/e/ Prerequisite to language success

V10/e/ Reliably predict achievement

V10/ea/ Easier sooner, harder later

V10/ea/ Easily drill 39 English speech sounds

V10/ea/ Clear-headed approach for all ages

V10/ea/ Hear and see speech sounds

V10/ea/ Hear every sound in spoken words

V10/ea/ Speak-to-spell for explicit recall

V10/ea/ Teach to the smallest factor


V11/a/ Articulations, not fonts

V11/au/ Auditory/visual input-to-memory


V12/oo/ Good for auditory/visual memory


V13/ou/ Sound knowledge equals sound instruction

V13/ou/ Sounds are heard, said, seen, read

V13/ow/ Vowels are V01-V15


V14/oy/ Boys and girls need WA


V15/ear/ Learn sound-letter correspondences

V15/ear/ Learn speech sounds and their spellings

V15/ear/ Learn to process speech sounds with…


[These are AdWords phrases]

Make “learning to read” better

Recognize the importance of providing focus and context with object-naming.  From the earliest months, name relevant tangibles objects like “thumb,” “mom” and “book” – and – actions like “eat,” “go” and “play.”  Intangibles like “thoughts,” “choices” and “loving relationships” can also be named; we will learn whatever we’re taught.

Know precise components of spoken and written language so that, when the time is right, proper instruction can be directly and correctly provided.

  • *New* names V01-C39 for English speech sound-units
  • Conventional names “ayeee,” “beee,” “seee,” etc. for Letters /Aa/ through /Zz/

Never allow commingling between sound-units and letters when you talk about them.  Letters never make sounds; letters always represent sounds.  Logically, there never was an “A-Sound” or “Long-A” or “Short-A” as common phonics jargon would have it.

Learn to say:

  • [C39] is spelled Letter /y/
  • [V05] is spelled Letter /e/
  • [C28] is spelled Letter /s/

Pronounce and spell-out C39/y/ V05/e/ C28/s/ = YES

Always use relevant vocabulary!

Sounds spelled with more than one letter

Do your teaching materials show all the following spellings which use MORE than one letter?

Letter /Aa/…

V01/A_E/ have

V06/A_E/ age

V11/A_E/ are

V06/A_UE/ vague

V04/AE/ aerobic

V10/AE/ Caesar

V11/AH/ AH!!

V01/AI/ plaid

V05/AI/ said

V06/AI/ air

V06/AI_E/ raise

V06/AIGH/ straight

V07/AIS_E/ aisle

V04/AU/ authority

V01/AU/ laugh

V11/AU/ author

V06/AU_E/ gauge

V11/AU_E/ pause

V11/AUGH/ taught

V08/AW/ drawer

V11/AW/ saw

V11/AWE/ awesome

V05/AY/ says

V06/AY/ day

V07/AYE/ aye!

Letter /Bb/…

C17/BB/ shabby

C18/BT/ debt

Letter /Cc/…

C20/CH/ choose

C22/CC/ soccer

C22/CH/ chord

C30/CH/ chef

C22/CK/ pack

Letter /Dd/…

C19/DD/ add

C21/DG/ badge

C34/DN/ Wednesday

Letter /Ee/…

V05/E_E/ else

V06/E_E/ there

V10/E_E/ eve

V05/EA/ head

V06/EA/ wear

V10/EA/ each

V11/EA/ heart

V10/EA_E/ please

V15/EAR/ earn

V15/EAR_E/ rehearse

V08/EAU/ beau

C39+V09/EAU/ beauty

V02/EE/ been

V10/EE/ preen

V10/EE_E/ cheese

V05/EI/ heifer

V06/EI/ skein

V10/EI/ either

V06/EI_E/ beige

V10/EI_E/ receive

V06/EIG/ reign

V06/EIGH/ eight

V07/EIGH/ height

V10/EO/ people

V15/ER/ germ

V15/ER_E/ nerve

V15/ERE/ were

C39+V09/EUE/ queue

V08/EW/ sew

V09/EW/ chew; C39+V09/EW/ few

C39+V09/EWE/ ewe

V06/EY/ they

V07/EY/ geyser

V10/EY/ key

V07/EYE/ eye

Letter /Ff/…

C24/FF/ off

Letter /Gg/…

C21/GG/ exaggerate

C23/GG/ saggy

C23/GH/ ghost

C24/GH/ laugh

C34/GN/ gnome

Letter /Hh/…

V13/HOU/ hour

Letter /Ii/…

V02/I_E/ give

V07/I_E/ ice

V05/IE/ friend

V07/IE/ die

V10/IE/ thief

V02/IE_E/ sieve

V10/IE_E/ piece

V07/IA/ dial

V07/IGH/ light

V15/IR/ girl

V07/IS/ island

Letter /Kk/…

C34/KN/ know

Letter /Ll/…

C19/LD/ could

C24/LF/ half

C22/LK/ walk

C37/LL/ kill

C34/LN/ Lincoln

C25/LV/ halves

Letter /Mm/…

C33/MB/ dumb

C33/MM/ hammer

C33/MN/ autumn

Letter /Nn/…

C34/NN/ banner

C35/NG/ rang

Letter /Oo/…

V03/O_E/ gone

V04/O_E/ some

V08/O_E/ nose

V09/O_E/ move

V04/OE/ does

V08/OE/ toe

V09/OE/ shoe

V10/OE/ amoeba

V03/OA/ broad

V08/OA/ loaf

V08/OA_E/ coarse

V14/OI/ oil

V14/OI_E/ choice

V08/OH/ oh!

V04/OO/ flood

V08/OO/ door

V09/OO/ moon

V12/OO/ look

V09/OO_E/ choose

V15/OR/ worm

V15/OR_E/ worse

V15/ORR/ worry

V04/O_UE/ tongue

V08/O_UE/ rogue

V03/OU/ cough

V04/OU/ young

V08/OU/ four

V09/OU/ you

V11/OU/ could

V13/OU/ our

V08/OU_E/ course

V09/OU_E/ rouge

V13/OU_E/ house

V15/OU_E/ scourge

V03/OUGH/ thought

V08/OUGH/ though

V09/OUGH/ through

V13/OUGH/ bough

V15/OUR/ courage

V03/OW/ knowledge

V08/OW/ own

V13/OW/ down

V13/OW_E/ drowse

V08/OWE/ owe

V14/OY/ oyster

Letter /Pp/…

C24/PH/ physician

C34/PN/ pneumonia

C16/PP/ happy

C24/PPH/ sapphire

C28/PS/ pseudo

Letter /Qq/…

C22/QU/ liquor

Letter /Rr/…

C38/RH/ rhyme

C38/RR/ error

Letter /Ss/…

C28/SC/ scissors

C30/SH/ shoe

C37/SL/ aisle

C28/SS/ mass

C29/SS/ dessert

C30/SS/ mission

C31/SS/ fissure

C28/ST/ listen

Letters /Tt/…

C20/TCH/ hatch

C26/TH/ through

C27/TH/ the

C18/TT/ batty

C18/TW/ two

Letter /Uu/…

V11/UA/ guard

V04/U_E/ judge

V09/U_E/ rude; C39+V09/U_E/ cute

V05/UE/ guess

V09/UE/ blue; C39+V09/UE/ cue

V02/UI/ build

V09/UI/ suit

V09/UI_E/ juice

V07/UI_E/ guide

V15/UR/ turn; C39+V09/UR/ fury

V15/UR_E/ urge

V15/URE/ sure; C39+V15/URE/ pure

V15/URR/ purr

V07/UY/ buy

Letters /Ww/…

C32/WH/ whole

C38/WR/ write

Letter /Yy/…

V07/Y_E/ type

V07/YE/ bye

V15/YR/ myrtle

Letter /Zz/…

C29/ZZ/ jazz


Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 5.55.16 PM

Here is an educational product called READY TO READ – COMPLETE SYSTEM for Ages 3+.  Included are 4 storybooks, 6 activity books, electronic reader (no computer or downloads required)… all ready to go… sold at Costco in 2011 for $29.99.


Was this a bargain for the parents who bought it or not?  Advertising and actual contents don’t always match.  My analysis yields both “thumbs-up” and “thumbs-down” as follows:

HEAR THE PAGE – Thumbs up for these read-alouds.

HEAR THE WORD – Thumbs up for vocabulary pronunciations.

SOUND-OUT THE WORD – Thumbs waaaaay down for explicit sound-parsing.

SPELL THE WORD – Thumbs down for sound-letter correspondences.

LOOK AND FIND – Thumbs up for this game technology.

WORD PLAY –  Thumbs up for learning fun.

HEAR THE MUSIC – Thumbs up for music, always.

SING ALONG – Thumbs waaaaay up, if kids will actually sing along.

Remember:  Good orange juice can’t come from bad oranges.

This product may seem a great value, costing the price of one family meal in a cheap restaurant, but if it provides misinformation resulting in mental confusion, you may be actually setting yourself up for later remediation costs.  Here are my complaints:

1)  This program’s “Sound-out the word” feature has the status-quo bias towards visual input (ABCs) rather than auditory input (speech sounds), which includes several errors.  For starters, children don’t HEAR letters.

2)  This program creates letter-sound ambiguity, but a simple remedy (as shown in **new instructions**) is to say the word “Letter” before each letter name.  Example:  Letter /I/.  There can be no confusion about sound-alike concepts:  /I/-eye; /O/-oh; /P/-pea; /T/-tea; and /U/-you; etc.

3)  This program distorts the pronunciation of all consonants by adding “–uhh” to the basic sound, as in ‘puhh’ – ‘buhh’ – ‘tuhh’ – ‘duhh’ – ‘chuhh’ – ‘juhh’ – ‘cuhh’ – ‘guhh’ – etc.

4)  This program uses a Letters-to-Sounds approach, defaulting to conventional phonics names for vowel sound-units:  Short Vowel-A or Short-A Sound [V01] animal; Long Vowel-A or Long-A Sound [V06] ace; Soft-C [C28] city; Hard-C [C22] cat; Soft-G [C21] giraffe; Hard-G [C23] goose, etc.

5)  This program fails to make a proper distinction between [V09] juice/glue and [C39+V09] cube/use/uniform.

6)  This program wrongly calls the following sounds “blends”:  /sh/shirt, /ch/chin, /th/thesetheater; /wh/who, etc.

When you take a deeper look at relevant instructions for each of this program’s six activity books (shown below), it is questionable whether the READY TO READ product is meritorious.


Alphabet  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2066-0

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

(Notice **new instructions** which differentiate letters and sounds.)

A, B, C, D, E, F >>  “Touch the red letters to play.”

**Apple starts with Letter /A/.**

**Find the letter that comes right after Letter /D/.**

G, H, I, J, K  >>  “Touch the red letters to play.”

**Find the green Letter /I/**    vs. Find the green eye.

L, M, N, O, P >>  “Touch the red letters to play.”

**Find the green Letter /O/**  vs. Find the green oh.

**Find the green Letter /P/**  vs. Find the green pee/pea.

Q, R, S, T, U >>  “Find the match.”

**The first sound in train is spelled Letter /T/**  vs.  Train starts with tea.

**The first sound in umbrella is spelled Letter /U/**  vs.  Umbrella starts with you.

V, W, X, Y, Z >>   “Touch the red letters to play.”

**Find the orange Letter /V/.**

A to Z >>  “Touch each letter of the alphabet in order.”

What comes next? >>  “Touch a picture to play.”

**Find the letter that spells the first sound in apple**  vs.  Find the letter that starts the word apple.

**Find the letter that spells the first sound in fish… hat… kite…** etc.

Balloon, Balloon/ Family Reunion/ Ice Cream/ Lock and Key >> 

**Find the matching lowercase Letter /a/.**

**This is the uppercase Letter /E/.**

**This is the lowercase Letter /j/**  vs.  This is the lowercase jay?

Make a Match >> “What other picture starts with ___?”

**The first sound  in monkey is spelled Letter /M/.  Find the picture that shows lowercase Letter /m/.**

Time to Paint >>  “Touch a paint can to play.”

**This is uppercase Letter /P/.  Find the lowercase Letter /p/.**

Tic-Tac-Toe >>  “Find the blue s.”

**Find the blue Letter /s/.  Find the picture of a salad.  The first sound in salad is spelled Letter /s/.**

**This is the uppercase Letter /A/.  This is the lowercase Letter /m/.**

Time to Pack! >>  “Things that start with v go in the van.  Find two things that go in the van.”

**Van.  The first sound in van is spelled Letter /v/.**

(Whale.  The first sound in whale is not spelled Letter /w/.)

Driving the Alphabet >>  “Find the matching lowercase letter.”

**Letter /X/.  Find the matching lowercase Letter /x/.**

Letter Scramble >> “Touch an uppercase letter to play.  Find the matching lowercase letter.”

**Letter /D/.  Find the matching lowercase Letter /d/.**

Lowercase Letter Train >> “Touch a circle on the train.  Then touch a letter that goes in the circle.”

**Letter /a/.  Letter /b/.  Letter /c/.**  etc.


Rhyming Words  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2063-9

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

These are guessing games if the child can’t already read.

Rhyming Pictures >>  “Touch the first picture in each row, then find the picture that rhymes.”

Rhyme Time-1 >>   “Touch the first picture in each row, then find the picture that rhymes.”

“Flag and bag rhyme” is garbled and sounds like “Flag it bag rye.”     “10” sounds like “Ted.”

Rhyme Time-2  >> “Find the ___.  Find the picture that rhymes with ___.”

Rhyme or Not? >>  “___, ___, ___.  Which word doesn’t rhyme?”

Rhyme Me a Poem >>  “Find the ___.”

Tips for sounding-it out:  Short Vowel-A, Short Vowel-I, Short Vowel-O, Short Vowel-U,

Long Vowel-A, Long Vowel-E, Long Vowel-I, Long Vowel-O; Silent-e rule; /th/-blend;

plus all individual sounds have an extra ‘–uhh’ as in ‘muhh-sound’ – ‘buhh-sound’ – ‘luhh-sound’ –

‘nuhh-sound’ – ‘huhh-sound’ – ‘cuhh-sound’ – ‘suhh-sound’ – ‘tuhh-sound’ – etc.

A Fat Cat >>  “Find the ___.  Find the letter that starts the word ___.”

WordsAhead would say:  Find the letter that spells the first sound in rat.

The Man Ran  >>“Touch the picture to play.  Touch the word that matches the picture.”

Ted Men and a Head? (or so it sounds…) >>  “Touch the word that finishes each riddle.”

The Pet Is Wet >>  “Touch the word that finishes each rhyme.”

The Pin Is Thin/The Ring Is the Thing >>  “Find each word in the story that uses ___ word-ending.”

“I am pretty.  You wear me on your finger.  I am a…

(answer) SWING.  YES.  You sit on a swing and it moves back and forth.”

“You sit on me.  You move me back and forth.  I am a…

(answer) YES.  A pretty thing you wear on your finger is a ring!”

A Cub in a Tub >>  “___.  Which set of letters ends this word?”

Don’t Block the Clock >>  “Find the picture, find the word.”

A Sad Fad >>  “Find all the keys with words that end in ___.”

Stay and Play >>  “Touch each word that ends in ___.”

Oh Well >>  “Find each word in the story that uses the ___ word-ending.”

(spoken) the shell fell in a well  vs.  (printed) fell into the well

Tips for sounding-it out:  /sh/-blend for the word shell; /wh/-blend for the word who

Word Switch >>  “Where should the ___ go to make the word ___?”

Family Friends >>  “Touch two words that end in /ock/.


Consonants and Vowels  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2065-3

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

What’s That Sound?  >> “Touch a picture that begins with…”

Distorted pronunciations:  ‘buhh’ – ‘cuhh’ – ‘duhh’ – ‘fuhh’ – ‘guhh’

Sounds Tasty! >>  “Touch the letter you hear at the beginning of this word.”

You won’t HEAR letters; you SEE letters.  Sounds are distorted by adding ‘–uhh’.

A Sound Match >>  “Touch a picture that begins with…”

Distorted pronunciations:  ‘puhh’ – ‘cuhh’ – ‘ruhh’ – ‘suhh’ – ‘tuhh’

What Wonderful Sounds! >>  “Touch the letter you hear at the beginning of this word.”

The first sounds in the word x-ray aren’t /ks/.

C Is for Cat and City >>  “Touch all the pictures that start with Soft-C.”

Phonics terminology:  Soft-C [C28]; Hard-C [C22]

Ready, Set, Go!  >> “What picture starts with the Soft-G sound?”

Phonics terminology:  Hard-G [C23]; Soft-G [C21]

Letter Match >>  “Touch a picture that begins with…”

‘huhh’ – ‘puhh’ – ‘nuhh’ – ‘tuhh’ – ‘buhh’ – ‘guhh’ – ‘suhh’ – ‘zuhh’… these are all distorted sounds.

Name That Sound!  >> “Touch the letter you hear at the beginning of this word.”

Same of Different? >>  “Touch the word that begins with a different letter than the other two.”

This is a visual discrimination activity.

Short Vowel Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu >>  “Which picture does not start with Short Vowel ___?”

Auditory discrimination activities for [V01],  [V05], [V02], [V03], [V04]

Over the River! >>  “Touch the words in the picture having short vowels.”

Shhh!  Silent Ee >>  “Touch the letter that makes the long vowel-sound for this word.”

V06/a_e/, V07/i_e/, V08/o_e/   How about /ee_e/ cheese or /u_e/ rule or /oo_e/ choose, etc.

Long Vowel Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo >>  “Touch each picture that has the Long-__ sound.”

Auditory discrimination activities for [V06], [V10], [V07], [V08]

Long Vowel Uu >>  “Touch all the pictures on the page that have the Long-U sound.”

[V09]:  juice, glue

[C39+V09]:  cube, use, uniform

Looking for Long Vowels >>  “Touch all the pictures on the page that have long vowels.”

[V06] cake

[V07] bike. dime

[V08] robe

[V09] —

[V10] seal, bee


Consonant Blends and More Vowels  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2064-6

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

Shhh.  Check It Out! >>  “Touch the consonant blend that begins this word.”

Warning!  /sh/ and /ch/ are not consonant blends!

A consistent error is that an extra “–uhh” is added to all pronunciations:  ‘shuhh’ and ‘chuhh’

Love Those Shoes! >>  “Touch nine words in the story that begin with th ‘thuhh’.”

Sound distortion:  ‘thuhh’

The word tried starts with a consonant blend spelled /tr/.

The word are does not use the Short Vowel-O, but rather [V11].

Thanks a Lot! >>  “Touch the word in the box that spells theater.”  (Say what?!)

Let’s Blend/ Greasy Fries/ Train Tracks/ Have a Slice! >>

All have an extra “–uhh” added to the pronunciations:

‘cruhh’ – ‘bruhh’ – ‘druhh’ – ‘gruhh’ – ‘fruhh’ – ‘truhh’ – ‘pruhh’ – ‘sluhh’

Blend Review >>  “Touch the mailbox that has a word starting with ___.”

This activity is about letter-matching.

Balloon Blends >>  “Touch the girl’s shirt with the same consonant blend.”

Another visual activity, matching graphemes.

Snap to It!/ Star Power/ Be a Spy!/ Ready, Set, Smile!/ A String of Blends >>

Letter-matching games for ‘snuhh’ – ‘stuhh’ – ‘spuhh’ – ‘smuhh’ – ‘struhh’ – ‘spruhh’

Meet the Knight! >>  “Touch six words in the story that begin with /kn/ – ‘nuhh’ .”

Tips for sounding-out:  Short Vowel-A, Short Vowel-I, Short Vowel-O, Short Vowel-U,

Long Vowel-A, Long Vowel-E, Long Vowel-I, Long Vowel-O

Blend Review >>  “Touch the blend in the box that begins this word.”

Letter-matching for consonant blends.  All are distorted with ‘–uhh’.

Oooo La La! >>  “Touch the four words that have the [V09]-sound heard in broom.

It’s a Cow! >>  “Touch the correct spelling of this word.”

This is a guessing game!   [V13]    (Happily notice they didn’t pronounce it ‘ow-uhh’.)

R In Charge >>  “Touch all fourteen words that have Letter /r/.”

Let it Snow! >>  “Touch the six words that have the Long-O sound heard in snow.

Compare [V08] and [V13], both spelled Letters /ow/.

Our House! >>  “Touch the five words that make the /ou/ [V13] sound heard in cloud.

Notice /ou_e/ in mouse

Do Your Laundry! >>  “Touch the six words that make the /au/ [V11] sound heard in laundry.”

It isn’t always the /au/ sound:

Letters /au/ August

Letters /au_e/ pause

Letters /augh/ daughter

Notice the advantages of using the codes from WordsAhead’s Sound Map.


Syllables and Sentences  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2061-5

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

My most positive evaluation for this book is to observe that pages contain colorful guessing-games.

Keep on Track! >>  “Touch the two syllables that make up the word, in order.”

WordsAhead divides the word letter:  C37 V05 • C18 V15

How Many Syllables? >>  “Find the word with one syllable.”

What Is It? >>  “Touch a picture, then find the noun it matches.”

A Day Trip >>  “Touch the word that completes the sentence.”

What’s My Name? >>  “Touch the picture that goes with the proper noun.”

Two Together >> “Find the two words that make the compound word.”

More Than One >> “Touch a picture, then find the plural noun that matches.”

More Than One–Again >> “Touch the circle with the ending that makes it plural.”

I Can Do It! >>  “Touch the word that completes each sentence.”

I Can Do It Again! >> “Touch the verb in each sentence.”

What Did You Do? >>  “Touch the past tense verb that completes the sentence.”

What Else Did You Do? >>  “Touch the past tense verb that completes the sentence.”

To Be or Not To Be? >>  “Touch a sentence that says that one person is happy right now.”

Pronoun Practice >>  “Touch a picture, then match it to its pronoun.”

Let’s Agree >>  “Touch the word that completes each sentence.”

No, No, No >>  “Touch the word that completes each sentence.”

Shorties >>  “Touch the contraction made from is and not.”

Sounds the Same >>  “Touch a word to hear what it means.”

Look-Alikes >>  “Touch the picture that matches the blue word in each sentence.”

Opposites >>  “Touch a word or picture, then find its opposite.”

WordsAhead alleges that, even with the “see-say” strategy for new words,

these lessons are irrelevant for 3-, 4- or 5-year-olds.


Sight Words  •  READY TO READ  •  ISBN 978-1-4508-2062-2

The monkey gives instructions and starts activities.

Words to Know >>  “The sight word the is used four times in the story.  Touch all four words.”

Tips for sounding-out words:  [V04]; ‘buhh’ sound; ‘huhh’ sound; Short Vowel-A [V01];

Short Vowel-O [V03]; ‘puhh sound’; ‘huhh sound’; ‘tuhh sound’; Long Vowel-E; ‘fuhh sound’;

And, Or, But >>  “Touch the word missing from the sentence.”

This, That, These, Those >>  “The sight words this, that, these and those are used six times in the story.  Find all.”

Sounding-out words:  ‘th’ blend; Short Vowel-I [V02]; ‘muhh sound’; ‘nuhh sound’; ‘huhh sound’; Short Vowel-O [V11]; ‘puhh sound’; Short Vowel-A [V01]; ‘guhh sound’; ‘tuhh sound’; ‘wuhh sound’;

‘cuhh sound’; ‘buhh sound’; ‘ruhh sound’; ‘juhh sound’

At, To, In, On >>  “Touch the word that fills in the blank.”

For, From, Off, On >>  “Touch the word ___ in a sentence.”

With, By, Over, Into >>    “Touch the word missing from the sentence.”

What Is the Question? >>    “Touch the word ___ in a sentence.”

I, You, We >>  “Touch the word in the box that describes people.”

He, She, It, They >>  “Touch the word that takes the place of another word.”

My, Your, Her, His, Their >>  “Touch the word in the box that spells ___.”

Comparing Words >>  “Touch a sentence to play.”

Good, Better, Best >>  “Touch the word ___ in a sentence.”

Some, Many, Most >>  “Touch the comparing-word in the sentence.”

Number Words >>  “How many grasshoppers?  Touch the number word.”

Color Words >>  “What color is the apple?  Touch the word.”

Feeling Words >>  “Touch the feeling word.”

Picture Words >>  “Touch the word missing from the sentence.”

Action Words-1 >>  “Touch the action word that goes with this picture.”

Action Words-2 >>  “There is one action word in each sentence.  Touch all four.”

Naming Words >>  “Touch the word ___.”

Find the Name! >>  “Touch the word ___.”


Promising new products have yet to be created based on Typesetting Standards for 21st Century Educators.

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