Funnix Beginning Reading In-Depth | Skill Development | What Lesson Covers | Intro of Skills |Stories |Story Characters |

Funnix 2 In-Depth | Sound and Words | Story Reading | Lined Paper Activities |Story Characters |

How The Program Is Designed

Funnix is a small-step, carefully sequenced series of lessons. Each lesson introduces a few things that are new and weaves them into applications that involve familiar words and skills. Around 10 % of each lesson is new. The rest is made up of familiar parts. Note that there is a new story in every lesson and sometimes there are new activities, but only 10% of these stories and applications involve words or skills that have not been introduced in earlier lessons. The stories review words that have been taught. The words review sounds that have been taught.

The child will not struggle with a lesson because virtually nothing is over the child's head, and anything that is introduced for the first time and may be difficult for the child to do will be reviewed in the next lesson and the lesson after that.

Funnix Beginning In-Depth
The goals of Funnix are to teach all the skills your child will need to learn to read and enjoy reading, and to teach these as efficiently as possible.

The primary goal is to assure that the child who goes through Funnix learns how to decode accurately and fluently. Another goal is to make sure that children read stories that are made up of "authentic language," not highly stilted prose that occurs in some phonics programs (Jill will fill and spill). Of course, some of the stories that occur early in Funnix are a little stilted because the child is able to read a very limited number of words and patterns. However, by the end of Funnix, your child will be reading and understanding material that is written on a solid second- grade level and that presents an interesting variety of words and sentence forms.

The last page of the Funnix Workbook contains the following story which every child who completes Funnix, will be able to read.

page 121

THE SEQUENCE OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT
The sequence of skills makes it virtually impossible for children to develop a serious misunderstanding about what reading is. The texts that children read are designed to discourage guessing.


Here's the version of a story that children read first from Lesson 50, Exercise 8.
lesson 8

The second reading of the story is different from the first reading in 3 ways:

  1. Pictures appear on the 2nd reading (but not the 1st).
  2. Usually some of the text is eliminated or changed.
  3. The narrator presents comprehension questions.
Here's the second reading of the story from Lesson 58 :
Lesson 58
WHAT DOES EACH LESSON COVER?
After the introductory lessons, all lessons have the following activities:


  • Sounds and letters (children learn sounds for letters and letter combinations) The picture on the left shows the letters children identify in Lesson 30. The picture on the right shows the sounds the children review.
  • letters words
  • Words (Children read 3 to 6 lists of words.) The picture below shows a word list from
    Lesson 30.
  • Story (Children read a story.) Here's the story for Lesson 30.

  • Spelling (Children orally spell and write words.) Here are the spelling words children write for Lesson 30.
  • Other workbook activities. In Lesson 30, children complete this worksheet by matching, crossing out and writing.
  • Phonics Skills. Funnix teaches explicit phonics, the approach that yields the best learning results. Phonics skills are important because they provide generalization power. Once the child has completed 40 lessons of Funnix, you will start to see generalizations. The child will be able to read words that have not been taught in the program. Another value of phonics is that it helps the child who is stuck. Instead of asking somebody the word or skipping over it, the child is able to figure out the word by sounding it out. These skills serve children later when they work with multi-syllabic words that are unfamiliar.

    Children are taught to read whole words in Funnix, but not until they have practiced first sounding out these words. Then "reading the fast way" is introduced gradually, so that the child is able to retain what has been taught about sounding out and doesn't have to suddenly identify all words by sight. Children do not learn "sight words" that they are supposed to remember by their shape or beginning letter.

    The transition to whole-word reading starts with word finding, in which the narrator says a word that is on the screen and the child touches that word. Next, children read a list of words by first sounding out each word, and then by reading the list of words the fast-way. The importance of phonics is acknowleged by the National Reading Panel, NICHD. For more information on phonics go to Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read.

    INTRODUCTION OF SKILLS
    Here are the rules the program follows for introducing skills in Funnix:


    Everything in Funnix is taught to give your child all the tools needed to take the next steps. It starts with the sound the letters make. All words that the child reads are made up of sounds that have been taught in the program.

    That means the introduction of any letter-sound always comes before that sound is used in words.

    The top row of the chart: arrows shows the sounds that are introduced in Lessons 35 through 45. The sound for TH is introduced in Lesson 36, and the sound for the letter D is introduced on Lesson 38.

    The middle row of the chart: arrows show when the sounds first appear in words. The letter combination TH first appears in the words math, that and the in Lesson 39. Notice that TH doesn't appear in a word until the sound has been practiced on Lessons 37, 38, and 39.

    The sound for D is introduced on Lesson 38. It is practiced on 39, 40 and 41 before it appears in words. The words that are on Lesson 41 are made, dad and read.

    When words are introduced, they are presented in "lists," not in stories. The reason is that when the children read stories, we want to make sure that they'll be able to read the stories without making a lot of mistakes. When children are familiar with all of the words in a story, they are able to concentrate more on the stories and less on the mechanics of trying to get the words right.

    The arrows pointing to the words on the bottom row show the appearance of words in stories. Words in stories follow the same pattern of introduction as sounds in words. The first time a word with the TH combination appears in a story is Lesson 41, after TH words have been presented a couple of times in word lists. Words with the letter D first appear in stories on Lesson 43.

    For more information on the design of Direct Instruction programs, Click Here.


    THE STORIES
    The first stories are largely oral, with the child reading parts of sentences. Then the stories systematically increase in length, as the child is able to read more and more words. Here is the story from lesson 41.



    Here is the story from lesson 104.


    Notice how the stories have become more sophisticated. Some stories extend over more than one lesson. The story on lesson 104 is the first part of a 5-part story.

    By the end of the program, children are reading selections that are more than 200 words long that appear in adult print.

    STORY CHARACTERS
    Here are some of the characters they will read about:

    Sam is a bunny that appears in some of the early stories, which are mostly told by the narrator with the child reading only a few words or a sentence. In the first story, Sam was an out-of-shape bunny. He became very fit when he helped a mouse bring food to a sick friend. After a few days, Sam had gone from being fit and energetic to being overweight and slugish.
  • Bob's problem is that he is usually late, and he always gets into trouble for not following directions. One time, his dad told him to be home by 5, and he cautioned Bob not to leave the path while hiking. The picture shows that Bob made it home by 5, but he and his friends had left the path and played on a hill of mud.
  • Jan likes to do the same thing over and over. In one episode, Jan kept singing the same song over and over-the Alphabe Song. At lst her mother asked what she could do to make Jan stop singing that song. Jan stop singing that song. Jan said, "Sing with me." The pictures show the results.
  • Sid likes things that are clean. In one episode, he tells his mom that he would clean up the town by singing a song. She didn't believe him, but he sang about rain and it rained a lot and cleaned up the town.

  • Clarabelle is a cow that loves to imitate what others do. In one story Clarabelle watches ducks land on a pond and thinks that it would be fun to join them. When she jumped in the pond, all the water jumped out of the pond, taking the ducks with it.
  • The fox and the turtle; In the first series of stories involving the fox, he sells a little turtle bitter butter. The turtle's mom uses the butter to make batter for a cake, which was very bitter. The turtles repaid the fox by making him a cake. The fox indicated that he would show how much he liked the cake by eating it very fast. But after eating the cake, he could not get rid of the bitter taste.
  • In a second series of stories, the fox makes better butter-fine and sweet-but nobody would buy his butter. At last, he uses the butter to bake a cake that he enters in the summer cake bake. He wears a disguise so that nobody will recognize him. His cake wins first prize, and afterwards he has no trouble selling his butter.

  • The bragging rats are not only braggers, but terrible liars. In one episode, the bragging rats argue about their speed—the bragging rat with the yellow teeth said that he could pass up any other rat by just walking. The other bragging rat, the one with the long tail, said that he could run circles around the other rat. The wise old rat settles the dispute by arranging a race among the bragging rats and other rats in the pack. The bragging rats finished last.
  • Jill is a bug that bites. One day, Jill, her brother and sister were climbing a tree so they could dive into a pond. They met a tiny bug. Jill told the bug that if he didn't leave, she would bite him. Jill demonstrated her prowess by biting a stick so hard that it left a dent. The tiny bug took a stick and bit through it, then bit through a thicker stick. Jill decided that it would be a good idea to be friends with the tiny bug. And that's what happened.
  • FUNNIX 2 In-Depth
    There are three main lesson parts:

  • Reading sounds and words.
  • Story reading.
  • Workbook-type activities.
  • Reading Sounds and Words
    Children do the word and letter identification exercises on the screen. The words that children practice are those that will appear in upcoming stories. Here are the lists children read in Lesson 2.

    The narrator directs the reading of each word. Children are directed to sound out some words, spell some, and read some without sounding them out. For some words, children first identify the underlined part, then identify the word.

    STORY READING
    First Story Reading
    After children finish the word lists, they read the story from their reader out loud. The reader has no illustrations. Most of the stories are presented in two or more parts. Here's the story in the reader from Lesson 2. It is the first of a five-part sequence about a moose and a goose.

    Lesson 2 Story

    The stories near the end of the program are considerably longer than those near the beginning. Here's the story for Lesson 99, the last part about a hunting dog with an incredible sense of smell.

    lesson 99 workbook

    Second Story Reading
    After children have read the story from their reader, they return to the computer and answer comprehension questions about the story. They read each question out loud and tell you the answer. Here are the questions for Lesson 2.

    lesson 2

    Here are the questions for Lesson 99.

    lesson 99

    Next, children do a second reading of the story, this time on screen. The second reading is illustrated in an action style, with balloons to show what characters are saying or thinking.

    Here are the illustrated frames for the Lesson 2 story.

    lesson 2 story

    Here are the illustrated frames for the second reading of the story on Lesson 99.

    lesson 99 story

    Lined Paper Activities
    Funnix 2 provides workbook type activities on screen. Children number their lined paper and write answers to the on-screen items. Here are the activities for Lesson 2. Lesson 2 Workbook 1

    Each lesson contains two activities. One of the activities in each lesson presents questions about the story the children just read. Other activities include some form of matching, writing words for pictures, and answering questions about written directions.

    Lesson 2 Workbook 2

    The second activity in Lesson 2 is a matching activity. Children match the word with the picture. On lined paper they write the word after the number for that picture.

    Another matching activity is presented in Lesson 3. Children read the question and write the letter after the number that shows the answer.

    Lesson 3 Ex. 9
    The second activity of Lesson 4 presents yet another matching activity. Children match words with statements. Lesson 4 Ex. 9
    On the second activity of Lesson 7, children write words for pictures. Children write the words to complete what one of the characters is saying. Then they label characters in the picture. Lesson 7 Ex. 6
    On the second activity of Lesson 21, children answer questions about written directions. Lesson 21 Ex. 8

    STORY CHARACTERS
    Funnix 2 has some of the same characters as Beginning Funnix:

    Clarabelle is a cow that loves to imitate what others do. clarabelle
    Gorman is a goat who gets in a lot of trouble because he doesn't see well. gorman
    The bragging rats are never able to perform the remarkable feats they claim they can do. braggin rats
    Funnix 2 also has a lot of new entertaining characters:
    Bleep is a robot that doesn't always do what it is supposed to do. bleep and molly
    Boring Bill is so boring that when he talks, he puts everybody to sleep. boring bill
    Sweetie is a very mischievous cat whose plans don't work out. sweetie
    Tubby was an unpopular tug boat before she saved the other boats. tubby
    Dot and Dud are brother and sister rescue dogs, but Dud is not very serious about his job.

    And many others.
    dot and dud

    Funnix Beginning Reading In-Depth | Skill Development | What Lesson Covers | Intro of Skills |Stories |Story Characters |
    Funnix 2 In-Depth | Sound and Words | Story Reading | Lined Paper Activities |Story Characters |



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