Uses For Funnix In The Classroom

The Funnix Teacher's Guide details how to use the Funnix programs as the primary reading basal in K-2 classrooms. Funnix has been field tested and revised based on student and teacher performance to ensure it works.

Funnix programs meet all the criteria the research shows effective beginning-reading programs should meet. Funnix Beginning Reading presents extensive phonemic awareness activites. Funnix teaches explicit phonics, prompts children's responses with audio and visual cues, gradually and systematically fading them, presents stories containing 100 percent decodable text, and provides extensive fluency practice.

The applications that follow come from the Funnix Teacher's Guide section entitled Uses for Funnix. For all of these applications, children are to be placed appropriately on the basis of the placement procedures. (See Testing and Placement).

When Funnix Reading Programs are used as supplements, only parts of the program are used. If children have word reading problems, the structured sound and word portion of each lesson would be presented.

If children do not read fluently, the children may read only the stories. Note that the children should know most of the words in the story before they practice reading it. Give children the passage reading tests (Appendix B) and follow the placement procedures (see Testing and Placement). As a rule, if children are near the end of a first level phonics program, they can read the stories in Funnix Reading Programs starting with lesson 60. Funnix Reading Programs as supplements would include small group instruction, one-on-one, and possibly peer tutoring.

Funnix as Summer School or After-School Programs
The keys to making Funnix Reading Programs successful as summer school or after-school programs are:

  1. Make sure that the children are placed appropriately;
  2. Provide an adequate schedule;
  3. Make sure that tutors are trained.

The schedule should be daily if possible, with 30-minute periods, and at the same time each day.

The simplest way to train the tutors is to have them go through the Parent Disc and provide them with supervised practice to make sure that they are responding appropriately to the children they tutor.

If these requirements are met, it is possible to give non-reading children a significant head start in a 12-week summer program. They will have learned basic reading skills. Children who have reading skills can make significant gains in a 12-week summer program.

Funnix Reading Programs work well with children who have some reading behavior but are seriously behind. One of the advantages that Funnix Reading Programs have is that they are able to provide learning-disabled children with the amount and type of practice needed to master skills without making children feel as if they are failures. Children are able to repeat lessons as many times as necessary for them to attain mastery.

Make sure you follow all the placement and presentation procedures very carefully with lower performing children to ensure that they are successful.

Children really enjoy the stories from the Funnix Reading Programs, particularly the second reading of the story (which shows characters and animation on the screen). The programs are very effective with children who are in another basal reading program and who are able to read most of the words in the story correctly. Later in the day, children, either in pairs or with tutors, read one or two Funnix stories aloud on the computer as a reinforcement. A good procedure is to require them to read both the first and second versions of the story. The activity is not only reinforcing. It also builds fluency skills.

The peers are students from grades 3-6 who read well. They serve as tutors for children in either the regular classroom or a special class. The keys to success are:

  1. Make sure that the tutors are trained;
  2. Make sure that they will be available throughout the year or most of the year;
  3. Make sure you monitor the pairs' performance on a regular basis. (See Assessment, pages 33-34, in the Teacher's Guide.)

The best way to recruit peers is to train more of them than you plan to use. Some may not work out. It saves time if you have extra peers already trained.

Before the training and during the training, remind them that you are giving them a very important job and that what they do can make a big difference in the lives of the children they tutor.

Plan a five-day training program. After they go through the Parent Disc, assign each tutor a student (even tutors that you don't plan to use immediately). Tutors are to take the children through the first four or five lessons. Observe tutors and give them feedback as they present the lessons.

After the lessons, observe them periodically. Check the lesson number they are on and observe whether the children are at mastery.

The idea with incoming students is to catch them up to the performance level of a reading group that is on their grade level. For some students this may require only a week or so. For others the best plan may be to work with them outside any group for the rest of the school year and then place them in an extant group the next year.

Funnix Beginning Reading and Funnix 2 are very useful for this format because:

  1. You can use peer tutors or aides to present the material.
  2. You will be able to place children appropriately.
  3. The program will provide whatever amount of practice children need to achieve mastery.
  4. Once children achieve mastery on the early skills, their progress can be accelerated through the program sequence.

The "port of entry" classroom is particularly important for low income schools that have a high rate of student turnover. In this classroom it is possible to accelerate the students much faster than you can in the regular classroom because it is possible to concentrate more precisely on their deficiencies.

Following the acceleration strategies outlined in Accelerating Funnix, peers may present as many as three lessons a day after children have achieved mastery on the early lessons. (See Accelerating Funnix, on the Testing and Placement page and on pages 35-36, in the Teacher's Guide.)

Funnix is particularly well adapted to paired practice for children in any reading program. Assign pairs of children that are to work together. (In some cases, you may assign a group of three children.) At a time other than the daily reading period, let the pairs work together. One child reads the story. The other identifies mistakes. Then the children switch roles, with the child who had read doing the monitoring. This format works particularly well with Funnix Reading Programs. Focus the paired practice on the last story that had been read. Direct children to do the first and second readings of the story. The children are not likely to make serious decoding mistakes during the paired practice, because they have already achieved mastery on the story. They are therefore able to read the story with some confidence, which means that they will tend to be more fluent.

Funnix Reading Programs (FRP) may be used for different program needs and they may be presented in different presentation or teaching formats.

Here are the different program needs that FRP satisfy:

Within any of these program needs there are different formats for presenting the program or using the material.

Back to the top.

As a Basal Program | As a Supplement | Children with Learning Disabilities | As Reinforcement |For Peer Tutoring |
Midyear Low Performers K-2 | Accerlerating Funnix | Paired Practice | Summary of School Uses

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