Thursday, November 2, 2017

Magic Stories for Comprehension

Madison is a great reader for second grade, and she's getting beyond the point of phonics based reading programs, and more into comprehension programs. We've been supplementing our reading curriculum with The Magic Stories from Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series, which I was very happy to get the chance to review.

The Magic Stories is a follow up to The Reading Game, though you do not have to have used The Reading Game to enjoy this program. The Magic Stories are downloadable pdf format, optimized for iPad or computer and can also be printed (which is usually our preference for schoolwork). We can continue to build Madison's confidence and comprehension (and creative writing skills !) while tracking her fluency progress with the free running record sheets.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

The Magic Stories is a set of six stories directed toward children reading at a 2nd or 3rd grade level. Each story is fun to read and usually teaches a lesson of some kind. They also come with their own set of “Naughty 40 words” to be printed out on 4 sheets of paper or card stock and cut into flash cards. Madison LOVED the idea of "naughty words".  These naughty words are merely words that readers typically struggle with. The cards and list are to keep on hand to review before you read each story, and we added them to her daily routine, just like we used to do with her sight words.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

Each book is around twenty pages. We printed them in black and white, and Madison enjoyed coloring in each book to mark our completion. Every book comes with four sets of worksheets that cover reading comprehension and creative writing exercises.. The activities include:
  1. Maze (recalling the story is what will lead you on the right path)
  2. Finish the sentence
  3. Imagine
  4. Finish the story

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}
The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

You can move through these books at whatever pace makes sense to you. We covered one book and all the comprehension worksheets in about a week, took a week off, and did a second book in the course of another week. I chose to do this second book during a week where Madison's regular reading program was focusing on poetry, just to give her some prose to keep her skills up. The stories are really varied - you have fairy tale inspired stories, fable style stories, stories from other cultures, silly stories, and stories intended to teach a moral. Madison liked some better than others, but she enjoyed them all.

One thing we really enjoyed about this program was the opportunity to use it however we wanted to. There is no "how to" file, and there is no "suggested schedule". You have the materials, and you, as the teacher, get to decide how best to use it. If you love the idea of using running records to assess your reader, they're available. If you want to discuss the stories, using the worksheets as a guide, go for it. I love that there wasn't really a "right way" to use this - to be honest, I use all programs in my own way anyway - and I didn't feel like a renegade by decided to skip the true and false worksheet.

It's not a full comprehension program, but it's a fun little supplement for those seven and eight year olds who love to read!

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

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