Dear Educational Publishers,
Just recently you have really improved your provision of phonically decodable texts. It is not easy to write a book that contains only the sounds /s/ /a/ /p/ /t/ /i/ /n/ but you have done a stirling job. This one can be used after week 5 of phase 2 of Letters and Sounds. The quality of the resources is so much better. The illustrations are rich and compliment the text well one example of this being the Traditional Tales from Oxford Owl.
I do however have one suggestion that would make all of our lives so much easier. Please don’t put Book Band colours on your phonically decodable books. They do not relate to each other. If you can read words using sounds in phase 2 of Letters and Sounds, you can not read pink Book Band books. You can learn the pattern of the book and use the images but you can’t use phonic strategies to read (decode) the words. I am not arguing that we need only phonically decodable texts. We don’t but Book Bands and phonic levels do not go hand in hand. In fact they do not correlate at all!
This false use of Book Band colours on phonically decodable texts is confusing for all. As professionals we need to decide which type of text to use to teach children the next step in reading, phonically decodable texts or patterned texts (book banded books). Sometimes it looks like children are going backwards when we move between the two types of text and this can be distressing for parents and for those children who have realised what the colours stand for. In future please keep the two types of book separate with book bands used for patterned texts and phases only for phonically decodable texts. It would make our job so much easier.