Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ESTRELLITA Reading Programs for Pre-K Through First Grade

One thing I have heard over and over is that learning to read in your native language smoothes the road for learning to read in a second language. I have also had some requests for English resources from those of you who are starting to homeschool your children in English. So I will be sure to include more of both on this site.

Today, though, I will be sharing another Spanish resource for teaching your children to read. I stumbled upon this recently, and though I have no first-hand experience with this program, it appears to be highly recommended and productive. So I will share what I have learned with you and let you be the judge!

ESTRELLITA Accelerated Beginning Spanish Reading is a supplemental program for bilingual classrooms that offers novel approach to Spanish readiness and beginning reading based on the principals of task analysis. It does NOT teach children how to speak Spanish, but rather it is an educational reading program in Spanish for Spanish-dominant speakers. So if you are looking for a reading curriculum in Spanish, then this may be it!

Developed by teachers, the goal of the program is to provide PreK children with a head start by developing a strong sense of phonemic awareness and basic blending skills in preparation for kindergarten, where it bridges the gap from non-reader to reader in 4-9 months. It also accelerates 1st grade children through the decoding process within 6-8 weeks. ESTRELLITA works to build early reading fluency and comprehension in order to prevent learning problems later.

The best part is that the program assists children in a successful transition to English by providing a strong foundation in the primary language in their early years. I recently shared this post with you which describes a study that states how "research shows that the development of rich oral language and literacy in the home language supports the development of a second language because language skills are transferable."

The ETRELLITA program is state-approved in both California and Texas, and the K-1 program has been adopted in Texas at the turn of the century.

This is a COMPREHENSIVE curriculum. The Pre-K program includes:

• Teacher's Guide
• Sonidos Iniciales Wall Chart
• Tracing and Copying blackine masters
• Instructions for setting up Estrellita Centers
• Foldable Syllable Charts
• Illustrated Mini-Books
• Assessment
• Complete Games and Activities component (again, very comprehensive as well. Includes everything from puppet-making to flip charts to "chanting" activities, etc.)
• And More!

When I asked them if the program was available for bilingual homeschoolers, they responded with the following:

"Our program is designed as a teacher's curriculum that contains blackline masters which can be reproduced for one or up to as many students as needed. We have parents who home school their children and use our product. Our program is the same whether a teacher in a school uses it or a parent at home."

So if any of you have used this program, please share your experience.

Con mucho cariño...

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