Monday, October 3, 2011

FREE Dwyer Compatible Readers and Phonogram Folders

I write frequently about how we use the Dwyer approach rather than the pink, blue, and green scheme. I want to pass on an exciting link for the rest of you Dwyer junkies out there.

Barbara Furst is an AMS certified Montessori Teacher for 3-6 year olds. You can read an article she wrote about some of her experiences with the Dwyer approach here at Jola Montessori. She has kindly offered her collection of Dwyer-compatible readers for FREE. The author of the blog Kingdom of the Pink Princesses helped Barbara with the heavy lifting by turning Barbara's hard copies into digital versions and hosting links to them on her blog.

I wrote here about a resource that I have been using to make my own readers. Barbara's readers should save you that step! (See also note at end of post)

Speaking of saving a step, Mommy to the Princesses ALSO made phonogram folders, digitalized them, and offers free links to those as well! I just bought the folders to make mine this weekend and found out about the link a day later. Perfect timing! (See note at the end of this post regarding phonogram folders)

If you can't remember how readers and phonogram folder fit into the Dwyer/Gettman approach you can look in your Gettman, the Dwyer pamphlet, or Mommy to Princesses' post here.

In my own series of posts on the Dwyer approach my main point is that it is a lot less work to implement at home than the PBG scheme. The only things that you have to make are the 13 phonogram folders and the phonogram dictionary. Now you can just print them out! Fantastic!

No matter which scheme you use, finding truly phonetic readers that the kids will enjoy is always a challenge. I make my own readers because I enjoy it. We also own Phonics Practice Readers by Modern Curriculum Press. They are Dwyer compatible and they are AMAZING. They are the first set of readers I've found that are exciting for little boys. The author of those readers REALLY knows what little boys like. The BOB books completely fell flat in our house. Yuck. I haven't had a chance to look at Barbara's readers yet, but I can't wait to take a peek. It is so exciting to finally have a free support for the Dwyer approach!

Thank you Barbara and thank you M2P!


1. In reference to the phonogram folders: those who download and try to use them need to double check regional pronunciation as they make them. For example, I should not have an "ar" folder as "a" never makes the "ar" sound here. Some people will need "or" added to their "au" folder. Others will want to assess if there are other places they need to include "ough."

2. I've had a chance to look more closely at the Barbara Furst readers. They are quite nice if the child knows the 40 key sounds as they should in the Dwyer approach. If you are transitioning from the PBG series you can't use them until you've introduced the double sandpaper letters. Also, there are only about six of them on the site right now. There may be more in the future. However, the Furst readers will not fill all of your needs for readers. The children need A LOT of practice. I make several readers per week and we still love having the Phonics Practice Readers as well.


3.  Don't forget about Miss Rhonda's readers!  The AMI approach to reading is very, very similar to the Dwyer and Miss Rhonda designed these for her own AMI classroom.  This product line wasn't as widely developed when we started but several years later is a really nice option!

4. Montessori Services now offers some readers and you can read a review of them by Lisa Nolan at Confessions of a Montessori Mom.


There is a nice round-up of phonetic readers over at Trillium Montessori with some more options reviewed.

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  1. You are welcome! All thanks to you for introducing me to this wonderful approach to learning the English language!

  2. Just wanted to say sorry I couldn't give you the CD-ROM offer I'd made on my blog -- it violated the T&C's of the product, so I had to withdraw the idea. You'd-a got it. Too bad.

  3. I wanted to let you know that I now have a variation of the phonogram dictionary available for download, courtesy of Barbara Furst. Hope you find it helpful.

  4. you have a dead link, Miss Rhonda's readers