TRT Podcast #16: More great decodable book series
On the hunt for more decodable books for your classroom? If you have some room in your budget, these are my top picks!
Decodable book series mentioned in this episode
Check out my ultimate guide to decodable book series here!
Full episode transcript
Last time we looked at the best decodable books series if you're on a tight budget. Today, we're going to look at other great decodable series for beginning readers.
The Just Right Readers are, I think, a little bit new on the block. These books feature funny stories and diverse characters in these sturdy little books. There's great teaching tips inside there for the teacher, and many of the books are also available as free flip books online, so you can check them out before purchasing. These are highly recommended for kindergarten, first, and second grade. As I record this, the books are $5.75 when you purchase individually, but I definitely think that they are worth checking out.
Then we've got Whole Phonics. I always like to say that if decodable books have a bad name, Whole Phonics will redeem it! The stories are funny, some of them are basically hilarious, and the pictures are awesome! The books are on the longer side, so you may want to start with a simpler set of books or read a book in more than one sitting. They're really good for older struggling readers and for kids who are past the very beginning stage, but still learning to sound out words. I believe they're about $5 a book as of this recording.
If you've never seen Flyleaf decodable books, you are in for a treat. These are very lovely, high quality, and on the expensive side, but they are really worth a purchase. One thing to know is that the books advance pretty quickly and there aren't a lot of books for each pattern, but you will really love having them in your collection. They're really good for kids who are advancing quickly.
Of course, some of the very best, and most expensive, decodable books are Geodes. I received a sample of these because it was hard to find a way to purchase them online without buying a whole set. It's pretty rare that you find decodable books that actually impart knowledge, but Geodes has mastered this. These books have decodable text, fantastic illustrations or photographs, and huge opportunities for building vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge. They are very expensive. You may have to apply for a grant or something else to be able to afford them for your classroom, but if you can get them, you'll be very excited. They're really, really nice!
Many teachers love the SPIRE decodable books. These are around $4 a book, which feels a little expensive for black and white books, but they really do tell reasonably good stories for decodable text, and there's quite a variety for each skill.
Some other favorites of mine are Express Readers. When you first look at Express Readers you might dismiss them because they are hand-drawn illustrations. It's actually in Comic Sans font, and one of my kids is a font snob and just can't stand Comic Sans on anything, but once I started looking at them, I just fell in love with them right away. They really do tell interesting stories and there is a lot of charm to those hand-drawn illustrations. They have good stories that actually make sense, and when my youngest was first learning to read, he really enjoyed these. They're a little pricey, maybe $6 or more per book, but these are really sturdy and something that's going to last.
That's a look at some more of my favorite decodable books. In the show notes, I'll give you a link to my Ultimate Guide, where you can see all the ones that I recommend. To get that link, you can head to the show notes at themeasuredmom.com/episode16. See you next time!
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