A reader is a book that is used for reading exercises. Decodable Readers include only:
- words with phonetic patterns that have been taught
- high-frequency words that have been taught (These are referred to as sight-words.)
In the Bloom, you can make groups of letters and sight words. We call each of these groups a stage. You can save files of word lists or paragraphs of words. Bloom can read these files. When the letters you have introduced in a stage match words in those files, then Bloom will identify those words as matching words, and suggest them to you as words you can use.
Usually, these readers start with CVC words (C stands for Consonant; V stands for Vowel). Then, they use words with more complex spelling patterns. The pictures in these books support the story, but do not help with word recognition.
Decodable Readers and Leveled Readers are different. However, in some cases you may want to use both control when you make some readers. That is beyond the scope of this module.
- You have completed module 1 and 2. Therefore, you are familiar with the steps to add a book to a collection.
- You need to know the letters in the alphabet that use will use as the main language for the reader.
- You need to have a file with some words you expect to use in the reader. The file needs to be a UTF-8 Unicode text file. That is, the file name must end with .txt.
Add a Decodable Reader to a Collection
When Bloom is first opened, you see only the Collections tab. Look in the lower left pane in the Bloom window. There you see Sources for New Books. Below it, you see Templates, Sample Shells and Books From BloomLibrary.org.
To make a leveled reader, we need to use the Decodable Reader template.
1) Click the Decodable Reader template. It looks like this: .
The template appears in the right pane.
2) Click the Make a book using the source button.
Bloom makes a book from the template. It opens to the Front Cover page.
You can insert a picture and type words on the Front Cover page. This page and the other pages are the same as for a Basic Book.
However, notice that there is a new pane on the right side. It is the Decodable Reader Tool.
It looks like this: .
Bloom does not come with preset stages. This is because Bloom needs to know the letter in your alphabet.
3) In the Decodable Reader Tool, click the Set up Stages link ( ).
The Set up Decodable Reader Tool dialog box appears.
4) Click the Letters tab.
Notice the Letters and Letter Combinations box. It has letters. You need to replace them with the letters of the alphabet that you will use as you write this book.
Optionally, click the Help button ( ). The Help topic that opens can help you learn more about this tab. There are links in the topic that open other related topics.
5) Click the Letters and Letter Combinations box. Then do the following steps:
- Replace the letters with the letters of the alphabet that you will use as you write this book.
- Type all the letter combinations that are used with you set of letters.
- Type any word-forming characters, such as an apostrophe or glottal stop.
This letters, letter combinations and word-forming characters will help Bloom find matching words and suggest them. First, we need to tell Bloom about words.
6) Click the Words tab.
There are two ways to tell Bloom about the words.
The Type Words Here box allows you to type a set of words that you will probably use in your readers.
The Place Text Files in Your Sample Texts Folder box is different. You cannot type in this box. Instead, this box shows the file names of files in a folder named Sample Texts. Each collection has a Sample Texts folder. You can save files there that are word lists or longer texts in paragraphs.
7) In the Place Text Files in Your Sample Texts Folder label, click Sample Text Folder.
It is a link. It opens the folder for the collection.
8) Save one or more text files in the Sample Texts folder. You can drag files from other folders, or use Save As in your text editor to save the files here.
Now, we need to set up stages.
9) Click the Decodable Stages tab.
It looks like this:
Notice that there are two panes. The left pane will list the stages. The right page is where you choose the letters you want to introduce in each stage. The screenshot here shows English letters. If you typed different letter in the Letters tab, you will see those letter instead. In addition, sight words are those high-frequency words that you want the people to memorize.
You can introduce them in stages, too.
Stage 1 is the only stage at this point. You can introduce letter and type
10) In the right pane, click the letter you want to introduce in Stage 1.
- Click the New Sight Words box, and type any words you want to introduce in this stage.
11) In the left pane, click Add Stage.
- Click the letters you want to introduce in Stage 2.
12) Repeat these steps to add one or more additional stage.
13) Click OK.
The Decodable Reader Tool will now show letter and words.
Here is an example, set to Stage 2 of 5. Of course, you will see different letters and words.
Now let’s type some words in a page to see what happens.
14) In the Template Pages pane, click Basic Text & Picture.
15) Click the text box, and type words.
If you have a word in our book that has a blue background, hold your mouse pointer over that word to see the explanation.
16) At this point, you can experiment with other stages, and page templates.
Other modules will help you learn about publishing your reader.