Reading Skills Teacher's Guide

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Components of the System
Administering the Program


Reading Skills Development was written by a panel of teachers who wanted one convenient source of reading skill activities in their classrooms. The program was designed to provide an easy method of individual instruction for each student's specific skill deficiency as indicated by informal observation or formal criterion reference testing.

CowboyReading Skills Development is a high interest supplemental reading system for grade levels 1-3 and higher. It provides an individualized method to teach or reteach specific reading skills in Phonics, Word Structure, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Research & Study Skills. Appealing cartoon characters create a visual emphasis for key instructions and help maintain student interest throughout all six levels. The cartoons and contents are appropriate to respective grade levels. Each skill activity has been written at three ability levels on three separate cards. Card A is for students at or above grade level. Card B is for students at grade level with difficulty. Card C is for students below grade level.

The kits are color coded and step indexed for easy use. Student answer sheets, answer keys, classroom progress charts and student progress charts are are included.  Simple record keeping makes it possible for the student to chart his individual progress while the teacher maintains an overall classroom record. Alternatively, cards may be assigned on an "as needed" basis without any formal record keeping.

During pilot testing, it was determined that Reading Skills Development was adaptable for use with many reading systems. The skill activities included in the system can be readily identified Schooland correlated to most reading programs and supplementary materials. The kits are intended as a prescriptive supplement and do not preclude a basic reading program. Reading Skills Development is included on the HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) language arts list.

Reading Skills Review A and B is an extension of Reading Skills Development for use at the junior high, high school and adult levels. The graphics and content are appropriate for grades 7-12. Each skill activity has been written at three vocabulary targets on three separate cards. In Review A kits, card A is fog indexed at second grade, card B at third grade and card C at fourth grade. In Review B kits, card A is fog indexed at fifth grade, card B at sixth grade and card C at seventh grade. Students should be assigned only cards that they can master.

Components of the System

Skill Activity Cards are organized and color coded by category:

    Phonics (green)
    Word Structure (yellow)
    Vocabulary (orange)
    Comprehension (blue)
    Research & Study Skills (red)

These five basic categories are "step indexed" in five different sizes to help keep the skill cards properly organized. The skills are numbered sequentially in each category throughout all levels of the system to facilitate continuous pupil progress.

There are three separate activity cards for each skill: at grade level, at grade level with difficulty, and below grade level. On the front of each card a specific skill is introduced followed by instructions and a sample exercise. There are 6 to 10 practice exercises on the back of each card. Students may check their own work using matching Answer Keys.

Student Progress Charts are supplied in pad form with each kit. Each student has a progress chart. The teacher uses it to prescribe individual skill activities and the student may use it to record his or her progress. Finally, a Classroom Progress Chart may be used as an overall record of the total class reading skill prescription and progress.

BooksAdministering the Program

The following steps are an outline for teaching, reteaching or reviewing with a minimum of management overhead.

1. Record formal or informal reading test data on a class progress chart.
2. Prescribe activity cards for deficient skills by circling skill numbers and letters on each student's personal progress chart. Prescribe card A, B, or C according to the need.
3. Students should select activity cards circled on their charts. They read the instructions and sample exercises on the front of the skill card. They then complete the exercises on the rear.
4. Students may correct their own work using answer keys in each kit. Students can work alone, in groups or with the help of a mentor.

Each skill card is a complete lesson. Reading Skills Development cards may be used regularly or just as needed. They may be used under the guidance of teachers, aides, other students, tutors, classroom helpers and parents.


The high interest and tri-level material in the Reading Skills system makes it adaptable for use in a variety of educational environments.  And, Reading Skills kits form a supplementary system which may be adapted to a broad range of learning activities.

Environments Activities
* a self-contained classroom
* an open classroom
* a learning center
* an interest center
* a tutorial program
* a remedial program
* a special education program
* a learning disabilities program
* an independent learning activity
* an instant resource of reading skills
* material for a teacher directed lesson
* material for group learning activities
* a follow-up activity after initial instruction
* material for cross-age or peer tutoring
* material  for a teacher's aide or parent
* as part of a reading lab program


The skills included in Reading Skills Development and Review kits are found in most basic reading programs. The skills correlate highly with locally developed curriculums, continuous progress programs and state suggested guidelines for reading. Reading Skills is also compatible with many supplementary and manipulative materials.

Reading Skills cards may be assigned to students as support and follow-up material for a basic reading program. They may be used as reinforcements for all students in a classroom or only as needed for students having difficulty. If diagnostic tests are available, Reading Skills cards may be assigned to focus on specific deficiencies.

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Copyright 2008 Rybett Controls

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Rybett Controls, Learning Skills Division, Chatsworth, California