Skill Builders

Our Skill Builders develop fluent readers.

Many children who have difficulties in reading are slow and/or inaccurate at the rapid identification of letters, sounds that words make, and words themselves.  Our Skill Builder interventions are designed to make readers fast and accurate at identifying letters, letter sounds, and words.  When these skills become automatic, comprehension improves and reading is much easier.  Problem readers who develop automatic reading skills often discover that they enjoy reading.  Our intervention software does not use phonics based procedures and has proven to be effective with children who have not made good progress using phonics procedures.

The Skill Builder Designer allows one to create their own exercises with custom wordlists to meet specific needs. For example schools often have wordlists that every child of a particular grade should be able to sight recognize and spell. Another example would be a situation where a student is preparing for a vocational exam and needs to master a very specific vocabulary set.
> More about the Designer Module

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Features of our Skill Builders

  • Our expertly designed skill builder sets improve reading skills. Instantly available reports track progress over time.
  • Mouse clicks instantly provide dictionary definitions of Skill Builder words
  • Strengthen reading skills for ESL readers. Custom skill builders can be used to promote foreign language acquisition.
  • Any Skill Builder Wordlist may be used as a sight vocabulary or spelling exercise.
  • Custom design capabilities allow users to develop materials tailored to individual readers

What Automatic Reading Skills Do Our Skill Builders Develop?

  • Letter and syllable recognition, word families and words
  • Content area words in areas like social studies, science, mathematics, for Middle, JR. High and High School
  • High level words for study of SAT and ACT exams

How a Skill Builder session works

Preview Session

  1. A teacher, tutor or child selects an intervention set.
  2. Practice materials appear on the screen.
  3. The reader clicks on items he or she does not know to listen to the correct item pronunciation or to retrieve an item definition.
  4. Items that were missed in previous sessions are identifed for extra practice.

Timed Practice

  1. Items from the preview session appear one at a time.
  2. Reader says the name of the item while pressing the space bar.
  3. The computer records the time between the appearance of the item and the bar press
  4. A helper, or the child records the accuracy of the response.
  5. Session continues until all of the items have been responded to.
  6. As a sight vocabulary exercise the words are the spoken  out loud. The software tracks progress in accuracy and speed in recognizing the words over time and generates reports showing progress. Words repeatedly missed are easily identified.
  7. As a spelling exercise the student listens to an audio recording of a word and spells the word using the keyboard [a parent or other person may do the typing]. The software tracks progress in spelling performance over time and displays this  on the report. Words repeatedly misspelled are easily identified.

Review Session

  1. All of the timed practice items are shown with those that were missed highlighted.
  2. The reader is encouraged to practice the missed items.

Performance Report

  1. Instantly see reading improvements and a history of progress.
  2. Performance reports can be printed and become part of an academic record.
  3. The software signals when mastery of a practice set has been achieved, and the computer suggests moving to the next practice set.
  4. See a graph of the speed and accuracy in each practice sessions, and a description to the student’s progress.

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Notice aspects from the reports:

  • Line colors represent performance on sets of 240 words at the same grade level. Notice that the accuracy of performance in the first practice session on a new set of never practiced words is better than accuracy performance on the first practice session with the previous set of words.
  • Notice the speed of performance in the first practice session on a new set of never practiced words is better than the speed of performance on the first practice session with the previous set of words.
  • Practice on one set of words transfers in a positive way to working with a new set of words.The student is becoming a better reader of unpracticed material.

These Skill Builder sets are available:

  • Letter recognition
  • Syllable recognition
  • Word families (suitable for K and Grade 1)
  • Grade 1-8 words
  • Content area word sets, like social studies and sciences
  • We have many more sets in development!

Start building skills!