First Words Fast is a standard-setting, norm-breaking phonics based literacy program, and the Latty List component is a significant research based update to traditional sight word lists. Whether using the Classroom Edition or the Homeschool Edition, this program is transforming the way to teach children to read. Teachers and parents are praising the simple methods which research says are actually more effective than intensive programs (details can be found on our Research Based page). The methods begin by first equipping children with foundational knowledge and understanding and then gradually build to more complex tasks. This common sense approach prevents children from “slipping through the cracks” and takes as few as 20-30 minutes a day. Whimsical child-centered images respect the artistic sensibilities of children, allowing us into their hearts so we can engage their minds, enabling children to learn to read more words faster than standard expectations.
This revolutionary program was developed by Jayne Latty, an elementary school teacher with a knack for integrating language arts with logic, creativity, and fun. She was able to later refine her methods as a reading intervention specialist. After leaving the classroom to devote another 3 1⁄2 years of intense development of the program, Jayne is excited to be able to share the secrets of her success with First Words Fast. Her program is receiving an abundance of accolades within the professional literacy community and officially launched in February 2020 at the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE) conference where she was awarded recognition for best research! First Words Fast was first published during the course of its development by the Texas Association for Literacy Education in 2018 (see Chapter 13 TALE Yearbook Summary). To learn more about Jayne, see the Member Spotlight on page 4 of this TALE Newsletter or on Our Revolution page.
A unique multi-level lesson plan in one can be used for any beginning reader, and it provides all the tools for a child to become a proficient reader, which should occur by about the end of 1st Grade (about age 7). These leveled layers offer the flexibility to target children’s literacy needs wherever they may be – as an intervention for a struggling reader or even as enrichment for a child ready to be challenged. The charming materials and exciting, dynamic methods provide interactive fun as Word Families “Move In” and then “Move Out” to a ready-made, graphic-organizing Word Wall. Ultimately children are even able to produce their own text creations – and creating is the most complex form of thinking.
First Words Fast is accompanied by an updated, next generation list of sight words, which are the most common words we use in language. Because the 25 most common words represent 1/3 of all written material and the 100 most common words represent 1⁄2 of all written material, learning them (by sight) is a critical component of learning to read. When children don’t have to stop and try to sound out these words, they are able to read more fluently which allows them to more easily comprehend what they are reading, of course, the ultimate goal of reading. The Latty List reflects a whopping 24% change in the composition of the 150 most common words, so educators using outdated lists are not even teaching the most important words. For example, the word “woman” is listed as the 762nd most common word on a traditional list, but it’s now one of the most 150 most common words. The contemporary Latty List literally reflects the change in the position of a woman (and other words) in today’s world.
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Simplify and bring the Joy back to learning!