Edmark Reading Program
Finding functional curriculum can be tough for students with special needs. When your students learn best through ABA, Edmark reading curriculum is a great choice. I’m going to give you a quick overview of the curriculum components, what a lesson looks like, and the extensions available.
Who should use Edmark?
Students who are not yet able to decode, but who can discriminate symbols, letters, and words will likely find success in the Edmark curriculum. Edmark comes with a discrimination and pre-reading test to determine if students are ready for Edmark. There is also a mastery test to determine placement if your student already has some sight words. The Program Overview walks you through step-by-step on what to do and how to give the placement assessments. Edmark is one of the easiest to follow curriculums you’ll ever use!
What does a lesson look like?
Each student receives a Lesson Plan/Record Book which tells the teacher exactly what to do each day. There are several different components that are required depending on the lesson that day. (As a note, I do not use the digital curriculum, rather I find the hands-on materials best in my classroom):
- Word Recognition
- Picture Match
- Phrase Match
- Mastery Tests
And several components that you can add to the lesson that are purchase separately:
- Comprehension Worksheets
- Take-Away Readers
- Social Skill/Reading Games
Lessons vary in length depending on the components that are done, which can be tricky to plan for. I typically plan for 15-25 minutes per student. Any lesson that takes longer than that I span over two days to help maintain the student’s attention.
The lessons requirements are in white, and the optional components are in blue. In my classroom I’ve had success using the comprehension worksheets, homework and take away readers. I’m not a huge fan of the spelling, but other teachers may have great success with it!
Each lesson starts with word recognition. Each lesson a new word or ending (-s, -ed, -ing) is taught. Students must not miss more than 4 words to move on to the next lesson. Mistakes are recorded in the lesson plan/record book. Record the date and words missed.
The word recognition lessons have 3 columns, A, B, and C. Each line is numbered, then an *, a (first column), b (second column), or c (third column) is listed next to the number. An * means you give the prompt “read”. When the number is listed with a letter, you ask for the letter in that column (1b you’d ask for the word in the second column) by saying “Point to ____” and then you follow with “Read ____”.
Many lessons have a picture match. For this activity, you use a large mat with phrases on them. The student reads the phrases and matches the picture cards with the phrases. Students will have to read carefully and problem solve along the way – many ask for specific items such as the ‘small apple’ or ‘green boat’. You can practice prepositions with the picture cards, too, by following the phrases (placing the flower card under the car card). For the picture I separated the picture cards so you could see them.
In this activity, students will use a mat with pictures on it. They will read phrases then match the correct phrase with the pictures.
Many lessons have stories to accompany the lessons. This gives students a chance to read multiple sentences and answer WH questions. Students can practice reading aloud for fluency, read silently and demonstrate comprehension using the questions and discussing the illustrations.
The comprehension set is purchased separately, but I find it absolutely necessary! This is how I record grades in Edmark. Each lesson comes with two comprehension pages. I have the student complete these worksheets without assistance. Then I grade the worksheet and provide support when correcting the work if needed.
While not necessary, the homework component of Edmark is simple and very little prep. Each lesson has 1-3 worksheets you can send home or do as independent work if you prefer. The tasks are meant to be independently done, so all you have to do is copy and send it home!
These short books are great for independent reading! You can send them home or have students read them aloud and check comprehension by using the questions listed for each reader.
One of the reasons I love Edmark is the success it brings my students. Decoding, chopping and blending can be difficult skills for students with autism. The curriculum is research based and uses ABA techniques to help students succeed. Students who are non-verbal have a sign-language option included in Edmark (it comes with a DVD of signs for each lesson!) or you can use a student’s AAC device to support them. From vocabulary accusation to fluency, Edmark has you covered!