Hello Nonfiction! Are you Ready?

By Jen Jones

Hello Nonfiction! Are you Ready?

By now, the term decodables is a regular household term in any science of reading research aligned classroom, school or district. And you probably have your hands on some because there are a lot on the market now. We know from research that decodables are one of the best tools for practicing learned phonics skills, and especially if followed by explicit phonics instruction of that that new phonics skill.  If decodable skill word lists are good, then decodable skill phrases are better, but decodable texts targeting the new skill is best! 

We are over the moon by the love, support, and district adoptions of the Hello Decodables and Hello Phonics Curriculum (sold separately), and orders for the 🩷🧡💛 fiction decodables over the past year, so we have a good feeling you’re going to love the newly released nonfiction decodables, too!

A year in the making, we have written 60 new nonfiction decodables, and we are so excited to share them with you and your students. The purpose of the books are two-fold:

👀to give students a text based opportunity to practice learned skills and word solve in the context of a cohesive book, AND;

🌎to learn through information. What an incredible opportunity for students to practice the phonics skills they are learning and build background information than on 60 kid-curious, real-world topics…with a 50/50 split of Science & Social Studies topics in the Green & Blue Sets.

Speaking of colors, let’s get oriented to how the new nonfiction decodable skills align to the fiction decodable skills.  Plain and simple, the target skills per book are the same!   The color choices are very intentional. Pink, orange and yellow represent fiction, fairy tales, and the imaginative world of stories. Mint, green and blue represent life, living things and real world information. 

Phonics Skills for fiction and nonfiction in Hello Decodables

Decodable Skills At-A-Glance

Below are the Decodable Skills At-A-Glance. This shows you the titles of all the books in each phonics unit. Please note: the skill scope & sequence is the same for both fiction & nonfiction, meaning skills in Pink Book 10, are the same skills in Mint Book 10, etc.

New features of the nonfiction decodables:

🌎 Topic Words with Heart Parts: Two additional “off sequence” words used in the book. There are 2-3 heart words as in the fiction decodables, but there are also 2 additional words we call “Topic Words with Heart Parts”. The reason for this is purely for the purpose of explaining the nonfiction topic. For example, in Book 29: Whales for the phonics skills ch and wh, the heart words are blue, enjoy and again, and the Topic Words with Heart Parts are toothed, baleen and elephant because ee, oo and ph have not been taught yet, but it’s challenging to teach about whales without using whale specific words.

🌎 Glossary: Since the reading standard “using a glossary” is an information reading skill beginning in 1st grade, all of the green and blue books include a glossary in the back of the book. Glossary words are bold in the text and listed in alphabetical order in the glossary table.

🌎 Real Photographs: Unlike the fiction decodables that use black and white digital art illustrations, the nonfiction decodables use real photographs on every page. Keeping the pictures black and white not only keeps the cost of printing the books down, but it doesn’t take the focus away from the most important information on the page: the text words!

🌎 Nonfiction Text Features: While not every book includes captions and labels on every page, they are used where appropriate. Some other text features are title page, maps, bold print, photographs, glossary, headings and bullet points. 

Students do not need to read ALL 60 fiction decodables before they can read the nonfiction decodables. They should probably read the fiction decodable first, for example, read fiction book 4 before reading nonfiction book 4, only because fiction stories are more cohesive and nonfiction information is a lot of information to manage and learn from. Heart words vary from book to book, as in, heart words in fiction book 4 will not be the heart words in nonfiction book 4. 

These nonfiction decodables are also perfect for ANY upper grade student struggling with foundational phonics skills, because they have an upper grade "look." 

Nonfiction decodables are shipping now! Order a single pack, which is one copy of each title, or order a six-pack, which gets you six copies of each title, which is perfect for your small group structured literacy instruction.  

If you would like to use a purchase order for these nonfiction decodables, please follow the PO process outlined here on our website

Happy Reading! -Jen


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