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Learning To Read: PCI Reading Program

One of the tough things about being a special education teacher is that we don’t have a total comprehensive program to teach our kiddos how to read. I wish that I was given a “curriculum” to go by with my little guys, but there isn’t (yet!).

One of the many things I use to teach my students to read is also one of my absolute favorite programs to date. My senior year of college I was at the Council for Exceptional Children Conference in Nashville and saw the PCI Reading Program being demonstrated. I wanted that thing for my first 2 years of teaching and once I moved back to Ohio, I was able to get that baby through my district! *Insert happy dance*

All the goodies that come in level one!

Now disclaimer: I do NOT use this with all of my students. This program is for nonreaders and I do have some students that are a little too high for PCI Reading Level One. However, I absolutely love using it with my students that do benefit from it.

There are three levels that you can purchase of the PCI Reading Program, and being in a K-5 classroom, I have level 1. The program is given on an individual 1:1 setting, one word at a time. Level one has 140 words all split into 140 lessons. Once a student has mastered a word, they will move onto the next word. After a grouping of 5 words, a book is introduced. I love these books because they are not so childish (like many level A or B books out there), and can be used with ANY age in my opinion! The other day, I did lesson 66 for the word “mom” with one of my students.


This is the “Word Building” section. The word is introduced to the student with a black word window so that the student isn’t distracted by the lines above and below! There is a mixture of “point to the word ____”, “read the word _____” and “read the sentence”. All mistakes are recorded on an already made data sheet! (Yay!!!)

The next thing I do is get out the Trace and Read Workbook. Each student has their own workbook. Since this lesson was for the word “mom”, the student traced the word mom and then read each sentence aloud to me. (I must add there is another step in the whole process, I think you do it after the writing section, but I hate it and find it to be pointless with my students that I use the program with this year).

Next up is the “Read Aloud” book. Just more practice with the new word and reading sentences (with words already learned and sometimes pictures for noun words!).

After the Read Aloud, there are always 2 worksheets that go with the lesson (this picture is from lesson 67, oops). There are a couple worksheets that I never do (like drawing their own pictures to complete the sentence, yuck), however most of them I really like. There are worksheets like circle the word, draw a line to the matching word, match the sentence to the picture, and complete the sentence with the correct word. Great word work activities!

Then at the end of it all, we are able to read a book!! This book is the one that comes after lesson 65, therefore we won’t read book 14 until this student gets through lesson 70. Love LOVE these books, and once again, the pictures are so age appropriate!

Included in the program are also some other fun activities, post-tests after each 5 word set, and like I said…pre-made data sheets!! I keep all of my students data sheets and already copied to-be-done worksheets in a big PCI binder. My kiddos have been rockin’ this program and what’s even better is that my classroom aides are also able to administer the lessons for me! Don’t even get me started on the supplemental comprehension activities, that’s another post in itself. 😉

Now that I feel like a PCI Reading sales girl, go check out the more in depth explanation of the program here:

Have you tried PCI Reading? Are you as obsessed as I am?!

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