The number one predictor of reading success is a teacher term called phonemic awareness. Animabet was created by a veteran classroom teacher to promote the early reading skills of phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness means that a child knows their letter names and the sounds that the letters make. Automaticity with phonemic awareness means that a child has memorized the letter/sound correspondences to the point that their recognition is automatic. Once automaticity is achieved, a beginning reader is able to decode words using his or her phonics skills along with syntactic cues, high picture support, and contextual clues.
The animal theme in the Animabet program provides the high picture support and contextual clues needed to promote early reading. Young children delight in animals, and this provides a context from which to bridge their understandings from the known to the unknown. The images chosen for the Animabet program are highly appealing to young children of every language level.
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Kathy Moorehead, M.Ed.