Phonics Pathways

Publisher: Dorbooks
Developed by Dolores Hiskes
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Phonics Pathways teaches the mechanics of reading by using unpredictable reading practice to ensure that students learn and retain all of the basics. It achieves maximum results in the minimum time with the least amount of effort, and has won six national first-place awards as “Best Phonics Program in the Country.”

Developed by Dolores Hiskes, a master reading teacher for many years, Phonics Pathways (published by Dorbooks) is a user friendly, multi-sensory, sequential, complete, explicit phonics program that includes vision and motor coordination training exercises. It is easily adapted for either classroom or home use. The following firsthand accounts present the most convincing evidence of its effectiveness.

Joe Medeiros, Principal of Joe Michell Elementary School in Livermore, California, writes, “Joe Michell School serves a diverse population, from students in average income homes to a growing number in the free lunch programs living in subsidized housing. Increasing numbers of children are coming to school totally unprepared to learn; and in addition, budget cuts have greatly restricted our services.

“Our school offers a one-on-one reading tutorial program for the first to third-grade students, with parent and community volunteers using Phonics Pathways and related Dorbook educational material. In less than a year, Joe Michell School’s test scores in reading rose from the lowest to the highest in the entire school district. Teachers now have fewer students who are behind grade level in reading and are extremely supportive of the program. Our fourth-grade teacher said, ‘This is the most literate class I have ever had. It is my first class from the tutorial program. This program is worth its weight in gold!’”

Bettina Dunne, Reading Teacher from Lowell Joint School District in Whittier, California, writes: “This is Lowell School District’s implementation year of Dolores Hiskes’ Phonics Pathways and Dorbook material. This is a carefully researched, no-frills program with a simple format and easy implementation, requiring little or no preparation time. It fits into our existing reading program and is flexible enough for individual or group work. We have targeted the students in our Title I Program. Our teachers are experiencing great success with this material, and are very excited!

“For example, our kindergartners are exploring the sounds consonants make when followed by short vowels, and the second- and third-graders have higher word study scores than ever before. After using this book about ten minutes a day, at midyear our third-graders’ word study scores went up an average of 18 National Percentile points, and their reading comprehension scores went up an average of 22 National Percentile points. Fourth through sixth graders are enjoying similar success.

“Phonics Pathways unlocks the secrets of sound-symbol relationships, allowing comprehension to become the focus. Students are now able to read words they could only guess at before, and have strategies to decode unknown words. They can focus on the real purpose of reading—meaning. Our teachers are thrilled. An added benefit—students love it!”

Christine Knight, Faculty Facilitator at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, writes: “Our elementary instructors are inserviced in the use of Phonics Pathways. We have experienced great success in using Phonics Pathways with a variety of children: ESL students, remedial students, beginning readers, students that have had limited phonics experience, as well as dyslexic students and even adults.

“I highly recommend Phonics Pathways for all students that are learning to read. It is clear, well organized, has large print, the skills sequenced correctly, the sketches humorous, the praise phrases encouraging and the hints very useful.”

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