It's a PCI Reading and MARVELOUS MONDAY!

Graphics by Ashley Hughes
It's so totally unbelievable, but I am going to have to face it!  Summer Break is coming to a close. This is my last Monday before returning to work. One more week of summer bliss!  What can I squeeze in before all the craziness of a new school year starts flooding my brain. Well, forget that! I'm already thinking about it obviously.

For myself, I want to get in one more photography day trip to meander where I want taking pictures of whatever I want!  What about you?
What did you do or are you planning to do before the new school year starts?
Since I've already got my last week planned, my mind is turning to my reading program and I thought I'd share what I use and what it is. I hope you will share with me what you think of PCI if you use it or what you use in your classrooms. 

What do you use for your reading curriculum?
I am always interested to find out all the many programs out there that people are using.


I am currently using PCI Reading Program put out by PCI Education. I have been using it for about 3 years now and can really see the benefits of its continued use.  Prior to using PCI Reading, I was a faithful user of  the Edmark Reading Program and absolutely LOVED watching what it could do for a student who had never been able to read before.  In just 10 short lessons, you could bring a student from "I CAN'T read" to I CAN read! It was phenomenal! No matter how much I could see the positive attitude change and the reading ability increase with the use of EDMARK, I always realized a huge component of comprehension was missing from it. Even with its "flaws" it was awesome to watch a student change before your eyes.  I ADORED  EDMARK and my students continually improved their reading levels with it.

After receiving training and the materials on PCI,  I dug right in.
The PCI Reading Program is designed to be a 1-on-1 reading program.
Here is an example of how a lesson is presented.
  1.  Learn the word - Word Building Lesson  
    Words are present in isolation to begin with then integrated into sentences as the levels progress. By the time they finish level one the students have mastered 140 words.  The procedures are fairly scripted and set, but I have found I can fine tune it to fit individual students' needs. At the completion of the first level, student are able to read 4-10 word sentences. 
  2. Trace the words
    Using workbooks the student traces and writes the learned words. I like this part because it adds in the kinesthetic/tactile modality to aid retention. Another great way to practice the words already learned is to  have the student do the tracing portion independently or with me at the lesson table, depending on their needs, and then they read the workbook page aloud to me.  For kids having difficulty with the words, I often give this page again and let them trace the words in a different color to provide additional practice. 
  3. Guided Word Practice
    In this  hands-on activity the student uses picture and word cards to respond to directions the teacher gives from the 1-page skill lesson and provides hands-on activities that further engage the students and reinforce lessons already completed. They manipulate the word cards making phrases and sentences.
  4.  Independent practice
    Students use reproducible activity sheets to independently practice words. I often use these for seat work or for homework to reinforce the words. There are different types of ways used on the activity sheets to practice the words: matching words, matching pictures with phrases and sentences and identifying the word by circling it. After reaching this point in the lesson the child has learned 1 word and you repeat this for 4 more words and then review all 5 new words.  It seems more lengthy than it really is.  It takes a little practice up front but once you become familiar with the procedure - its awesome.  
  5. Post test
    The post test is short and easy to give. The program comes with reproducible record keeping sheets that suffice for data collection as well, which I love. Anytime I don't have to be redundant is more time for me! I keep a notebook for each child for PCI and the record keeping that accompanies the program flows from one year to the next.  
  6. Read a Book
    After learning 5 words the students can read the 1st of 28 individual reading books. What I like about these books versus other program's books at the same level is that the stories actually have some substance to them. They are excellent for basic WH comprehension questions.

PCI Reading Level 1
The PCI program is primarily based on the sight word approach to reading with an emphasis on visual discrimination. This level focuses on primarily high frequency words. In fact the word list in PCI Level 1 closely matches a lot of the high frequency words that our kindergarten classes learn from our county's high frequency lists. The words lists are comprised of common everyday nouns and verbs. In level one, phonics and phonemic awareness take a back seat for now while the words are taught with an emphasis on visual discrimination.

The lessons are presented with a very stringent procedure. The procedures  have a lot of repetition built into the lesson and lots of spiraling review, which is great for students with intellectual disabilities or significant learning disabilities. I've also used it with students with autism and had great success. I think the predictability of the lesson flow helps them to know what to expect.

What works for me in level one is the inclusion of separate individual readers used to reinforce the learn words.

I have seen great progress in 99% of the students I have used it with. Many of my students have demonstrated a greater than 1 year's reading progress in just one year.

I know when I go back I will have review to do so I made a short vowel rhyming activity and thought I would share with you. This is just a snippet of a bigger vowel rhyming activity I have available at my TPT store. Be sure and check it out at

Stay tuned later this week as I head back into the classroom to get started on my class setup.
With reading in mind, its time for YOUR FREEBIE!
Short Vowels Rhyming Task Cards

Please make sure to also checkout Manic Monday at ClassroomFreebies

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
 See you next time!


  1. WOW! You really put a lot of time and thought into this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great information! Appreciate it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check in frequently as I'm planning some flash freebies.

  3. I am planning to use Edmark and have PCI that I purchased a couple of years ago. I have not had any training in it so was glad to read your synopsis . I might use this for a few of my students. I plan to use guided reading and an online program (Raz-kids reading-not exact title).I can use guided reading and PCI for my direct instruction and edmark and raz kids for their computer time, so they get a double dose. Thanks for sharing this very helpful post!

    1. I love Raz Kids too! I have used it for several a years. That sounds like a great reading combination!