Funnix Reading Instruction
Funnix is a web-based reading instruction program that you can access with your computer. The program contains a carefully sequenced series of small lessons based on the thoroughly researched Direct Instruction reading curriculum. It is inexpensive, effective, requires no teaching experience and is accessible anywhere from any location in the world.
Funnix was designed for use by parents, but can be used by classroom aides, trained volunteers, and teachers with up to 5 children at a time. In this first video, a parent teaches her pre-school aged child in the first few lessons. In this video, a parent teaches two children who are on a first-grade level. One of the two had been struggling with reading.
In the school environment, Funnix can be used as an intervention program, as a supplemental program, as a summer-school or after-school program, or as a program for children with learning challenges. Funnix has been extensively researched and field tested in homes and classrooms.
Each lesson introduces a few things that are new and weaves them into applications that involve familiar words and skills. Around 10 % of each lesson is new. The rest is made up of familiar parts.
Children do not struggle with Funnix because each lesson is designed to avoid introducing anything that will be over the child’s head. If they are challenged, the material is reviewed repeatedly in succeeding lessons. Completion of the 220 thirty-minute lessons virtually assures reading mastery to the second grade level.
The goal of Funnix is to teach K-2 reading skills in a way that is both enjoyable and effective. It does so by ensuring that the child learns how to decode accurately and fluently while reading stories written in “authentic language,” not the highly stilted prose that occurs in some phonics programs (Jill will fill and spill).
The Funnix narrator provides expert instruction controlling for time spent on new materials, adequate practice, teacher feedback, and sequencing of skills. Lessons do not focus on an individual skill, rather each lesson works on five or more skills that are practiced and applied in multiple successive lessons. Phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary are addressed.
For an extended look at the program structure and a few parent-led lessons, click here.
Ready to take Funnix for a test drive? Click here to register without a credit card and have access to the first 20 lessons.
Tips for Teachers and Tutors
Funnix is easy to use and effective because every step has been tested and refined on the basis of feedback from teachers and children. Here is a list of practical tips drawn from their experience: TIPS FOR USING FUNNIX
Empirical Studies of Funnix
Parlange, L. A. (2004). The effects of the Funnix beginning reading program on the reading skills of preschoolers (Unpublished paper, Eastern Washington University).
Pindiprolu, S. S. & Forbush, D. (2008-9) Evaluating the promise of computer-based reading interventions with students with reading difficulties. I-Managers Journal on School Educational Technology 4 (3), 41-49
Watson, T., & Hempenstall, K. (2008). Effects of a computer based beginning reading program on young children. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24 (3), 258-274.
Comprehensive Research on Direct Instruction:
All Students Can Succeed: A Half Century of Research on the Effectiveness of Direct Instruction
by Jean Stockard, Timothy W. Wood, Cristy Coughlin, and Caitlin Rasplica Khoury
Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.sg/All-
Meta-Analysis Confirms Effectiveness of an Old School Approach: Direct Instruction
by Robert Pondiscio
Clear Teaching: With Direct Instruction, Siegfried Engelmann Discovered A Better Way Of Teaching
by Shepard Barbash