Demonstration of JUST READ‘s Phonics / Spelling Builder   
Simple Instructions:

1) Make sure that your speakers are on.

2) There are many sentences below. They are “randomly generated” sentences about “daily-living” topics (in the home, at school, etc.). They include many words that the beginning reader would never be expected to READ yet, but that should be commonly known in their SPOKEN conversation; therefore, you will see in a moment that the sentences are READ TO the student. We have carefully targeted certain red words in the sentences that will be used to expose the student to the process by which they will learn to decode, and thus eventually turn a new unrecognized word into an instantly recognized “sight” (“reflex”) word. For each sentence below, have the student click on the green speaker button at the BEGINNING of the sentence (NOT the speaker button at the END of the sentence). 

3) The sentence will be read out-loud to the student. When the voice reaches the red-colored word, it will stop reading the sentence. (It is possible that the very first word might be a red word, so clicking through that word will be required before any read-out-loud occurs.)
4) At this point, the student must click on the red word. The word will pop-up in a box. The student mouse-clicks (or touches, if using a touchscreen) the word until s/he reaches the point where each letter’s sound has been spoken, and then the complete word has been spoken. At this point, the voice will continue reading the rest of the sentence. (In some cases, there may be more than one red word in a sentence. At each red word, the voice will stop reading out loud.) Always encourage the student to, OUT LOUD, replicate the red word’s individual letter sound-outs, themselves. This is crucial for them to practice as much as possible.
5) NOW that the sentence has been completed, the student may click on the green speaker button at the END of the sentence, if s/he wants to do so (optional). The sentence will now be read out-loud without stopping on the red words. Further, as each word is read, it will pop up in a box in its fully-PQd state, to further encourage the brain to become comfortable with this visual element of the sound-out process. (You’ll note that with the beginning speaker button, as each word was read to you, a green highlight was in place, not a fully-PQd word in a pop-up box.) The reason the button at the end of the word is included in the sentences is more with the ESL student in mind (to double-check that they read the entire sentence correctly, in this new language to them), but it can be valuable for anyone.
6) Move on to the next sentence.

Important note: since we know that students need to see the same word many times before it becomes an “instant reflex word,” the student will need to go through each module many times. It is impossible to predict ahead of time how many repetitions are needed for each child. The students’ brains vary along a fairly normal curve in terms of how easy or how difficult it is to turn a word into a sight word. Dr. Kilpatrick (noted below) suggests that a “median” child will, in the very early stages of learning to read, need to sound out a single new word ~20 times before it “permanently maps” to the brain. For the students who have developed into master decoders, new unrecognized words need the sound-out process to occur only 1-4 times. For a child with letter-sound brain processing toward the “dyslexic” end of the spectrum, more sound-out repetition will be required. Getting good at reading is like getting good at anything else. Put in your 10,000 hours! In fact, strong vocabulary-building doesn’t occur from teachers’ vocabulary list efforts — it occurs simply in the process of reading A LOT. Now, though imperfect as an “assessment,” do some occasional spot-checking by scrolling down through the sentences and seeing how many red words the student can read to you instantly. Reading science will tell you that if they don’t know 2 out of 100 of those words as reflex words, more work needs to be done on the unrecognized words before moving to future modules. 98%+ instant word recognition in a reading passage is critical for good comprehension to occur, for most students. Further, it significantly reduces / eliminates beginning-reader frustration when they encounter “word stutters” very INfrequently, while simultaneously giving them good reading fluency / speed practice (by later elementary school or sooner, successful readers will have mastered an OPTIMAL-for-comprehension adult reading speed of 150-180 words per minute). 

{{ For more on this critical decoding process, we refer you to Wiley Publications’ “Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties,” by David A. Kilpatrick. In particular, Chapter Four is a deep dive into orthographic mapping. In addition, Dr. Kilpatrick leads a fascinating webinar on this subject at:  .

For “all things reading,” there is massively powerful information at David Boulton’s @ “Children Of The Code” website: .   ( @ Director of the non-profit Learning Stewards, and the creator of “interactive orthography,” or the PQs process that you will encounter here.) For “all things learning,” turn to David Boulton’s “Learning Stewards” website: . Finally, for a much deeper dive into this innovative new technology and the options that you have with it (like changing the voice of the automatic reader), turn to David Boulton’s “Magic Ladder” demonstration site, at: .

Additionally, an education journalist named Emily Hansford is stirring things up in the country’s “Education Macrocosm.” She is trying to bring to light, to the public, the latest Reading Science. It is appalling to learn that the science doesn’t make it into our classrooms. It is absolutely NOT the teachers’ fault — we’ll lay low on that topic for now, and let you learn about this national disaster from her two articles below, that each also include a one-hour podcast.  First:  .   Second:   .     }}

So, just what is the purpose of the red words? By having the student simultaneously HEAR each letter sound and SEE the letter’s PQ appearance, it will help them to build their critical DECODING skills in a very neurologically efficient way. As you can learn elsewhere on our site, this will help the brain “learn-into” the “letter-sound: unglue-then-reglue” process that HAS to occur (multiple times per word) for a word to be successfully “orthographically mapped” to the brain. More simply, this “break-up” and “put-back-together” process for each letter sound in a word is what eventually makes a word PERMANENTLY, instantly recognizable during the process of reading. This repetitive decoding process is necessary to turn most of the words that we eventually recognize instantly into “sight” words (we prefer the term “reflex” words). Diane McGuinness (1997, “Why Our Children Can’t Read”) suggests that if we learn words as “wholes / symbols,” most people can learn only ~2,000 words. That doesn’t get you very far if you need ~100,000 reflex vocabulary words to succeed at a respected 4-year university (even more words to succeed at an Ivy League university).

What about the words that we have chosen to be “red” in our sentences? We have been very intentional in gently “scaffolding” a letter-sound match “build,” in a highly logical fashion, that is designed to significantly reduce confusion for English reading learners. Per elsewhere discussed on our site, we start ONLY with the COMMON sounds (the most frequent sounds) of the 26 letters. (For those who are phonics-trained, these are the SINGLE-letter consonants and the 5 “short”-vowels. This may surprise you, so heads-up: the letter Y’s most frequent sound is a long-E, like in the words “only, funny, sissy, etc.,” almost always at the END of the word < exceptions, for fun: Yvette, Yvonne, Yves >. When Y makes its “yuh” sound < yard, yawn, yes … >, the PQ to identify that sound is to stretch the Y.) You will note that when these red words are activated in the pop-up box, for the first ~650 different red words that are exposed to the students, their font appearance will NOT change! That is because the COMMON sound letter visuals do NOT change from their normal-font appearance. Once students feel comfortable with these 26 COMMON letter-sound matches, we then later introduce NEW PQ letter-sound matches, “isolated” ONLY ONE AT A TIME, where all of the letters in these new words are still COMMON PQs, other than the ONE new PQ that is being introduced. We start with 3-letter red words, then move to 4 / 5 / 6 letters. The order of red word exposure is designed to center repetitiveness on the short vowels, since vowels in English can offer the most complexity in the learning process.

Now, let’s get to some sentences! (Note in the below that we have acronyms such as CVC, CVCC, CCVC. “C” stands for “consonant.” “V” stands for “vowel.” Also, occasionally you’ll hit a heteronym < same spelling, different meanings, like “read” representing both present and past tense > that the automatic voice chooses the wrong context for … that’s a future fix.)


HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLE SENTENCES WITH “CVC” RED WORDS:  (But note that ANY word that is “all-COMMON” will be highlighted as a red word in the first few sets of these examples.)

I love playing football with my dad.  

If you make me eat that awful food, I might gag.  

The baby got food all over her bib.  

Did you like the movie?  

We read a story about a boy named Pip.  

Hey sis, have you seen my Barbie doll?  

Can Bob come over for a sleepover this Saturday?  

Is the pot of water boiling yet?  

Gross, there’s a bug in my soup!  

I’m going to run around the track two times.  


Jim plays the tuba in our school band.  

I can’t wear this shirt because it’s still damp from the dryer.  

Her friends like to hang out at the mall.  

My father takes naps every Saturday and Sunday.  

I kept sneezing for about five minutes straight.  

We’re bringing our pets with us on the trip.  

Susan hits the softball very far.  

Mom, can we get some chocolate milk at the store?  

Can we go skating at the ice rink?  

If he bops me on the head again, I’ll scream.  

My mom almost became a golf pro.  

That’s a cool song on the radio.  

Let’s take this trash to the city dump.  

My favorite Avenger is the Hulk.  

The new kid in class is just an unpleasant punk.  

I think Lily is now my best friend.  


Brad just got a new bike.  

Mom is making some crab dip for the party.  
The American flag has fifty stars on it.  

My brother’s name is Greg.  

It’s icy out, so please watch your step.  

The baby is sleeping in her crib.  

Now the kitchen is all spic-and-span.  

I want a glob of peanut butter to eat with my banana.  

Please don’t drop this vase!  

Dad, can I take drum lessons?  

Don’t you hate it when you stub your toe?  


Hank’s grandma is coming for a visit.  

I love the Disney cartoon movie “The Lady And The Tramp.”  

I slept until nine o’clock yesterday morning.  

My dog tilts his head when I talk to him.  

That poor kid always trips over his own feet.  

I got the mumps when I was five years old.  

Dern it, I burnt the crust on the pie.  

Those two are madly in love.  

Can you tell the difference between a robin and a mockingbird?  

INTRODUCE A NEW LETTER-SOUND PQ: “SH”  (At this point, we will stop highlighting all-COMMON words and highlight ONLY words with the new PQ that is being introduced.) Note that the “PQ” for the “SH” sound is to fully-underline (versus dotted-underline, which is another PQ) the S and the H together. This signals to the reader that the most frequent sounds of S and H do NOT occur in this case, and that the “MERGER” of S and H TOGETHER make an altogether different sound than what one might expect!

I need to get some cash at the bank.  

We’re going on a cruise ship for our vacation.  

This fish doesn’t smell very fresh.  

Can you please polish the silver?  

I’d like a radish in my salad.  

ANOTHER NEW PQ: “CH”    Note that the “PQ” for the “CH” sound is to fully-underline (versus dotted-underline, which is another PQ) the C and the H together. This signals to the reader that the most frequent sounds of C and H do NOT occur in this case, and that the “MERGER” of C and H TOGETHER make an altogether different sound than what one might expect!

We need to have a chat about this.  

I hear that his family is very rich.  

That diner serves a great Sunday brunch.  

I’m snacking on some potato chips.  

What kind of bird is on that tree branch?  

NEW PQ:   “S-sounding-like-Z”  Note: the PQ for when the letter S sounds like a COMMON Z is this: the letter S will raise up above the line. The vast majority of these cases occur when the S is at the very end of the word, and especially in possessives. Examples below are “bags, blonds, cabins, rapids.” However, this can also occur in the middle of the word, such as the below example of “flimsy.”

Where do you store your used plastic bags?  

You know what they say, “blonds have more fun.”  

We’ve rented three cabins for our family reunion.  

This old chair seems too flimsy to sit in.  

He’s taking his kayak down those rapids.  

Etc …

And on and on … we will be able to introduce a vast number of letter-sound matches, sticking to ONLY COMMON PQs and one new PQ-at-a-time!