If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello All, This is just a friendly reminder to read the Forum Charter where you wish to post before posting in it. :)
Hi all, The AutoSave Draft feature is now disabled across the site. The decision to disable the feature was made via a poll last year. The delay in putting it in place was due to a bug/update issue. This should serve as a reminder to manually save your drafts if you wish to keep them. Thanks, The Boards Team.

Dancing Bears - alternative to Toe by Toe (dyslexia reading program)

  • 04-06-2015 12:42pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12 anotherjd

    Just wondering if anyone has heard of, or used "Dancing bears" or "Bear Necessities" by sound foundations. It is a synthetic phonics guided intervention in book format.

    It is bit like toe by toe, but looks like it is geared to younger readers, with more varied content. (recommended age for their first "Book A" is 6-7 years old)
    I would consider using it for my second daughter instead of toe by toe,
    and would like to hear any experience that anyone has had.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook

    What age is she? Does she have dyslexia?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 anotherjd

    Hi byhookorbycrook
    I have a 9 year daughter(2nd class) who does have dyslexia, and we have used toe by toe with her for last 4 months.
    I have a 7 year daughter(1st class) not yet diagosed, but poor reading ability, and I am thinking to use "Dancing bears" with her, as I think it looks more engaging and varied than toe by toe.
    Our school uses 'Toe by Toe' as default - but if I can get positive feedback I'd discuss option of using Dancing Bears.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook

    We have found that most children need to be in 3rd to really benefit from Toe by Toe, as it is so intensive and gets more difficult quite quickly. I have used Dancing Bears with one or two (the first book) but don't any longer since we started to use Jolly Phonics and I find that if it is done properly, it is a huge help for younger ones.

    That said, if you are willing to put the time in at home with the 1st two books, it will certainly help too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 anotherjd

    an (overdue) update.

    I did use dancing bears for 2 of my daughters, from 2nd class (age 7 and age 8)

    We found it much more engaging than toe by toe, and the silly story was actually a bit of a draw to find out how it all ended. I would recommend it for children age 7, 8 and 9.

    I know resource teachers in our primary school were less keen, mainly as it does not have evidence based research and studies to back up the potential gain in reading age, but they agreed for us to use, as the sylabus is equivalent. My children definately found it more fun than toe by toe, but for one daughter with severe dyslexia is was still challenging and required repeating many chapters to benefit.

    if you are interested, you can actually preview the books in the shop online, to get to good idea of content.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook

    Thank you for the update . I’m glad it was of some help to you. The Science of Reading movement is finally gaining traction here .

  • Advertisement