Coach's Guide - Principles



Principle #1:  Sight words and phonics 


My Breakfast Reading Program approaches reading from both a sight words perspective as well as a phonetic perspective. 

Sight words consist of list of most frequently used words.  The first one hundred words are used in 50% of printed material.  The first twenty-five words are used in 33% of printed material.    The first five most frequently used words are: the; of; and; a; to.  


The 320 sight words used in My Breakfast Reading Program are from four sources.  The first 110 sight words had to appear on all three lists to be included.


  • Dolch Word List
  • “The Reading Teacher’s BOOK OF LISTS”, Third Edition by Edward Bernard Fry, Ph.D., Copyright 1993 by Prentice Hall.
  • “The 150 Most Frequent Words”, American Heritage Frequency Book, Copyright 1971 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

The remaining 210 sight words are grouped in families, such as people, numbers, and irregular rimes. 


My Breakfast Reading Program is focused on the following phonetic skills and uses synthetic phonics as the primary approach and analytic phonics as the secondary approach: 


  • Consonant, blend and digraph sound/symbol association:  The letter b (consonant) makes the “b” sound.  The letters bl (blend) make the “bl” sound.  The letters sh (digraph) make the “sh” sound.
  • Vowel sounds:  There are twenty three different vowel sounds.  This program will develop the sound/symbol association and rules for the sounds. 
  • Sound blending:  Sound blending is the blending of sounds together to form a word and/or syllables.  The individual sounds of “c” – “a” – “t” are blended to form the word “cat”.   

My Breakfast Reading Program’s daily activities are divided into 33% sight vocabulary development and 66% phonetic skill development. 


Principle #2:  Rapid Naming 


A key to predicting reading difficulties is poor rapid naming skills.  My Breakfast Reading Program develops and reinforces rapid naming skills throughout the entire program. 


My Breakfast Reading Program exposes the student to meaningful rapid naming exercises by applying sight vocabulary recognition and phonetic skills through the use of timed activities. 


Principle #3:  KISS – Keep It Simple Sammy 


The normal approach to teaching reading relies on many rules and deviations from those rules.  My Breakfast Reading Program attempts to keep the rules and exceptions to a minimum.   


Principle #4:  Probabilities 


My Breakfast Reading Program presents material based on probabilities.  In addition to the most frequently used word database, a second database of 2,377 single syllable words is used to provide statistical analysis and lists for many of the drills used throughout My Breakfast Reading Program.   


The statistical analysis and related exercises are focused on the following: 

  • Sight Words
  • Beginning sounds - consonants/blends/digraphs
  • Ending sounds - consonants/blends/digraphs
  • Vowel Sound Patterns

Principle #5:  Visual Association and Analogy Relationship 


My Breakfast Reading Program uses breakfast food analogies for visual association in categorizing sight words and phonetic decoding skills.  The use of visualization through analogies helps minimize the rules that the student needs to remember.  This helps support Principle #3 – KISS.  Following are the six analogies used for the visual association.   

  •  Cold cereal – sight vocabulary.  Most frequently eaten breakfast food.  Most kids can fix a bowl of cereal by themselves with a little practice.

  •  Pancakes – words with short vowel sound (5 sounds).  Cooked one side at a time (one vowel).  Since there are a lot of steps to making pancakes, young students would need a lot of help.  Likewise, decoding words that aren't immediately recognized requires a lot of steps and practice.

  • Waffles – words with long vowel sound (5 sounds).  Cooked two sides at a time (two vowels).  Since there are a lot of steps to making waffles, young students would need a lot of help.  Likewise, decoding words that aren't immediately recognized requires a lot of steps and practice.

  • Orange Juice – words with R Controlled vowel sound (7 sounds).  ORange

  • Fruit toppingswords with diphthong vowel sound (6 sounds). fruit

  • Hot Cereal – words (irregular rimes) that do not match phonetic rules and are not high frequency words.  Therefore, they should be memorized like sight vocabulary (cold cereal). 

Principle #6:  Fluency


My Breakfast Reading Program recognizes that reading is a fluid process and that to be a skilled reader, the student must be able to read with a steady natural rate.  Each lesson develops specific skills for word recognition and sounding out words.  The last activity focuses on putting all the skills together. 


To achieve this, My Breakfast Reading Program uses the words and/or sounds introduced in the current and/or previous lessons to build sentences and/or stories.  The student should read/reread each sentence until a natural rate is achieved.