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Australian series with real stories using words that children can read!

Teaching Phonics

Decodable e-books are designed to support a Synthetic Phonics method of teaching reading. In Synthetic Phonics, letter sounds (phonemes) and the letters that represent them (graphemes) are taught explicitly and systematically. In decodable books, the text is controlled by and limited to the phonemes that have been taught to that point. For example, the first set of books may be based on children only needing to know the sounds for s a t p i n m d.
Only words using these sounds would be used in this set of e-books. In this way, children are able to practise their growing phonic knowledge by reading books and decoding words that they will easily be able to. The only exception to this would be the use of some high-frequency words that may not be easily decodable at that point. These words are referred to as common exception words or tricky words because they include a letter or combinations of letters that represent irregular sound patterns. Some examples of these words are: the, he, no, is, to. The vocabulary used in the first set of e-books, based on a Whole Language approach, is not controlled in this way. All 44 sounds of English and the letters that represent them can be used to a large extent. So, for example, the word ‘sky’ could be used.

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Overview Video

A simple word with only three letters, but not easily decodable unless you know that the letter y also makes the long /i/ sound. For beginning readers, the need to look for a picture clue, or to predict what the word may be from the context of the sentence, or from the letters at the start of the word (or all combinations) may be required. This is a challenge that all children may not be up to in the early stages of reading.

Teacher Resources

There is a separate section on Sunshine Online called the Staffroom. Here teachers can access full sets of teaching notes covering all the texts, overview skills charts, assessment and printable activity sheets. This support material makes classroom planning easy and supports teachers in effectively linking print and technology. Webinars are available for after school instruction.

Free Webinars

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Program Features

Sunshine Decodables has 180 meaningful and engaging text in both fiction and non-fiction.

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Listen & Say

  • Review the focus individual phonemes to hear a model of the pure articulation
  • See and listen to correct segmentation and blending of the phonemes in words
  • Student voice-records the phonemes in words
  • Student playbacks and listens to their own segmenting and blending
  • Student has the opportunity to self-review and re-record

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  • Option to listen to the text with narration and highlighting
  • Option to decode individual words to listen to segmentation and blending
  • Student can independently read the text without the above supports



  • Student voice-records their reading of the text
  • Listens to playback
  • Self-evaluates and reviews
  • Able to practise with repeated readings
  • Opportunity to independently review, self- evaluate, self- correct with re-reading and re-recording

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  • Articulation of focus phoneme knowledge
  • Segmenting and blending of real and nonsense words
  • Tricky word identification
  • Teacher evaluation of student recording


Teacher Review

  • Listen to student recordings
  • Review student’s progress
  • Track student’s progress with summative assessment



  • Each book includes a printible activity sheet. Mel to write some more text here about the activities.

Student Dashboard and Reporting

If a school opts for a managed subscription, the teacher can assign books to a student, they can view a child's results and history and listen to the recording activity to check for fluency and understanding.

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School Admin

The website offers two subscription options.

Option 1: Schools can choose a non-managed site accessible using a generic username and password for the subscription. Students cannot save their results with this option.

Option 2: Managed administration allows schools to allocate individual passwords so that an administrator or teacher can monitor progress and report using recorded data. Teachers can also assign books to a student and monitor results. Children will also have a personalised avatar and a dashboard where their results are kept.

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