The Piece of English Cake Program

In today’s digital world, reading is more important than ever. Children need strong literacy skills to succeed in school and to understand their ever-growing world. Established in 2011, Piece of English Cake’s international team of educators, artists, designers, and engineers develop research-based reading lessons, activities, and games that help children learn how to read and love to learn.

The National Reading Panel report of 2000 concluded that a reading curriculum that includes phonics instruction greatly benefits children in kindergarten through 6th grade, as well as students struggling to learn to read. Across all grade levels, systematic phonics instruction yields the greatest gains in reading and spelling. This approach consists of teaching a scope and sequence for phonics instruction: a method of teaching people how to read by linking the sounds of English (phonemes) with the letters of the alphabet that represent them. The lessons on Piece of English Cake were designed with this goal in mind. Using categorized word lists, essential phonics skills are taught through engaging photo slideshows and other skill-building activities. Phonics instruction includes consonant blends and digraphs, long and short vowels, word families, hard and soft “c” and “g,” the schwa sound, and prefixes and suffixes. Students and teachers can choose to be guided through the reading curriculum in order on the Tutorials page or select a lesson topic on the Lessons page. Each activity begins with a short text teaching the lesson topic using clear examples. Educational games for kids and interactive components such as spelling, matching, fill-in-the-blank, cloze, and “pairs” give kids the practice they need to become fluent and confident readers.

The leveled cloze passages on Piece of English Cake can be used for guided oral reading to build reading fluency – the ability to read with efficiency and ease. The National Reading Panel sited reading fluency as another essential aspect of an effective reading curriculum. When students have the opportunity to read aloud with peers, teachers, or caregivers they receive invaluable feedback. This guided reading method is especially supportive of sight word recognition skills, as it puts the words in a meaningful contest. The Piece of English Cake sight words lessons do the same with an easy-to-read sentence for each word. Guided reading also builds vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension
The National Reading Panel report also recommends vocabulary development as a crucial step in teaching kids how to read. When a child uses phonics to decode a new word, he or she must also figure out if the word makes sense in context. Without developing vocabulary there is no way to determine if a word fits, or to create meaning when reading. Vocabulary development is also crucial in building reading comprehension, another component in the reading panel’s recommendations. The category slideshows on topics such as body parts, music, computers, animals, and the environment build children’s vocabulary with entertaining photos and audio recordings. Learning phonics, practicing reading fluency, building vocabulary, and improving reading comprehension are the cornerstones of the Piece of English Cake approach that will guide children through school and the rest of their lives.

Now in development, the teacher's platform will enable teachers to modify lessons to fit students' needs and manage student progress online.