Program Overview

What is PAF?

The PAF Reading Program is a comprehensive structured language program for teaching reading, spelling, and handwriting using multisensory techniques.  It is an effective beginning reading program for all children and incorporates practices supported by scientific research. When begun in kindergarten or first grade, it prevents reading failure in children at risk for learning difficulties. In addition, it can be used as an intervention program.

The PAF Reading Program is

  • Scientifically Proven, incorporating all the instructional practices supported by the latest research and recommended by the National Reading Panel.
  • Teacher Friendly, offering all the tools and resources teachers need to plan and teach daily reading lessons. The instructions are concise and easily accessible. PAF was designed for teachers, by teachers.
  • Based on Orton-Gillingham techniques, providing the most comprehensive and effective adaptation for the classroom and the only one coordinated with a series of decodable chapter books.

How does PAF work?

The PAF Reading Program provides children with the building blocks they need to develop a solid reading foundation critical for becoming proficient readers. Concepts are taught directly and explicitly in a specific sequence, with immediate teacher feedback. Each lesson offers children with the practice needed to develop word recognition and fluency, while teachers model comprehension strategies to understand fiction and non-fiction text.  This teaching technique results in minimum frustration—and maximum success, leading not only to an improvement in reading skills, but a sense of mastery and self-esteem.

Children are taught:

  • The sounds letters make and how to write them
  • How to use sounds to read and spell words
  • How to read and spell multisyllable words  
  • How to read accurately and fluently using lists of words, phrases, and sentences, and stories that contain only sounds and words that have been taught (controlled and decodable text)
  • How to apply comprehension strategies to understand what they read

How are the materials used in PAF lessons?

Each PAF reading lesson has five components: Review, Introduction of New Material, Dictation, Reading, and Reinforcement, regardless of the level in the PAF instructional sequence. The PAF materials are very easy to use. The Teacher Handbook facilitates effective planning of lessons and includes precise instructional language. The student materials are engaging and support the direct instruction model. We invite you to explore three PAF sample lessons.

What role do Read Alouds play in PAF?

Reading to children, while not part of a PAF lesson, is crucial for all beginning readers. Reading books with higher level language is important because young readers understand much more sophisticated oral language than what they can read. 

Reading aloud:

  • Improves reading comprehension by improving listening comprehension
  • Introduces a variety of genres (fantasy, poetry, nonfiction) and text structures
  • Provides exposure to the vocabulary and grammar of written language
  • Expands background knowledge and information about the world
  • Promotes a love for reading and learning

Set aside time each day to read to students from a variety of literature and nonfiction. However, you should not take time away from direct reading instruction.

What happens after PAF?

Once students have read The Dragons of Wellington, which has a Lexile level of 620L, they will be ready to transition into uncontrolled text. While reading chapter books, students can be taught the skills in Final Steps.

PAF Curriculum Overview