The idea for Estrellita began in 1985 in a migrant Spanish class in California. Karen Myer, the author of the program, was frustrated with the lack of materials and wanted to provide her students with a program that would help them learn to read in their native language. Unfortunately, all of the Spanish reading curriculum available at the time were direct translations from English reading programs. Karen went to work and began to develop a program that was true to the Spanish language and in the process realized that by moving away from the traditional Ma, Me, Mi, Mo, Mu methodology, her students were reading much quicker.
Now 30 years later, Estrellita has grown to be a program that teachers and administrators across the country use with confidence. Spanning every state in the country, Estrellita has been utilized in over 3000 districts, including the largest ELL districts in the US.
Breaking the Code
- Estrellita maps "pictures to beginning sounds" to assist children in making the connection from the known (picture) to the unknown (grapheme).
- Estrellita introduces vowels before consonants. The program also provides a built-in review process to ensure that students retain previously learned sounds.
- Estrellita is based on the core structure of the Spanish language and is not a direct translation.
- Estrellita writing component is aligned with and occurs concurrently with the reading process.
- Estrellita's philosophy and methodology have always been to teach the letter sounds first and to prolong the teaching of letter names until children have "broken the code."
- Estrellita utilizes a syllabic approach to blending and segmentation which systematically builds upon itself.
Why No More Ma, Me, Mi, Mo, Mu?
Estrellita founder Karen Myer explains how the Estrellita method was developed and tested.
Meet the Team
Meet the team that makes it all happen.
Author of Estrellita, Chairman
Micaela Prinz Marquez