Daily Phonics

I’ve changed how I teach reading foundational skills to my students. I use a combination of Reading Horizons, the science of reading, and their IEP goals.

Let’s walk through how I teach foundational skills during small group instruction:

  1. What is this word? We read the word together.
  2. How many sounds or phonemes? (Honestly I usually just say the words sounds but I need to be more diligent about using the correct vocabulary.) Have them use their fingers or a pop-it to sound out the phonemes.
  3. Write down the phonemes. Discuss any sound combinations we may have heard while we were writing them down. Do mini-lessons or reteaching during your discussion, if necessary.
  4. Mark the vowels. If they are long or short vowel sounds, then have them tell you which vowel sound they heard. If you need to do a mini-lesson on short and long vowel sounds, this is the time to do that.
    I also talk about how to mark the vowels with breves (short vowels) and macrons (long vowels). As the year continues on, I want to show them a dictionary or glossary pronunciation guide.
  5. How many syllables do you hear? Have them write those down. I either have them hum, chin drop, raise fingers, or use a pop-it to determine the syllables and syllable breaks.

After we are finished with looking at the word, I often have them do a phonological awareness exercise. They need to be able to hear and manipulate sounds. My students love completing the phonological awareness exercises.

These are the sheets I have created as a template for my teaching.

Happy teaching,


The most tragic moment of my teaching career

The original post I wrote about this tragedy.

June 2009 – Two events occurred in my teaching career. One event made me proud while the other broke my heart into a million pieces.

One of my students from my first 3 years of my teaching career was selected by the University of Louisville to play on their football team. I was extremely proud.

A week later, I received news that would forever change my life.

Continue reading “The most tragic moment of my teaching career”

Sight Word Intervention – Part 1

This school year I had a fifth grade student who had sight word recognition as one of her goals.  Specifically she was to identify fourth grade sight words.

So where did I find a list of sight words that she could use?  I used this website.  The website has the Fry list which is my favorite one to use when I’m teaching students sight words and the Dolch sight word list.

I first had her read the words from the 300-301 Fry sight word list which is approximately the third grade list.  I started with the words she missed on that list and then worked towards the fourth grade list.  By the end of her IEP year, she was on the fourth grade list and typically recalling the words with at least 90% accuracy.

Continue reading “Sight Word Intervention – Part 1”

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