Science of Reading

Hi there!  We hope you are well!  We've been quiet for a bit...wrapping up a CRAZY school year during the pandemic and diving into new learning!  We've also been following research on the Science of Reading for several years and are now putting it into action in our own lives!  Tamra is moving into an Intervention position as our state of NC adopts SOR (Science of Reading) and works to address the deficits created by distance learning.  Sarah has been working on building a strong literacy foundation at home with her twin toddlers and will now support their learning to read as they enter Kindergarten.

Have you heard the term SCIENCE OF READING? 
If you haven't, we hope you'll peek around on Google or Facebook (AMAZING SOR Group) and find out a bit more on how this framework for teaching reading uses research of how the brain learns to help build the best foundation for reading success.  
 
What We've Learned From Our Research
- Young learners in Pre-K-1st need a strong foundation of Phonemic Awareness and Letter/Sound Knowledge.  They need to know sounds well and manipulate them through Phonemic Awareness tasks.  
 
- Young learners need to connect letters and their sounds well so they can read decodable words/texts (lots of CVC words that can be sounded out and blended to read the word correctly).
 
-ALL students need to be explicitly taught to read because in the early stages it will difficult to tell which students will pick up reading naturally and which will need more practice.  
 
We've share a few FREE resources and trainings that give a great overview on SOR and how to build strong foundational skills in the early elementary grades.
 
Already Know About the Science of Reading?
If you know a bit about SOR already, great!  And YAY!  We've really enjoyed learning many tidbits about words, their pronunciation, and the best techniques that can help ALL readers.  It has really helped us to give better explicit instruction of phonemic awareness and phonics to the children we work with.  Below, we'll share some of the PD books we've enjoyed reading and SOR must have materials!  SO, here's our take on SOR and how it relates to the teaching resources we sell on TeachersPayTeachers....

As we've been researching the Science of Reading framework, we have been putting a lot of thought into our products and how they fit within SOR. We believe learning to read is explicitly taught with a teacher versus a worksheet, but that independent practice in phonics skills is important, too. Because of this, we have started working on a product  that will address those needs. The product will include activities that can be used in a center - with decodable words and text - that can be read independently.  Many of our products are a better fit to use as an instructional tool, guiding students on how to interact with text in order to comprehend. Many of our products are to be used as a teaching tool first, then independent practice as students gain more skills. 
SO....we're not planning to update products to align with SOR because SOR is more like a teaching method using explicit instruction to teach students to read.  WE ARE planning to make a NEW line of products that follow the foundational steps of SOR...Phonemic Awareness and Decodable Text.  While Phonemic Awareness is usually done orally together with student and teacher, we do realize that teachers need addition materials to keep students engaged as they work through small groups.  We're making a product that could be accessed independently by students and practice the foundational skills of SOR.  Stay tuned and follow our store! :)

Are you ready to jump into learning more about SOR and seeing how you can align your reading instruction to the research on how the brain learns to read??
Here we're going to share some the SOR resources we've found most helpful!  We'll also share some of the resources we're using for instruction and intervention.
 
Start Here!  For a  Jump Start into SOR!
Really Great Reading has many FREE resources, including how to teach 'Heart Words' (the hot keyword for better instruction of sight words!) and a great Intro to SOR webinar/workshop! 


Great PD Books for Primary (K-2)
These are the books we've been reading and using most recently!  Tamra's been focusing on 1st grade instruction and Sarah has been focusing on Pre-K-K instruction.  In this early stage on reading instruction, the biggest focus is on Phonemic Awareness and letter sounds/sounding out CVC words.  These books really fit into this Pre-K-2 grade time!  Let's peek into each book a bit more!

Equipped for Reading Success 
 
(Grab it on Amazon with our affiliate link or find it on Kilpatrick's website)
 
This book by David Kilpatrick details the importance of Phonemic Awareness.  The beginning chunk of the book correlates strong PA skills with reading success.  We've previously included PA activities in our classrooms, but Kilpatrick made many statements that were WOW! moments for us.  He shows how PA is really the foundation students need to be good readers.  After sharing research on the why and how of PA instruction, Kilpatrick gives PA tasks for any age and stage of student.

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness
After reading about the importance of a strong foundation of PA skills, you'll want to get a Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Flip Book (or ask you admin to get them for your grade level)!  Heggerty has an easy to follow layout for daily PA practice that only takes 5-10 mins.  We've used the 1st grade version for many years and this past year, Sarah used the Pre-K version at home.

How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction
(Grab it on Amazon with our affiliate link)
 
Tamra loved using this book this past year!  She used it virtually as she did distance learning all last year.  
 
This book was a great tool that provided both practice with sounds and words, but also decodable sentences. It includes an Informal Decoding Inventory which allows you to see where your students are and help you make decisions about where their instruction should begin. There is a great deal of information about the framework so you know how to use the materials. There are very detailed lesson plans that you and your students will easily follow.  The lesson plans are differentiated so that you can tailor your instruction to meet the needs of various levels.   There are easy to print materials that are very low prep.  For online lessons, I typed the lesson onto a Jamboard and worked on the patterns, words, and sentences that way.


Recipe for Reading
(Grab it on Amazon with our affiliate link)
 
This book has been on our shelves for quite a bit, but we've finally found time to dig into it!  It has a great sequence for letter/phoneme introduction and an explicit teaching guide for each phoneme sound.  We really like how it also gives decodable words and phrases to use for reading/spelling!  We're excited to have this book to pull out during small groups and intervention time!

 
Decodable Books!
Decodable books are a must have for reading instruction at the early reading stage, in grades K-1.  After students have know letters and sounds well, they are ready to start sounding out and blending short vowel CVC words.  The Reading League has a great list of quality decodable books!  Building a library of decodable books can be pricey!  Hopefully you can get some help from admin or beginning of the year funds.  We've also found some sets that are a bit less expensive/easier to access!
 
Junior Learning Decodable Books on Amazon!
(Grab it on Amazon with our affiliate link)

These books are $25 a set.  Sarah's 5 year olds are LOVING this nonfiction animal set!  And of course if you have the Amazon card, you can earn points or use your points to get them! :) These are Phase 2 books....Great for K or for intervention groups!
 
Here are some other sets you can find on Amazon with our affiliate link!


Phase 3 books....Great for 1st grade or intervention!

Academic Success for All Learners (I Am Sam Books)

 
(Grab it on Amazon with our affiliate link)

We were first introduced to these books years ago by our teacher assistant, who had used them with her own children years before that! These books have been around awhile! But they are GREAT for introducing students to reading! They have a lot of repetition/practice and they build on each other, adding a few new sounds and words as you move through the books. The small teacher guide explains how to use the books and ensure mastery before moving on. You can grab the books on Amazon or on the Reading for All Learners site!


Online Decodable Readers
 
Flyleaf Books
Flyleaf will continue to offer their decodable books FREE through 2022!


RAZ Kids
 
Did you know RAZ Kids has Decodable Books?  They have a Scope and Sequence for Grades K-4 and the books are geared towards specific sounds.  The books are high interest and my students enjoyed them quite a bit!  In the search box, type "decodable books" and you will land on the page that allows you to select the grade level and then the lesson that you need to start on.  Each lesson includes a lesson plan, words to practice, decodable book, and comprehension questions.  


 
Once you click on the lesson, you will see all of these resources:

 
I Am Sam Books
The Sam books that we shared earlier also have a FREE digital option right now!