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SECTION I: INTRODUCTION Literacy Kansas City Fact Sheet Problems of Illiteracy Procedures for the New Tutor Recordkeeping and Reporting Student Progress Report SECTION II: READING/TEACHING THEORY Pyramid of Reading Principles of Teaching DecodingTeaching Strategies SECTION III: METHODS AND MATERIALS Series Overviews Laubach Way to Reading Focus on Phonics Challenger Correlated Readers More Stories Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 1, Students Manual Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 1, Teachers Manual Challenger, Student Book 1, Lesson 1 Challenger Writing Book 1, Lesson 1 Challenger Teachers Manual 1-4, Book 1, Lesson 1 Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4 Challenger Writing Book 3, Lesson 4 Challenger Teachers Manual 1-4, Book 3, Lesson 4 Challenger, Student Book 8, Lesson 20 Focus on Phonics 3 Practice 7-C, Teachers Manual Focus on Phonics 2b Practice 9, Teachers Manual 2 4 5 6 7

10 11 12

15 15 16 16 16 16 18 20 22 26 28 29 35 37 38 39 40

SECTION IV: PHONICS Speech Sounds The Schwa Common Phonics Elements and Principles in English Words Phonological Awareness Teaching Phonemic Awareness Phonics Phlashcards Blending Rules for Sounding Out Multisyllabic Words Reading and Spelling Problem and Solution Syllabication Rules Six Basic Syllable Types Overview SECTION V: TEACHING SIGHT WORDS Teaching Sight Words 1000 Instant Words Directions 1000 Instant Words (Tutors Copy) 1000 Instant Words Checklist SECTION VI: OTHER APPROACHES Repeated Reading The Importance of Fluency Language Experience Activities Using Language Experience Activities to Ease into Writing Review and Reinforcement SECTION VII: LESSON PLANS Lesson Plans SECTION VIII: WRITING AND SPELLING Writing Spelling Spelling Rules and Generalizations Rules for Adding Endings Rules for Plurals SECTION IX: COMPREHENSION Comprehension Modeling Approaches for Teaching Reading Comprehension

43 46 47 50 52 56 58 59 60 61 62

65 66 66 79

92 93 96 97 98


106 109 110 111 112

116 128

SECTION X: VOCABULARY AND DICTIONARIES Teaching Vocabulary Words Word Study Cards How to Study Vocabulary Student Vocabulary Dictionary Student Dictionaries Cloze Exercises SECTION XI: GOAL SETTING/PORTFOLIOS Goal Setting Student Notebook Literacy Portfolios Personal Goals Worksheet Literacy Goals Worksheet SECTION XI: TUTOR REFERENCES Prefixes Suffixes Online Resources Verb Conjugation Worksheet SECTION XIII: POLICIES Official Policy Articulating the Nature of Student-Centered Instruction Confidentiality Policy Tutor Certification Summary Volunteer Policies Student Policy Volunteer Policies Acknowledgement of Receipt Volunteer Tutor Contract SECTION XIV: INDEX Index

132 133 135 137 138 139

142 144 145 146 147

150 150 152 153

156 157 158 159 164 165 166


Copyright Literacy Kansas City 2011 All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Literacy Kansas City.


MISSION Literacy Kansas Citys mission is to advance literacy among Kansas City area adults through direct services, advocacy and collaboration. Our vision is literacy for all. THE NEED FOR LITERACY Approximately 200,000 adults in the Kansas City area function at the lowest literacy level. Illiteracy is closely linked to poverty, unemployment and health. Children of low-literate parents face a high risk of growing up illiterate. Helping an adult learn to read can improve the situation of an entire family. Most adult learners seek our help so they can participate in their childrens learning, obtain a GED or diploma, or improve their job skills so they can better support their families. At any given time, there are approximately 150 prospective students starting our program with 50 students waiting to be matched with a tutor. THE ORGANIZATION Literacy Kansas City certifies volunteers as tutors and matches them with adult learners from across the Kansas City metropolitan area who want to improve their literacy skills. Founded in 1985, Literacy Kansas City is an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, the U.S. program division of ProLiteracy Worldwide. CLIENT DEMOGRAPHICS Literacy Kansas City serves students who are age 16 and above with about 70% between 25 and 50 years of age. Our current student demographics show that approximately 70% of students are African-American; 20% Caucasian and 10% other racial/ethnic minorities; with slightly more men (52%) than women entering our program. The majority of our students struggle with some degree of dyslexia which usually manifests itself in poor phonemic awareness. More than one-third of our students have a high school diploma or some post-secondary education upon enrolling in our program. VOLUNTEERS Literacy Kansas Citys volunteers are passionate literacy advocates who donate thousands of hours per year. Tutors make an initial commitment of one year and receive extensive training prior to certification. A typical volunteer tutor donates about 10 hours per month. Volunteers also help with workshops, student assessments, office support, public relations and special events. Volunteers typically donate over 10,000 hours of service each year. SERVICES Free one-to-one tutoring Literacy Kansas City uses curriculum from New Readers Press (a publishing division of ProLiteracy) and other sources. The materials are designed for volunteer tutors. Tutors and their students meet for two 90-minute lessons per week at our location or other approved tutoring sites such as a public libraries, community centers or churches. 2

SERVICES, CONTINUED Computer Instruction Literacy Kansas Citys main location includes a computer lab with two workstations, each with reference software, MS Office, typing tutorials, high-speed Internet access, and e-mail access. Volunteer computer instructors assist students with using the computer lab. GED Preparation Students pursuing the GED may receive one-to-one tutoring in pre-GED subjects from their tutors and/or small-group instruction. GED students comprise approximately 2% of our student population. Literacy Works Literacy Works is a community partnership program developed by Literacy Kansas City. The program provides opportunities for instruction and training on a consulting basis to employers who wish to improve literacy in the workplace. FINANCIAL INFORMATION Literacy Kansas City is not affiliated with any government or church-sponsored entity. Approximately 60% of our revenue comes from corporate and foundation grants, 20% from special events and sponsorships (i.e Corporate Spelling Bee) 15% from individual contributions and the remainder through earned income revenues.

CONTACT INFORMATION Phone 816.333.9332 Fax 816.444.6628 211 West Armour Boulevard, Third Floor Kansas City, MO 64111-2023 e-mail: web site:
Rev. 05/11

50% of American adults are unable to read an 8th grade level book.
-Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America

A 1985 study of 3,600 adults between the ages of 21 and 25 indicated that: 80% couldnt read a bus schedule, 73% couldnt interpret a newspaper story, 63% couldnt follow written map directions, 28% couldnt write a billing error letter, and 23% were unable to locate the gross pay-to-date on a pay stub.
-National Assessment for Education Progress

2.2 million people (44,000 per week) are added to the adult illiterate population of the United States every year.
-US Department of Education

On average, an illiterate adult earns 42% less than a high school graduate.
-ProLiteracy America

It is estimated that 15 million adults holding jobs today are functionally illiterate.
-Nations Business magazine

40% of all current jobs require limited skills, but it is estimated that only 27% of newly created jobs fall into the low skill categories.
-Workforce 2000, US Department of Labor

75% of unemployed adults have reading or writing difficulties.

-Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America

It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer exceeds $20 billion per year.
-United Way, "Illiteracy: A National Crisis"

It is estimated that $5 billion a year in taxes goes to support people receiving public assistance who are unemployable due to illiteracy.
-ProLiteracy America

People with less than 6 years of schooling are 4 times as likely to be receiving public assistance as those attaining 6 or more years of education.
-American Council of Life Insurance

60% of Americas prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have problems reading.
-US Department of Education

Youngsters whose parents are functionally illiterate are twice as likely as their peers to be functionally illiterate.
-National Assessment of Education Progress
For additional information, see Teaching Adults pp 13-17, LITSTART pp 11-13, and Illiterate America by Jonathan Kozol


You will be assigned your student on the second day of the Tutor Training Workshop. Here is a list of important steps to get you started. 1. Contact your student immediately by phone. Most students have been called recently and will be expecting to hear from you. If you cannot reach your student within the week, call the Literacy Kansas City office. 2. Set a date for the first lesson. Be sure you are both clear as to the date, time, and place. Give your student your name (spell it) and phone number, and remind him to call you as early as possible if he will be late or cant get to the lesson. Call the Literacy Kansas City office to inform them of your first meeting time. 3. Call your student the day before your meeting to remind him of his appointment with you. 4. Use part of the time in your first meeting to get acquainted, but its important that you set expectations by starting the first lesson on the first day. Yes, read and discuss the Student Policy and encourage your student to talk about his goals. 5. Give your student a business card with your name and number on it. 6. Begin tutoring. Proceed as quickly as your student is able to go, but dont skip anything. Again, its important that you get to know each other, but thats an evolutionary process that grows over time--make sure your student leaves that first session having learned something. Doing so affirms theyve made the right choice in being here. 7. Keep track of your students progress, your tutoring and preparation hours, etc. and record the information on your Student Progress Report. A Summary of Dos: 1. Do meet twice a week. Do schedule make-up times for missed sessions. 2. Do develop a consistent lesson format. 3. Do take time to prepare for each class. 4. Do insist that your student have an eye exam if he shows symptoms of eyestrain. 5. Do give yourself a few moments to relax before each session. A Summary of Donts: 1. Dont transport a student in your car. Literacy Kansas City assumes no responsibility for this and it would be done at your own risk. 2. Do not lend money to your student. If this situation arises, simply explain that tutors are not allowed to do so as it is against our organizations policy. (A student who cant repay a loan on time is apt to drop out of the program even though he would like to continue.) 3. Dont meet a student in your home, and do not meet in theirs. Always meet your student at the Literacy Kansas City office, a library, church, or other public building. A Few Other Notes: 1. Occasionally a student will bring in real life materials that he wants to work on. This is fine. Such materials are relevant to the student, but do not spend more than half of a session on these materials. It is often possible to relate such materials to his regular lesson or use the materials to teach various aspects of reading, writing or spelling. In any case, it is important to address these real life needs. 2. Should you ever feel uneasy about anything your student says or does, please call the office to discuss it. Well counsel you or handle the situation discreetly for you.

3. Frequently, students ask tutors to fill out forms or handle paper work for them. Try to help your student do this for himself. Remember, we want to teach him to become independent and not allow him to rely on us too much.


As a volunteer tutor, you are required to furnish a Student Progress Report on your students activities and goals. Tutors who meet with their students at the office may turn in their Student Progress Reports directly to the office manager. You may also obtain and submit your Student Progress Reports online at by clicking on the Student Progress Report buttons. Progress reports are available in both PDF and Word formats. You may also send in your report via email to, or fax it to us at 816-444-6628. Tutors are required to report the following information: 1. Tutoring Hours: Total hours spent tutoring during the month. 2. Prep Hours: Total hours spent preparing the lessons. 3. Skill Book and Lesson number you and your student have completed at the end of the month. 4. Non-tutoring Hours: Time you may have spent on committees, in meetings or doing other outside work for Literacy Kansas City. 5. Progress toward your students goals. Why do we require Student Progress Reports? Literacy Kansas City furnishes periodic reports to our affiliate, ProLiteracy Worldwide, a national organization that wants to know how many active tutors and students we have, how much time is volunteered for tutoring, and how our students are progressing. SO DO WE! Also, when we solicit funding from businesses and foundations, these questions are asked. Our credibility is increased when we have the answers. Your Tutors Notebook We encourage tutors to keep a personal notebook on their students progress for these reasons: 1. You will always know where to start each lesson, and what you need to review. 2. It serves as a reminder of what you need to be prepared with for your next lesson. 3. Its an easy way to keep track of the tutoring time (HOURS), preparation time (PREP), and the lesson number you are working on. 4. The notebook serves as a permanent record of your students progress.

Student Progress Report TUTORS: Complete and return to Literacy Kansas City after your last meeting of each month. Please be sure to record your students progress toward his or her personal goals. Return this form to Literacy Kansas City: Mail: 211 W. Armour Blvd, 3rd Floor, Kansas City, MO 64111 Fax: 816.444.6628 Tutor Name: Student Name: Tutoring Location: Part I: Lessons/Hours Date/Lesson/Examples of Activities Completed Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Date:__________ Totals Prep. Hours Travel Miles*/ Hours Employment Readiness Hours** Homework & Practice Hours*** Tutoring Hours Email: Reporting Month/Year: Book/Lesson #:

Week 1 Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Travel Miles are optional and are for your records only. See additional notes below: ** and ***

Example: (Please note your hours in quarter-hour increments.) Lesson/Activities Completed Date: 12/1/08 Student was a no show Date:12/3/08 Skill Book 4/ lesson 3 Prep. Hours .25 (15 min) Travel Hours .5 (30 min) Employment Readiness Hours .50 (30 min) Homework Hours 1.0 (60 min) Tutoring Hours 1.5 (90 min)

Week 1

Part II: Questions/Comments/Concerns

Please continue on other side

Part III: Goals/Achievements Please make check marks to indicate your students achievements.
This month my student: Add a check mark if yes Student stated this as a goal? Obtained Drivers License Gained Internet skills Improved typing Improved Reading Improved Spelling Improved English as a Second Lang. Read Mail Read the Bible Read the newspaper Wrote a letter Wrote checks and/or paid bills Read map or bus schedule Read prescription or medical info Literacy KC Goals Completed Skill book Other: Other: Other:

Employment Goals Entered employment Retained employment Wrote resume Obtained GED Entered military Got a better job Got a promotion Started own business Family Goals Helped child/grandchild with school Increased involvement in child/grandchilds education/literacy activities Purchased books or magazines Read to children/grandchildren Community Goals Obtained library card Visited library Increased involvement in community activities Achieved citizenship skills Voted or registered to vote This month my student: Add a check mark if yes Life Skills Goals

*Travel Miles are optional and are for your records only. **Employment Readiness is time spent building skills that might be used on the job. Some examples include writing memos or rsums; filling out job applications; reading a schedule, table, or pay stub; reading about being on time or what to wear to an interview; reading out loud for a presentation. ***Homework & Practice Hours are time the student spends doing homework or reading other materials each week. (Refer to Student Homework & Practice Log)

Student stated this as a goal?



Critical Thinking inferring, interpreting, reacting Passage Comprehension various strategies Sentence Comprehension grammar, context Word Comprehension vocabulary development, context Decoding Phonics, sight words, morphology, context Phonemic Awareness Hearing, identifying, sequencing, and manipulating sounds Phoneme The smallest unit of sound in oral language. Cat has 3 phonemes: /k/, / /, /t/; stop has 4 phonemes: /s/, /t/, / /, /p/; shape has 3 phonemes: /sh/, //, /p/. Phonemic awareness The ability to hear, identify, sequence, and manipulate phonemes. Decoding Identifying a word Phonics A method of teaching reading that stresses sound-symbol relationships; the soundsymbol relationships themselves. Context The words or phrases adjacent to a spoken or written word or phrase. Context may be used in a larger sense to include the entire passage in which the word occurs or even the prior knowledge that the reader brings to the reading process Context clue Information from the immediate textual setting that helps identify a word or word group. Accomplished readers tend to use context to confirm that they are reading accurately. Struggling readers may need to use context to help with decoding. Grammar The structure or forms of words; the structure or pattern of word order in sentences.


Engagement Students must be engaged in their learning in order to learn. You must be actively engaged in the teaching if the student is to be engaged in the learning. Relevance Adults are more successful when their learning is directly and clearly relevant to their needs. Review. Preview, do, review A structure for lessons that involves reviewing previous material, previewing new material, doing it, and then reviewing the new material. Metacognition Awareness and knowledge of ones mental processes such that one can monitor, regulate, and direct them; self-mediation; thinking about thinking. Modeling Teaching by doing; serving as an example; thinking aloud. Sequencing The process of moving from easy to difficult, simple to complex in carefully controlled, small steps. Cognitive Reinforcement The repetition of skills in diverse, engaging, and interesting ways. Automaticity Fluent processing of skills or information that requires little effort or attention. Automaticity is normally achieved through significant, sometimes massive, repetition or practice of individual skills. Automaticity of individual skills is necessary to achieve fluency in reading, and fluency has a major impact on comprehension. Additionally, fluency is one of the best measures of mastery of reading skills. Think time That extra time the student may need to think of his answer. Teachable moment That moment in a lesson when a mistake occurs or the student asks a question that provides an opportunity to address that particular issue. It could range from a specific phonics lesson to a philosophical discussion. Scaffolding Providing support for learning and then gradually withdrawing that support over time as the student achieves more and more autonomy. Lavish affirmation Effusive but honest praise for a job well done.



Are we teaching strategies or helplessness? There are generally two types of errors: misreading and failure to read. If your student makes a decoding error, try the following steps in the order presented. At each step, be certain to allow your student adequate think time. When appropriate, point out that you are teaching strategies that the student can use on his own. If you routinely just supply words to your student, you may be teaching him helplessness rather than decoding strategies. Student misreads a word or words. The steps: a) Wait to see if the student self corrects. If not, simply cue that there has been an error (The cue can often be framed as a question such as Does that make sense? or Did that sound right?) and see if he then self corrects. If not, b) Decide if you should simply supply the word. If not, c) Think about whether or not the context will be of help. If so, cue him to finish the sentence. If the context does not help, then d) Point out the specific word error and see if he then self corrects. If not, e) Ask him to listen to the word that he said and see if those sounds match what he sees. f) If that fails, approach it as if he had initially failed to read the word. Student fails to read the word and stops. The steps: a) While the student is thinking, b) Try to determine what went wrong. c) Decide if you should simply supply the word. If not, d) Use a Socratic approach to lead him to the word, using one or more of these ideas: 1) Ask the student to tell what he knows about the word. 2) Help with deleting affixes. 3) Ask him to give you the first sound, second sound, etc. 4) Help him blend the sounds together. 5) Help with dividing the word into syllables. 6) Cue other phonetic/spelling elements such as silent-e. (Numbers 2-6 are not necessarily in chronological order and it may not be necessary to do all of them.) If none of this works, then e) Supply the word and use it to teach something about decoding or f) Supply the word and move on. When should you simply supply the word? In general we want to be teaching decoding strategies that will enable the student to figure out words on his own but sometimes it is better to give him the word. Examples: foreign words, unusual or difficult proper nouns, words that are not phonetically regular, words that are just way too difficult, when youre working on fluency, or when youre running out of time and want to finish the passage.






Literacy Kansas City uses three different series to teach reading: Laubach Way to Reading, Challenger, and Focus on Phonics. All three series are published by New Readers Press. The Laubach Way to Reading series is designed to take students from a zero reading level to about a fifth grade level. Challenger takes the student from a second grade level to an eighth grade level. Focus on Phonics is not a stand-alone series, but is meant to supplement the other books we use. These books will be employed from time to time, and only as needed. Laubach Way to Reading (LWR) is the most basic of the three series. It emphasizes skill development with special emphasis on phonics. It also works on comprehension, writing, and spelling. LWR has a highly controlled vocabulary introducing only a little more than 1800 words in the whole series. Tutor instructions are very explicit and include actual scripts that the tutor may follow. The series has excellent supplemental materials that are correlated to the main series. The LWR series is suggested for those students who come into the program reading below a fourth grade level and have weak phonics skills. Students are usually moved into the Challenger series after completing the Laubach Way to Reading Skill Book Two. The Challenger series has a strong emphasis on skill development but has a less systematic approach to phonics. While it does utilize a controlled vocabulary, it places greater emphasis on vocabulary development and introduces new words much faster than does Laubach Way to Reading. Like the Challenger series, the tutor manuals provide only generalized instructions. There are separate writing books that correlate with the eight books in the series. There is no explicit spelling instruction in the series. A more detailed description of each series follows: The Laubach Way To Reading Series The Laubach Way to Reading series teaches basic reading, writing and listening skills. Each of the four levels consists of a detailed teachers manual, a student Skill Book, and a correlated reader. The series provides a systematic development of basic reading and writing skills. The series teaches 260 reading skills in a logical, sequential order. From the start, it builds on what the student knows, moving always from the known to the unknown. Each lesson provides sufficient support and reinforcement so that even beginning students experience success and begin building confidence in their ability to learn. The four levels in the Laubach Way to Reading series consist of: Skill Book 1 (Green), Sounds and Names of Letters Skill Book 1 Student Manual Teachers Manual 1 Correlated Readers More Stories 1 and In the Valley Skill Book 2 (Red), Short Vowel Sounds Skill Book 2 Student Manual Teachers Manual 2 Correlated Readers More Stories 2 and City Living


Focus on Phonics This series is primarily based on word families (rhyming words) and is correlated specifically to the lessons in the Laubach Way to Reading series. The workbooks reinforce the sound-symbol relationships taught in the Skill Books and help the student build a foundation for sounding out words and spelling them. Each numbered Practice in the student workbook may be done after the Skill Book lesson of the same number. If your student is having any trouble with any of the phonics skills, this is the first place to turn for extra practice. Focus on Phonics can also be used in conjunction with the Phonics Phlashcards as well as the Voyager and Challenger series. Each Focus on Phonics book includes a Student and Teachers Manual. Focus on Phonics-1, Sounds and Names of Letters Focus on Phonics-2, Short Vowel Sounds and Consonant Blends Focus on Phonics-3, Long Vowel Sounds Focus on Phonics-4, Other Vowel Sounds and Consonant Spellings Challenger The Challenger series is an integrated reading and writing series that starts at about a 1.5 reading level and takes a student to about a low ninth grade level. The series consists of eight reading books accompanied by eight writing books. There are two Teachers Manuals, one for books 1-4 and one for books 5-6. The Teachers Manuals include Scope and Sequence Charts which makes it easy to identify which lessons will introduce or reinforce specific skills. The introductory chapters are packed with good suggestions. We highly recommend taking time to read through those chapters. The odd numbered books are all fiction while the even numbered books are nonfiction. Word analysis skills - including phonics, word families, and affixes are generally introduced in the odd numbered books and then reinforced in the subsequent even numbered books. The series utilizes a controlled vocabulary with new words reinforced in subsequent lessons. Comprehension skills are taught throughout the series and include such skills as main idea and detail, cause and effect, making inferences, and literary interpretation. Higher level books include material which will help students prepare for the GED. Additional components, including correlated puzzles and vocabulary lists, are available online. Correlated Readers These separate books In the Valley, City Living, Changes, and People and Places are used at the end of each Skill Book. They are available in the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library. If you are not meeting at the office, you will need to make arrangements to get them in advance of the last lesson in each Skill Book. More Stories These separate books contain 2-3 additional stories to go along with each lesson in the Laubach Way to Reading Skill Books. They are also available in the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library. Pick them up at the same time that you get the Skill Books. They should be assigned as homework with the expectation that the student will read and reread them to achieve fluency. They can also be used for Repeated Reading in the tutoring sessions. They should be used for Repeated Reading at least a few times to demonstrate to the student the benefit of reading the same passage over and over, and to show the level of fluency you are expecting.




Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 1, Students Manual


Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 1, Students Manual


Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 1, Teachers Manual


Laubach Way to Reading, Skill Book 1 Lesson 6, Teachers Manual


Challenger, Student Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger, Student Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger, Student Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger, Student Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger Writing Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger Writing Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger Teachers Manual 1-4, Book 1, Lesson 1


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger Writing Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger Writing Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger Teachers Manual 1-4, Book 3, Lesson 4


Challenger, Student Book 8, Lesson 20


Focus on Phonics 3 Practice 7-C, Teachers Manual


Focus on Phonics 2b Practice 9, Teachers Manual






Codes The following codes are used in column 4 to describe the sounds in the chart: v = voiced (the vocal cords vibrate) un = unvoiced (the vocal cords do not vibrate) c = continuant (the sound can be continued as long as the speaker has breath) s = stop (the sound cannot be continued) n = nasal (the sound comes through the nose) Consonant Sounds Sound As In Other Spellings /b/ bird /k/ /d/ /f/ /g/ /h/ /j/ cup kitchen kick Chris Code Mouth Position v s un s v s phone tough un c v s un c v s un s v c v n c v n c un s Stop air with lips together; open with small puff of breath. Voiced equivalent of /p/. Tongue tip down, back of tongue touching lower teeth. Stop air with hump or arch of the tongue and emit breath from back of throat. Unvoiced equivalent of /g/. Lips and teeth slightly parted. Stop air with tongue tip touching roof of mouth just behind upper teeth. Tongue is dropped as breath is expelled. Voiced equivalent of /t/. Lower lip touching upper teeth lightly. Unvoiced equivalent of /v/. Tongue tip down, touching back of lower teeth. Stop air with hump or arch of the tongue and emit breath from back of throat. Voiced equivalent of /k/ or /c/ above. Has no position of its own. Position the tongue for the vowel following it and give breath sound. A combination of /d/ and /zh/. Lips forward. Start with tongue tip up. Lower as breath is expelled. Voiced equivalent of /ch/. Same as /k/ above. Tongue tip touches just behind the upper teeth. Air comes out along the side(s) of the tongue. Lips together. It is made with the same lip position as /b/ and /p/, but /b/ and /p/ are stops. Lips and teeth slightly parted. Tongue tip touching roof of mouth just behind upper teeth. Lower surface of tongue shows. Tongue touches the gum ridge with position lit /t/ and /d/, but /t/ and /d/ are stops. Stop air with lips together; open with big puff of breath. unvoiced equivalent of /b/.


fish girl

hand jumping gentle ginger gym judge kicking cup kick Chris leg man

/k/ /l/ /m/ /n/


knock gnaw




Sound As In /kw/ /r/ /s/ /zh/ /t/ quarter river snake

Other Spellings

Code Mouth Position un s v c un c v c un s v c v c un s v c v c un s v n c un c un c v c un c Teach as /kw/. Lips rounded look oo as in room. Tongue tip down. Lips forward and almost squared. Round lips before voicing. Teeth close but not touching. Tongue tip down. Unvoiced equivalent of /z/. Teach as /zh/. Voiced equivalent of /sh/. Lips and teeth slightly parted. Stop air with tongue tip up touching roof of mouth just behind upper teeth. Lower surface of tongue shows. Tongue is dropped as breath is expelled. Unvoiced equivalent of /d/. Lower lip touching upper teeth lightly. Voiced equivalent of /f/. Lips forward and rounded, with one-finger opening, as with oo in room. Teach as /ks/. Lips drawn back, teeth close together, as with /ee/. Teeth close but not touching. Tongue tip down. Voiced equivalent of /s/. a combination of /t/ and /sh/. Lips forward. Start with tongue tip up; lower as breath is expelled. Unvoiced equivalent of /j/. A consonant digraph. Tongue tip down behind lower teeth. Hump or arch tongue. Nasal equivalent of /k/ or /g/. A consonant digraph. Lips forward and squared. Teeth close but not touching. Tongue down. Tongue has wider groove than in /s/ sound. Unvoiced equivalent of /zh/ as in measure. A consonant digraph. Tongue touches both upper and lower teeth. Unvoiced equivalent of /th/ below. A consonant digraph. Tongue touches both upper and lower teeth. Voiced equivalent of the /th/ above. A consonant digraph. Teach as /hw/. A consonant digraph.


cent city bicycle measure television


/v/ /w/ /ks/ /y/ /z/ /ch/ /ng/ /sh/

valley woman box yells his teaches children kitchen zipper ring looks kicks



/th/ /th/ /wh/

thanks the whistle


Short Vowel Sounds Sound As In Other Spellings // apple // // // // Ed in olive up head city

Code Mouth Position v c v c v c v c v c Wide jaw opening. Tongue down. Lips and teeth slightly closer together than for /a/. Lips and teeth slightly closer together than for /e/. Wide jaw opening. Prolong the sound. Medium jaw opening. Relaxed lips. Prolong slightly.

Long Vowel Sounds Sound As In Other Spellings // ate paint day paper // three eat we key Pete // five night spy tie i // nose boat snow go // use pupil few argue

Code Mouth Position v c v c v c v c v c Teeth about a half-inch apart. Tongue down. Lips drawn back, teeth close together.

Jaw wide apart at start, then move to a narrower opening

Lips forward and rounded, with at two-finger wide opening. Teach as /ee/ plus oo as in room.


Other Vowel Sounds Other Sound As In Spellings // all awn Paul caught bought /ar/ arms /oi/ // // /or/ /ou/ /r/ oil food book horn out burn boy June blue chew would floor more town her girl

Code Mouth Position v c v c v c v c v c v c v c v c Lips forward, wide jaw opening. A three-finger opening. Teach according to persons local pronunciation. Combination of /aw/ and //. Start with lips forward for /aw/, then draw back for //. Lips forward and rounded, with a ;one-finger opening. Prolong the sound. Lips forward, almost squared. Lips forward with a three-finger opening. Combination of /o/ plus oo as in room. Start with wide jaw opening, move lips forward with small opening. Tongue tip down. Lips forward, almost squared, more relaxed than for /r/.

SCHWA The schwa sound is the vowel sound that usually occurs in unaccented syllables in multisyllabic words. It is represented by the upside-down e symbol, //. It is a glossed-over, indistinct sound that is usually equivalent to the short u sound but may be closer to a short i. It is hard to hear because as soon as we focus on it we tend to accent the syllable where it occurs and to then pronounce the vowel more distinctly as a regular vowel sound. To hear it, say the following words as you would naturally say them in a sentence and listen to the underlined vowels: America, happen, mental, wisdom, fossil, portrait, circuit, about, compete, irrigate, execute. It is important because the schwa sound is the most frequently occurring vowel sound in English.



The English phonics system includes the sound-symbol relationships for the various vowels, consonants, consonant blends, and digraphs in English, plus the letter sequences and syllable patterns that indicate how words are most commonly pronounced. This chart lists single letters and common letter combinations together with key words that indicate how the letter or letters usually sound. When letters represent more than one sound, example words are given for each common sound. Consonants Consonant Letters That Represent One Sound l leg b bird m man d dish n neck f fish p pan h hand qu quarter j jumping k kicking r river t v w y z tent valley woman yells zipper

Consonant Letters with More Than One Sound s sun, rose Note: s can sound like /s/ or /z/. x six, example, x can sound like /ks/, /gz/, or /z/. xylophone c g can, cop, cup cent, city, icy gas, got, gum ginger, germ, gym get, give, fogy guard, guess, guilt, guy Rule: c followed by a, o, or u sounds like /k/. c followed by e, i, or y sounds like /s/. g followed by a, o, or u sounds like /g/. g followed by e, i, or y sounds like /j/. g followed by e, i, or y can also sound like /g/. gu followed by a vowel sounds like /g/. The u is usually silent.



Consonant Blends Consonant blends are two or three consonants (or a consonant and a digraph) that commonly occur together. Each sound can be heard. Initial Blends bl blue br bride chr Christmas cl clock cr cry dr drop fl flame fr friend gl glass gr groom pl pr sc sch scr shr sk sl sm sn plate price scar school scream shrunk skate sleep smart snow sp spl spr squ st str sw thr tr tw spoon split spring square step street swim throw track twin

Consonant Digraphs Consonant digraphs are two consonants that represent one sound. chair, machine, nk bank ch Christmas ph phone ng ring sh she

th wh

thing, the whale, who

Silent Consonant Combinations These are common consonant combinations that contain one or more silent letters. Hyphens indicate initial or final combinations. -ck clock kn- know sc- scent gh high, ghost -mb climb -tch catch -ght sight, thought -mn autumn wr- wrong gn sign, gnat rh- rhyme Vowels Vowel Letters and the Sounds They Represent Each vowel letter represents several vowel sounds. The most common sounds are represented in the words listed below. All vowels can represent the schwa sound in unstressed syllables. The schwa is represented in many dictionaries by the symbol //. Short Sound Long Sound Other Sounds Schwa Sound about // apple // name all, father, water // // egg // me caf // open // in // time ski // April second // olive // go son, do, dog // // up // rule, fuse put // awful // gym // fly any


Vowel Combinations and the Sounds They Represent Listed below are common vowel digraphs or vowel-consonant combinations. Many of these combinations produce long vowel sounds. If a combination represents more than one sound, a key word is given for each common sound. Long Vowel Sound ai rain ay day ea meat, great ee feet ei either, vein Other Vowel Sounds ai against au auto aw saw augh taught ea head oi boil eigh eu ew ey ie oy oo oo ou eight feud blew, few key, they field, pie boy book, foot boot you, country, out, soul, could igh ind oa oe high find soap toe

ough though, thought, through, bough ow own, town ue due ui build ui fruit

r-controlled and l-Controlled Vowels When vowels are followed by r or l, the pronunciation of the vowel is usually affected. ir girl urr purr air fair al pal, bald ar car, dollar irr mirror oar roar all ball arr carry ild mild oor door are care ol old, roll, solve, or horse ear ear, earth, bear doll eer deer color our hour, four, ull full, dull er very, her journal ere here, were, there ur fur, fury err berry Other Vowel-Consonant Combinations and the Sounds They Represent -dge badge -stle whistle -ti- caution, -ed hated, rubbed, -ci- magician, social question, initial fixed -si- session, su sugar, measure -gue league television, Asian -tu- picture -que antique


Phonological awareness is an awareness of the constituent sounds of words which then impacts learning to read and spell. The constituents of words can be distinguished in three ways: 1) by syllables, 2) by onsets and rimes, and 3) by phonemes. Poor phonological awareness, and in particular, poor phonemic awareness is considered to be the hallmark of dyslexia. Dyslexia is the learning disability that specifically impacts language, reading, spelling, and writing. If one does not understand that the word cat is comprised of three sounds, or phonemes, then the idea of matching letters to those sounds (phonics) makes little sense. Virtually all of our students have poor phonemic awareness. The Continuum of Complexity of Phonological Awareness Tasks gives you a good idea of the difficulty of different tasks. Most of our students will not have much difficulty with the less complex activities but you should check those out to make certain your student can handle them. Start with the easier tasks and work your way up to the phonemic awareness exercises.

Real & nonword phoneme manipulation Phoneme segmentation & blending Onset-rime segmentation & blending Syllable segmentation & blending Sentence segmentation Rhyming and Sound Matching Less Complex Activities More Complex Activities


Rhyming and Sound Matching. These are very straight forward exercises and most students will not have much trouble with them but make certain your student can handle them before moving to harder tasks. Rhyming 1) Say pairs of words and ask if they rhyme. 2) Say three words, two of which rhyme, and ask which ones rhyme. 3) Say a word and ask your student to think of another word that rhymes. Sound Matching 1) Say two words and ask if they start with the same sound. 2) Say three words and ask which ones start with the same sound. 3) Say a word and ask your student to think of another word that starts with the same sound. Do these same exercises with ending sounds and vowel sounds. Beginning sounds are usually pretty easy; ending sounds and vowel sounds may be harder. Sentence Segmentation Say a sentence of 4-10 words and have your student tell you how many words. English language learners may have trouble with this but that is usually due to the difficulties of learning a new language rather than a sign of poor phonological awareness. Syllable Segmentation and Blending - Start by having your student count the number of syllables in words. Dont go beyond four syllables. Also work on identifying which syllable is accented or stressed. In four syllable words with both primary and secondary accents, identifying the primary accent is sufficient. Sometimes, students hear the accented syllable as being longer than other syllables. This is true and is a sufficient distinction. Work on actually segmenting and blending syllable will be described in the section on phonemic awareness. Onset-rime Segmentation and Blending. - The onset in a syllable or one syllable word is simply the consonant(s) that come before the vowel. The rime is the vowel and any following consonants (i.e. the part that rhymes). Rimes are also known as phonograms or word families. The following words are divided into their onsets and rimes: c-at, st-op, sh-ape, str-ange. Words like at and ooze simply have no onset. Model onset and rime by giving some examples where you say a word and then segment it, or pull it apart into its onset and rime; say some onsets and rimes and blend them together to make words. Do include examples with no onset. Once your student understands the concept, simply say one syllable words and have your student say the onset and rime; say the onsets and rimes and have your student blend them into words. This is a good place to introduce nonsense words. Explain that you will be using some madeup words so the student should not expect them to always be real words. Do have you student identify if the word is real or not. Including some nonsense words is important because it requires the student to attend to the sounds and not rely on other cues such as spelling. Once your student has achieved at least some success with the preceding exercises, you should move to the more complex tasks involved in phonemic awareness. It is not necessary to have complete mastery before moving on but you may want to continue reinforcing some of the earlier skills.



The first task in working on phonemic awareness (PA) with your student is to make certain he knows what you are talking about. To accomplish this, you should start with breaking apart and playing with compound words, then syllables, and then phonemes. We are providing you a scripted lesson to get you started and then will suggest some other exercises to do with your student. This work can be done as an entirely separate portion of a tutoring session, can be combined with the Phonics Phlashcards, or can be folded into the Skills Practices (listening exercises) in the Laubach Way to Reading lessons. Just as the level of phonemic awareness varies from student to student, so will the time devoted to working on it. In general, you should not spend more than 20 minutes at a time on these exercises. In most cases, about 10-15 minutes should do it but do plan to work on it consistently for the first few months. In the following script student responses are enclosed in brackets [ ]. T: To help you hear and identify sounds were going to spend some time playing around with words and sounds. Please say football. [S: football] T: Now say football but leave out the ball part. [S: foot] T: Now add the ball part back in and say the whole word. [S: football] T: Now say football but without the foot part. [S: ball] T: Now add the foot part back in and say the whole word. [S: football] T: Do you hear how we can take words apart and leave out parts or add parts? [S: Yes] T: Now were going to change the order of the sounds. Say football again. [S: Football] T: Now say football but change the order so you say the last part first. [S: Ballfoot] T: Do you hear how we can change the order of sounds? [S: Yes] T: So we can take words apart, subtract sounds, add sounds, and change the order of sounds. Now were going to substitute one sound for another. This time I want you to say football but instead of saying foot I want you to substitute base for it. [S: Baseball] T: Do you hear how we can take words apart, subtract sounds, add sounds, change the order of the sounds, and substitute sounds? [S: Yes] If your student has followed all of this and understands everything, you can move on to the next part. If there is any question in your mind about whether or not your student fully understands this, you should repeat the exercise with other compound words. T: Say basketball. [S: Basketball] T: Say basketball but without the ball part. [S: Basket] T: Now we want to play with just that basket part of the word. Say it again. [S: Basket]


T: Listen to how we can take that apart to get two parts bas and ket. Listen again. Basket. Bas----ket. We call these parts syllables. Now say basket but leave out the ket part. [S: Bas] T: Now add ket back in and say the whole word. [S: Basket] T: Now say basket without the bas part. [S: Ket] T: Now add bas back in and say the whole word. [S: Basket] T: Now were going to switch the order. Say basket. [S: Basket] T: Now say it but change the order so you say the last part first. [S: Ketbas] T: Now were going to substitute one sound for another. This time I want you to say basket but instead of saying bas substitute mar for it. [S: Market] T: This time the substitution resulted in another real word, market, but that wont always be the case. Sometimes we will end up with made-up words or what we call nonsense words. Ill show you what I mean. Lets go back to basket. Say basket. [S: Basket] T: Now say basket but instead of the ket part substitute fam. [S: Basfam] T: Is that a word you know? [S: No] T: Me neither. Thats because its not a real word; its a nonsense word. T: So again were hearing how we can take words apart, subtract or add parts, change the order, or substitute sounds. At this level of playing around with the sounds we have been working with parts that we call syllables. Once again you must assess if your student is following this. If you have any doubt, continue working with two-syllable words. Then move on to three-syllable words. Do not go beyond three-syllable words. Obviously there are thousands of possibilities but here are a few words to get you started: sister nasty pencil number plastic nonsense fantastic November alphabet pharmacy photograph nincompoop


Now youre ready to start working with phonemes. Youll do the same routine with one-syllable words or single syllables. Start with consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words or syllables like sap. Start by asking him how many sounds he hears in the word. If he identifies three sounds and is able to segment them and manipulate them, then you are well on your way and phonemic awareness is probably not going to be a big problem. It is more likely that he will say that there are two sounds sa and ap. In this case he is not hearing the vowel as a separate sound. You will have to demonstrate to him by segmenting the word into the three phonemes (sounds) and substituting different vowel sounds seep, soap, soup, sip, sep, sop , sup, etc. Then you should be ready to do the various manipulations that you did with the compound words and syllables. Remember that these are auditory exercises so you dont have to worry about spelling issues with such words as soap and soup. Once your student can successfully manipulate compound words and syllables and has a clear understanding of the tasks involved in manipulating phonemes, continue working on all of the various exercises but concentrate on deleting or adding sounds, blending, and segmenting. Here are examples of exercises using real words but you should also include exercises with nonsense words. This work requires much repetition so you will need to make up many more exercises. Remember that these are oral/auditory exercises so dont worry about spelling. Deletion Exercises 1. Say sit. 2. Say plate. 3. Say fist 4. Say fiber. 5. Say inter. 6. Say master. 7. Say snow. 8. Say snow. 10. Say splash. Now say sit without saying /s/. Now say plate without saying /t/. Now say fist without saying /s/. Now say fiber without saying /b/. Now say inter without saying /t/. Now say master without saying /s/. Now say snow without saying /s/. Now say snow without saying /n/. Now say splash without saying /p/. [S: it] [S: play] [S: fit] [S: fire] [S: inner] [S: matter] [S: no] [S: so] [S: state] [S: slash]

9. Say straight. Now say straight without saying /r/.


Blending Words Hopefully, you are having your student blend words when he is reading. These exercises are different only because they are strictly auditory the student is not seeing any letters to help him. 1. Tutor says: / /-/z/ [S: as] 2. Tutor says: 3. Tutor says: 4. Tutor says: 5. Tutor says: 6. Tutor says: 7. Tutor says: 8. Tutor says: 9. Tutor says: 10. Tutor says: /b/-/oy/ /sh/-// /ch/-/p/ /m/-//-/t/ /st/-/k/ /s/-/p/-//-/k/ /p/-/r/-//-/n/-/s/ //-/n/-/s/-//-/t/ /h/-/ar/-/m/-//-/n/-// [S: boy] [S: show] [S: chop] (onset and rime) [S: mat] [S: stack] (onset and rime) [S: speak] [S: prince] [S: insight] [S: harmony]

Segmenting Segmenting is the opposite of blending and thus should be worked on in conjunction with blending exercises. Simply say a word, syllable, or nonsense word and have the student pull it apart. Start with words with only two sounds and gradually work up to longer examples. When you get to exercises with three or more sounds, the student may tend to segment them into the onset and rime. Thats O.K. to start but eventually hell need to break off each individual sound. It may be necessary to provide some visual help, as outlined earlier, but eventually this must be done as strictly auditory exercises.

Visual Representation Let the student see what is going on by using the Phonics Phlashcards. For example, lay out p, l, a, n and say This is the word plan. If I leave out the sound /l/ (move the l down) I will have pan. Now you try it. Say plan. Now say plan without saying /l/. It is important that the student actually pulls down the l as he goes from plan to pan. Do this with other words until you are certain your student understands what is going on. The next step is to use some kind of marker (such as poker chips, coins, pieces of blank paper) to represent the four sounds of the word plan. Place the four markers in a row on the table and point to each one, saying the sound it represents: /p/ /l/ // /n/ . Now move down the marker that represents /l/ and say pan. Do this with the markers until you are certain your student understands. Once the student grasps the concept, you must stop using the visual cues and work strictly with auditory exercises. Using examples where you start with a real word and end with a real word is helpful but your student must ultimately be able to do all exercises with nonsense words.


The Phonics Phlashcards can be used a stand-alone tool to teach phonics or as reinforcement for the Laubach or Challenger series. Often, you will use the basic cards (e.g. single consonants) in a diagnostic sense to see what your student already knows. The Procedures and Additional Suggestions listed below, refer to using them as a teaching tool rather than as a diagnostic tool. As a diagnostic tool, simply show the front of the card and ask what sound(s) the letter(s) make. If your student responds quickly and accurately, youre done with that card. For cards such as c and g, is important that your student knows both sounds. Procedures (Spend only about 10 minutes on this drill but do it at every tutoring session.) 1. Show the front of the card to the student. 2. Model the sound several times in an exaggerated manner but be careful to keep unvoiced sounds unvoiced and stop sounds clipped off really short. 3. Have the student repeat the sound. 4. After a few times, simply show the letter and have the student make the sound. Model the sound only when necessary. Aim for 100% automatic mastery. 5. After the student has mastered making the sound in response to seeing the letter(s), you make the sound and have the student write the letter(s). Again, work for 100% automatic mastery. This is a critical, final step. When your student has done this successfully several times in a row and in reviews, you are done with that particular card. 6. It is essential that you give your student a chance to apply his phonics knowledge to reading words. The words on the backs of the cards are a good place to start although you may need to provide some help for the beginning student. The Focus on Phonics lessons provide sentences that use words with the target sound. Additional Suggestions 1. If the student has trouble remembering a sound, have him trace the letter as he says the sound - not the letter name. Have him use his index finger, middle finger, or both, making sure he uses the pad of his finger tip not the nail. The tracing must replicate the shape of the letter. Using a rougher surface than paper may be beneficial. This is a very powerful technique to enhance memory. 2. When working with sounds that can come at the beginning of a word, have the student think of words that start with that sound. Give help as needed - the backs of the cards have a few words to help you. For sounds that occur only at the end of a syllable, you will need to give some examples since its hard for students to come up with them. Since its harder to hear a sound when its not at the beginning of a word, the cards include examples with the sound at the beginning, end, and middle of words. 3. Have the student pick one or more words as key words. However, if you are working out of Skill Book 1, use those key words. 4. Usually, you will want to work with only 5-6 cards at a time. If your student has poor phonemic awareness, you can use the cards to work on it by saying words from the back of the cards and asking your student to tell you where he hears the sound (beginning, middle, or end).


Phonics Phlashcards and Sequencing If you are starting in Laubach book one, you will simply use the Phonics Phlashcards to reinforce the phonics as they are presented there. Continue to use them the same way as you proceed through Laubach book two and into the Challenger series. Its really that simple. Challenger 1 assumes that the student knows the sounds for the single consonants so, if you are starting in Challenger 1, you will need to run the single consonants in a diagnostic manner and then teach as necessary. Challenger 1 starts with the long and short vowels. Use the cards to reinforce those sounds and to introduce the schwa sound. If you are starting in Challenger books 2-4, Use the Scope and Sequence charts in the Teachers Manual to see what phonics have already been taught. Pull those cards that correspond to what has already been taught in the books; use them as a diagnostic tool and then teach as necessary. Students starting in Challenger books 5-8 should have at least a fair intuitive sense of phonics but may not have a good explicit understanding. You should check their knowledge. Use the Phonics Phlashcards in a diagnostic mode and then teach as necessary. Introduce the cards in this order: single consonants, single vowels (include the schwa sound), digraphs, consonant blends, vowel teams, r-controlled vowels, consonant-le combinations, and silent letter combinations. Mix in phonograms as you are doing the others and use them with consonants, blends, and digraphs to make words (and nonsense words and syllables). Mix in the prefixes and suffixes starting with the most common ones. You can also simply do affixes as you come across them in reading. It is not necessary to do all of the cards in any particular category before moving to another category. You can do the most common ones and then teach the less common ones as you come across them in reading but do try to eventually cover them all.


Students may learn the basic sounds pretty readily but still have trouble blending them together. In fact, this is the most common problem for students when working with phonics. Consequently, it is important to spend adequate time working on blending. The Laubach Way to Reading method suggests sounding out the individual sounds (letters) and then blending them together all at once. This works for some students. Others will find this to be too difficult. The problem is that you have to hold all of the individual sounds in memory until you get to the point where you are going to blend them together. This is pretty hard to do if you have more than 3-4 sounds. The following suggestions will both help the student to understand the task and get around the memory limitations. Visual Representation first print the sounds (letters) widely spaced as you say each individual sound. Then print the letters closer together as you say the sounds faster until they are printed normally as you say the word. Example: S a m S a Sam Modeling Model for the student how you blend sounds together to form a word. This is useful no matter which approach you are using. Building Block Method Instead of trying to blend all the sounds at once, build the word by adding one sound at a time: B; Bo; Bob Onset-and-Rime The onset is that part of a syllable that precedes the vowel, as str in stripe. The rime is the vowel and any following consonants, as ipe in stripe. The rime is the part that rhymes. A rime is the same thing as a phonogram or a word family. Dividing a syllable (or one-syllable word) into its onset and rime can be very helpful because we tend to naturally hear words (syllables) that way. (Using either the Building Block Method or Onset-and-Rime results in combining sounds and thus eases the memory task.) Finger Blending This provides both visual and tactile cues for blending. It is limited to words (syllables) of no more than four sounds. It works like this: Hold up your right hand with the palm facing you. Starting with the little finger and moving towards your index finger, touch a finger with your thumb for each sound in the word. So stop would be s little finger, t ring finger, o middle finger, p index finger. Then slide your thumb across your fingers as you blend the sounds. Shop would only involve three fingers since sh is just one sound. Similarly, if the student has learned the st blend as a unit, then stop could be done on three fingers with the st represented by just the little finger. m

If your student has trouble with blending sounds, try one or more of these approaches.



Dividing words into syllables as an aid to sounding them out is difficult because we usually already know what the word sounds like when we divide it. The hardest part is determining what the vowel sounds are. We must teach students to be flexible when dealing with vowels and try different sounds until they get a word they recognize. There simply are no hard and fast rules that will predict the vowel sound. With a single vowel, first try the short sound, then the long sound, and then the schwa sound. Vowel pairs usually make a single sound (pair, sound, read, daily juice) but sometimes make two sounds as parts of separate syllables (react, dial, fluid, various). The following rules will help. Keep in mind the required flexibility with vowels. Also note that these rules often will not conform to how a word is divided in a dictionary. It may be helpful to have the student mark the vowels before trying to divide a word. 1. Break off common prefixes and suffixes. unlawful: un law ful 2. Make sure there is one vowel sound in each word part. antivivisectionist: an ti viv i 3. Divide between consonants apple: ap ple sister: sis ter But do not divide digraphs. father: fa ther machine: ma 4. Divide before a single consonant. robin: ro bin tiger: ti ger





Determining where the accent falls in a multisyllable word is just as difficult as determining what the vowel sound is. There are no consistent rules that determine when a syllable is accented. However, there are two general rules that will help somewhat: 1. Most two-syllable nouns are accented on the first syllable. 2. Most two-syllable verbs are accented on the second syllable. The best approach is to teach your student to be flexible; if it doesnt sound right one way, try it another way. The best way to get your student to hear accents is to mispronounce words by putting the accent in the wrong place. Syllabo is a game that is helpful when working on syllables. It provides 25 sets of syllables that can be switched around to make many different words. Its very useful for getting your student to understand the concept of syllables. It also shows that by changing one syllable, we can create a new word. These are available at Literacy Kansas City for free.



If your students are reading words with all the vowels, they can learn to read and spell problem and solution. Work on one word at a time. For each one, begin by writing the word and the word separated by syllables:
problem prob lem (or pro blem)

When we say the word problem, we break the word after the o, keeping the bl blend together. It doesnt really matter which way you write problem in syllables because most students will be able to match the sound of each syllable with the word in their own lexicon, even if they say /prb/ /lm/ rather than /pr/ /blm/ . The word matches the vccv pattern if you divide between the b and the l, which is visually easier for the students. If you havent gotten to the vccv pattern yet, it wont matter how you do it.

Have the students say the word a few times at its typical speed while you point to it. Use it in a short sentence, such as, That was a problem. This helps the students hear the rhythm of the word. Then model saying the word in syllables while you point to the separated syllables, saying it as close to your typical pronunciation as possible. Comment briefly on the difference in the sound for the e in problem when you use it in a sentence (the schwa sound) and the short sound that you use to help remember how to spell it: /pr/ /blem/ . Practice both pronunciations. Repeat this approach for solution; begin by writing it:
solution so lu tion

To read and spell solution, students need to learn that tion says /shun/ and they need to write tion when /shun/ is pronounced. (Eventually they will also need to learn sion for /shun/; teach it when they need it for reading and spelling words with that ending. Then have the student say the word a few times at its typical speed while you point to it. Use it in a short sentence, such as, Find the solution to that problem. This helps the student hear the rhythm of the word. Then model saying the word in syllables while you point to the separated syllables, saying it as close to your typical pronunciation as possible. Comment briefly on the difference in the sound for the first o in solution when you use it in a sentence (the schwa sound) and the long sound that you use to help remember how to spell it: /s/ /l / /shun/. Practice both pronunciations. Have the students write the words as they say them in syllables.

Have them read and spell both of these words each lesson until they are fluent.
* Reading and Spelling Problem and Solution is taken, with permission of the publisher, from Teaching Comprehension Strategies for Stories by Phyllis E. Fischer, Ph.D., Oxton House Publishers. Although from a book on comprehension, it is an excellent description of how to help a student sound out a multisyllable word. The book is also very helpful if you want to work on story comprehension. If you want to learn more about phonics, Dr. Fischers book, The Sounds and Spelling Patterns of English, is a comprehensive and well-written resource. Both books are available in our library.


The teaching of syllabication rules is somewhat controversial. Some say you should, and some say it is not worth the effort. Syllables sometimes are part of phonics lessons because syllabication affects vowel sounds (for example, an open vowel rule), and sometimes they are part of spelling or English lessons. There is no close agreement on various lists of syllabication rules, and some of the rules have plenty of exceptions. We are not urging you to teach them, but neither are we urging you to refrain from doing so. Rule 1. VCV** A consonant between two vowels tends to go with the second vowel unless the first vowel is accented and short. Example: bro'-ken, wag'-on, e-vent' Rule 2. VCCV Divide two consonants between vowels unless they are a blend or digraph. Example: pic-ture, ush-er Rule 3. VCCCV When there are three consonants between two vowels, divide between the blend or the digraph and the other consonant. Example: an-gler Rule 4. Affixes Prefixes always form separate syllables (un-hap-py), and suffixes form separate syllables if they contain a vowel and in the following cases: a. The suffix -y tends to pick up the preceding consonant to form a separate syllable. Example: fligh-ty b. The suffix -ed tends to form a separate syllable only when it follows a root that ends in d or t. Example: plant-ed c. The suffix -s never forms a syllable except sometimes when it follows an e. Example: at-oms, cours-es Rule 5. Compounds Always divide compound words. Example: black-bird Rule 6. Final le Final le picks up the preceding consonant to form a syllable. Example: ta-ble Rule 7. Vowel Clusters Do not split common vowel clusters, such as: a. R-controlled vowels (ar, er, ir, or, and ur). Example: ar-ti-cle b. Long vowel digraphs (ea, ee, ai, oa, and ow). Example: fea-ture c. Broad o clusters (au, aw, and al). Example: au-di-ence d. Diphthongs (oi, oy, ou, and ow). Example: thou-sand e. Double o like oo. Example: moon, look Rule 8. Vowel Problems Every syllable must have one and only one vowel sound. a. The letter e at the end of a word is silent. Example: come


b. The letter y at the end or in the middle of a word operates as a vowel. Example: ver-y, cy-cle c. Two vowels together with separate sounds form separate syllables. Example: po-li-o These rules tend to give phonetic (sound) division of syllables that is in harmony with phonics instruction. Dictionaries tend to favor morphemic (meaning) division for main entries. Often, this does not conflict with the phonetic (pronunciation) division but sometimes it does, for example, skat-er morphemic versus ska-ter phonetic. The er is a morphemic (meaning) unit meaning one who.
* The Reading Teachers Book of Lists, Third Edition, 1993 Prentice Hall **V = vowel; C = consonant


Open Syllable The most common syllable in English is the open syllable. It is called the open syllable because the vowel is at the end of the syllable and says its name as in hi, me, so and bi-. In upper level phonics, the open syllable can also be pronounced another way. When the vowel says its name, the accent is on that vowel. When the vowel says uh, the syllable is unaccented such as in divorce. Closed Syllable When a vowel is closed in, it is a closed syllable. The vowel is short, such as in dad, mom, did and at. In upper level phonics, the vowel in a closed syllable can also have the schwa sound of uh such as in son, at-tach, as-sist, com-plete. Either way they are pronounced, they are both closed syllables. When a syllable is unaccented, it has the sound of the schwa that is in uh. Silent e Syllable You may have learned this as magic e. The e indicates that the vowel that comes before it is long or says its name. In upper level phonics, the silent e syllable may take on the sound of the schwa such as in sur-face or a semi-schwa-short sound such as consider-ate. Either way, it is a silent e syllable. R-Controlled Syllable The letter r is so strong in English, that it totally controls the vowel sound so that it is no longer short. So, when a syllable has a vowel followed by an r, it is called an r-controlled syllable. Consonant le Syllable Any time there is a consonant -le and the e is not pronounced, it is called a consonant -le syllable. They appear in words such as terri-ble, curd-dle, Bi-ble, swiz-zle, and gig-gle, but not in nu-cle- ous. Double Vowel Syllables The most difficult of all of the syllable types is the double vowel syllable. There are 24 subtypes. Double vowels can have one pronunciation, up to four pronunciations, or can have a unique pronunciation and each combination has to be learned very carefully. Some examples are: Au- gust, say, saw, should-er, cou-ple, a-void, meat, head, and eight.







Sight Words There are three situations that may require teaching words as sight words: 1. Frequently occurring words. The 10 most common words account for 25% of all written material. 100 words account for 50% of all written material; 1000 words account for 90%. Many of these common words are not phonetically regular. 2. Words that have immediate relevance to the student. These may be words that relate to his job or some other aspect of his life. Or, they may simply be words that he is seeing a lot but having trouble learning. 3. Words that are not phonetically regular. Start right away working on these frequently occurring words. Use the 1,000 Instant Words in the Tutor Handbook and simply have the student read them. Be sure the student understands the meanings, although this is rarely a problem with these words. Any words that are missed will be put on flash cards for practice. Have the student make the flash cards himself. The student should work on these at home. This is simple to do if there is someone at his home who can help. If there is not someone at home who can help, then the student will need to draw a picture or write a sentence that uses the word to help him remember. This should be done on the back of the flash card. Stubborn Words: 1. Have the student write the word over and over as he says it. 2. Have the student learn to spell the word. Do group look-alikes to compare and contrast: what-that when-then want-went-wont though-through-thorough Instant Words There are three versions of the 1000 Instant Words in this Tutor Handbook. 1. Students Copy Give this to your student for his use. 2. Tutors Copy This includes the original words but also has variations of each word. Teach these variations along with the original words only if your student has studied the relevant endings. 3. Word Checklist A copy to use to keep track of when he has learned the words both as sight words and as spelling words. Once he has thoroughly learned a word, either as a sight word or a spelling word, have him write it in his Student Notebook. Being able to look back and see how many words he has learned can be very motivating.



The 1000 Instant Words list is a record of the most commonly used words in the English language. The first 100 (including their variations) make up about 50% of all written material and the whole 1000 make up about 90% of all written material. The words are ranked in order of frequency of occurrence. This is a valuable and well-researched list of words. The 1000 Instant Word list is used for sight word reading and spelling.

1000 Instant Words

(Tutors Copy) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. the of and a to in is you that it he was for on are as with his they I at be this have from or one had by words but not what all were 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. we when your can said there use an each which she do how their if will up other about out many then them these so some her would make like him into time has look

(-s) (-ned, -ning, -s)

(-ing) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-s)

(having) (-s) (word, worded, wording)

(-s) (-s, making, makings) (-d, -ly, -s, liking) (-s, -ing) (-ed, -ing, -s)


71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116.

two more write go see number no way could people my than first water been called who oil its now find long down day did get come made may part over new sound take only little work know place years live me back give most very

(-s, writing) (-es, -ing, -ings) (-ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-d, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (call, callable, calling, calls) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ing, -s) (-er, -est) (-ed, -s) (-s) (-s, -ting) (-s, coming, comings) (-ed, -ing, -ly, -s) (-er, -est, -ly, -s) (-ed, -ing, -ly, -s, -less) (-n, -s, taking) (-est) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-d, -s, placing) (year) (-d, -s, living) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-n, -r, -s, giving) (-ly)

117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160. 161.

after things our just name good sentence man think say great where help through much before line right too means old any same tell boy following came want show also around form three small set put end does another well large must big even such

(thing) (-s) (-ly) (-d, -s, naming) (-ly, -s) (-d, -s) (-ned) (-er, -ers, -ing, -s) (-ing, -ings, -s) (-er, -est, -ly) (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -ings, -s)

(-d, -s) (-ness, -s, -ful) (mean, meanest, meaning, meanings, meanness) (-er, -est) (-ing, -s) (-s) (follow, followed, follows) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-er, -est, -ish) (-s) (-s, -ting) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-s) (-ly, -r, -st) (-ger, -gest, -ness)


162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198. 199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207.

because turned here why asked went men read need land different home us move try kind hand picture again change off play spell air away animals house point page letters mother answer found study still learn should American world high every near add food between own

(turn, turning, turns) (ask, asking, asks) (-ing, -ings, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-ly) (-less, -s) (-d, -s, moving) (tried, tries, -ing) (-er, -est, -ly, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-d, -s, picturing) (-able, -d, -s, changing) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (animal) (-d, -s, housing) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (letter, lettered) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing) (studied, studies, -ing) (-ed, -ness) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (America, -s) (-s) (-er, -est, -ly, -s) (-ed, -er, -est, -ing, -ly, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s)

208. 209. 210. 211. 212. 213. 214. 215. 216. 217. 218. 219. 220. 221. 222. 223. 224. 225. 226. 227. 228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235. 236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241. 242. 243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250. 251. 252. 253.

below country plants last school father keep trees never started city Earth eyes light thought head under story saw left dont few while along might close something seemed next hard open example beginning life always those both paper together got group often run important until children

(countries) (plant, planted, planting) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ing, -s) (-s) (-ing, -s) (tree, treed, treeless) (start, starting, starts) (cities) (eye, eyed, eyeing) (-ed, -er, -est, -ing, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ers, -less, -s) (stories) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-er, -est)

(-d, -ness, -r, -s, -st, closing) (seem, seems) (-er, est, -ly) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -ly) (-s) (begin, -s, begins)

(-ed, -s) (-ness) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-er) (-ning, -s) (-ly)


254. 255. 256. 257. 258. 259. 260. 261. 262. 263. 264. 265. 266. 267. 268. 269. 270. 271. 272. 273. 274. 275. 276. 277. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284. 285. 286. 287. 288. 289. 290. 291. 292. 293. 294. 295. 296. 297. 298. 299.

side (-d) feet car (-s) miles (mile) night (-s) walked (walk, walker, walking, walks) white (-ness, -er, -s, -st) sea (-s) began grow (-ing, -s) took river (-s) four (-s) carry (carried, carries, -ing) state (-d, -s, stating) once book (-s) hear (-ing, -s) stop (-ped, ping, -s) without second (-ed, -s) later (late, latest) miss (-ed, -es, -ing) idea (-s) enough eat (-en, -er, -ers, -ing) face (-d, -s, facing, facings) watch (-ed, -er, -ers, -es, -ing) far Indians (Indian) really (real) almost let (-s, -ing) above girl (-s) sometimes mountains (mountain) cut (-s, -ting, -tings) young (-er, -est) talk (-ed, -ing, -s) soon (-er) list (-ed, -ing, -s) songs (-s) being (-s) leave (-s, leaving) family (families)

300. 301. 302. 303. 304. 305. 306. 307. 308. 309. 310. 311. 312. 313. 314. 315. 316. 317. 318. 319. 320. 321. 322. 323. 324. 325. 326. 327. 328. 329. 330. 331. 332. 333. 334. 335. 336. 337. 338. 339. 340. 341. 342. 343. 344.

its body music color stand sun questions


(-ed, -s) (-ing, -s) (-ned, -ning, -s) (question, questioned, questioner, questioning) fish (-es, -ing) area (-s) mark (-ed, -s) dog (-s) horse (-s) birds (bird) problem (-s) complete (-d, -ly, -ness, -s, completing) room (-ful, -s) knew since ever piece (-d, -s, piecing) told usually (usual) didnt friends (friend) easy (easier, easiest, easily) heard order (-ed, -ing, -s) red (-der, dest, -ness, -s) door (-s) sure (-ness, -st, -ly) become (-s, becoming) top (-ped, -ping, -s) ship (-ped,-ping, -s) across today during short (-er, -est, -ly, -ness, -s) better best however low (-er, -ered, -ering, -est, -s) hours (hour) black (-ed, -er, -ish, -ly, -ness, -s) products (product) happened (happen, happens)


345. 346. 347. 348. 349. 350. 351. 352. 353. 354. 355. 356. 357. 358. 359. 360. 361. 362. 363. 364. 365. 366. 367. 368. 369. 370. 371. 372. 373. 374. 375. 376. 377. 378. 379. 380. 381. 382. 383. 384. 385. 386. 387.

whole measure remember early waves reached listen wind rock space covered fast several hold himself toward five step morning passed

(-d, -s, measuring) (-ed, -ing, -s) (earlier, earliest) (wave, waved, waving) (reach, reaches, reaching) (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -s) (-ed, -er, -ing, -ings, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -s, spacing) (cover, covering, covers) (-er, -est) (-ing, -ings, -s) (-s) (-s) (-ped, -per, -s) (-s) (pass, passer, passes, passing) (-s) (-r, -st) (-s)

vowel true hundred against pattern (-ed, -ing, -s) numerals table (-s) north slowly (slow, slowed, slower, slowest, slowing, slows) money (-s) map (ped, ping, -s) farm (-ing, -s) pulled (pull, pulling, pulls) draw (-s) voice (-d, -s) seen cold (-er, -est, -ly, -ness, -s) cried (cries, cry, crying) plan (-ned, -ner, -ners, -ning, s) notice (-d, -s, noticing) south sing (-ing, -s) war (-s)

388. 389. 390. 391. 392. 393. 394. 395. 396. 397. 398. 399. 400. 401. 402. 403. 404. 405. 406. 407. 408. 409. 410. 411. 412. 413. 414. 415. 416. 417. 418. 419. 420. 421. 422. 423. 424. 425. 426. 427. 428. 429. 430. 431. 432. 433.

ground fall king town Ill unit figure certain field travel wood fire upon done English road half ten fly gave box finally wait correct oh quickly person became shown minutes strong verb stars front feel fact inches street decided contain course surface produce building ocean class

(-ed, -er, -ing, -s) (-en, -ing, -s) (-s) (-s) (-s) (-d, -s, figuring) (-ly) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -s) (-d, -s, firing)

(-s) (-s) (flies, -ing) (-es, -ing) (final, finals) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -ly, -ness, -s) (quick, quicker, quickest) (-s) (minute) (-er, -est, -ly) (-s) (star, starred, starring) (-ing, -s) (-s) (-s) (inch, inched) (-s) (decide, -ly, decides) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-d, -s) (-d, -s) (-d, -s, producing) (-s, -er) (-s) (-ed, -es)


434. 435. 436. 437. 438. 439. 440. 441. 442. 443. 444. 445. 446. 447. 448. 449. 450. 451. 452. 453. 454. 455. 456. 457. 458. 459. 460. 461. 462. 463. 464. 465. 466. 467. 468. 469. 470. 471. 472. 473. 474. 475. 476. 477. 478.

note (-d, -s, noting) nothing rest (-ed, -ing, -s) carefully (careful) scientists (scientist) inside (-s) wheels (wheel, wheeled, wheeling) stay (-ed, -ing, -s) green (-er, -est, -s) known island (-s) week (-s) less (-er) machine (-d, -s, machining) base (-s) ago stood plane (-d, -s, -ing) system (-s) behind ran round (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -s) boat (-ing, -s) game (-ly, -s) force (-d, -s, forcing) brought understand (-ing, -s) warm (-ed, -er, est, -ing, -ly, -s) common (-est, -ly) bring (-ing, -s) explain (-ed, explaining, -s) dry (dried, dries, driest, -ing, ness) though language (-s) (-d, -s, -ing, -ly) shape deep (-er, -est, -ly, -s) thousands (thousand) yes clear (-ed, -er, -est, -ly, -ness) equation (-s) yet government (-al, -s) filled (fill, filling, fills) heat (-ed, -ing, -s) full (-er, -est, -ness, -y)

479. 480. 481. 482. 483. 484. 485. 486. 487. 488. 489. 490. 491. 492. 493. 494. 495. 496. 497. 498. 499. 500. 501. 502. 503. 504. 505. 506. 507. 508. 509. 510. 511. 512. 513. 514. 515. 516. 517. 518. 519. 520. 521. 522. 523. 524.

hot check object am rule among noun power cannot able six size dark ball material special heavy fine pair circle include built cant matter square syllables perhaps bill felt suddenly test direction center farmers ready anything divided general energy subject Europe moon region return believe dance

(-ter, -test) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ors, -s) (-d, -s, ruling) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (ably) (-es) (-d, -s, sizing) (-er, -est) (-s) (-s) (-ly, -s) (heavier, heaviest, heaviness) (-r, -st) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-d, -s, circling) (-d, -s, including) (-ed, -s) (-d, -ly, -ness, -s, squaring) (syllable) (-ed, -ing, -s) (sudden, suddenness) (-ed, -er, ers, -ing, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (farmer) (-ing) (divide, divides, dividing) (-ly, -s) (energies) (-ed, -s) (-an, -ans) (-less, -s) (-s) (-able, -ed, -ing, -s) (believable, -d, -r, -rs, -s) (-d, -s, dancing)


525. 526. 527. 528. 529. 530. 531. 532. 533. 534. 535. 536. 537. 538. 539. 540. 541. 542. 543. 544. 545. 546. 547. 548. 549. 550. 551. 552. 553. 554. 555. 556. 557. 558. 559. 560. 561. 562. 563. 564. 565. 566. 567. 568. 569.

members picked simple cells paint mind love cause rain exercise eggs train blue wish drop developed

(member) (pick, picker, picking, picks) (-r, -st) (cell) (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-d, -s) (-d, -s, causing) (-ed, -ing, -less, -s) (-d, -s, exercising) (egg) (-ed, -ing, -s)

570. 571. 572. 573. 574. 575. 576. 577. 578. 579. 580. 581. 582. 583. 584. 585. 586. 587. 588. 589. 590. 591. 592. 593. 594. 595. 596. 597. 598. 599. 600. 601. 602. 603. 604. 605. 606. 607. 608. 609. 610. 611. 612. 613. 614.

(-ed, -es, -ing) (-ped, -ping, -s) (develop, developing, develops) window (-s) difference (-s) distance (-s) heart (-s) sit (-s, -ter, -ters, -ting) sum (-med, -ming, -s) summer (-s) wall (-ed, -s) forest (-ed, -s) probably (probable) legs (leg) sat main (-ly, -s) winter (-s) wide (-ly, -r, -st) written length (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) reason kept interest (-ed, -s) arms (arm) brother (-s) race (-d, -s, racing) present (-ed, -ing, -ly, -s) beautiful (-ly) store (-d, -s, storing) job (-less, -s) edge (-d, -r, -s, edging) past

sign (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -s) record (-ed, -s) finished (finish, finishes, finishing) discovered (discover, discoverer, discovering, discovers) wild (-er, -est, -ly, -ness, -s) happy (happier, happiest, happiness) beside (-s) gone sky (skies) glass (-es) million (-s) west lay (-ing, -s) weather (-ed, -ing) root (-ed, -ers, -ing, -s) instruments (instrument) meet (-ing, -ings, -s) third (-s) months (month) paragraph (-ing, -s) raised (raise, raiser, raises, raising) represent (-ed, -ing, -s) soft (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) whether clothes (clothe, clothed, clothing) flowers (flower, flowering) shall teacher (-s) held describe (-d, -s, describing) drive (-n, -s, driving) cross (-ed, -er, -es, -ing, -ly) speak (-ing, -s) solve (-d, -s, solving) appear (-ed, -ing, -s) metal (-s) son (-s) either ice (-d, -s, icing) sleep (-ing, -s) village (-s) factors (factor, factored, factoring) result (-ed, ing, -s) jumped (jump, jumping, jumps) snow (-ed, -ing, -s)


615. 616. 617. 618. 619. 620. 621. 622. 623. 624. 625. 626. 627. 628. 629. 630. 631. 632. 633. 634. 635. 636. 637. 638. 639. 640. 641. 642. 643. 644. 645. 646. 647. 648. 649. 650. 651. 652. 653. 654. 655. 656. 657. 658. 659. 660.

ride (-s, riding) care (-d, -s, caring) floor (-s) hill (-s) pushed (push, pushes, pushing) baby (babies, -ing) buy (-ing, -s) century (centuries) outside everything tall (-er, -est, -ness) already instead phrase (-d, -s, phrasing) soil (-ed, -s) bed (-ded, -ding, -s) copy (copied, copies, -ing) free (-d, -ing, -ly, -r, -s) hope (-d, -s, hoping) spring (-ing, -s) case (-s, casing) laughed (laugh, laughing, laughs) nation (-s) quite type (-d, -s, typing) themselves temperature (-s) bright (-er, -est, -ly) lead (-ing, -s) everyone method (-s) section (-ed, -ing, -s) lake (-s) consonant (-s) within dictionary (dictionaries) hair (-s) age (-d, -s, aging) amount (-ed, -ing, -s) scale (-d, -s, scaling) pounds (pound, pounded, pounding) although per broken (broke) moment (-s) tiny (tinier, tiniest)

661. 662. 663. 664. 665. 666. 667. 668. 669. 670. 671. 672. 673. 674. 675. 676. 677. 678. 679. 680. 681. 682. 683. 684. 685. 686. 687. 688. 689. 690. 691. 692. 693. 694. 695. 696. 697. 698. 699. 700. 701. 702. 703. 704. 705. 706.

possible gold milk quiet natural lot stone act build middle speed count cat someone sail rolled bear wonder smiled angle fraction Africa killed melody bottom trip hole poor lets fight surprise French died beat exactly remain dress iron couldnt fingers row least catch climbed wrote shouted

(-ed, -er, -ing, -s) (-ed, -er, -est, -ly, -ness, -s) (-ly, -ness) (-s) (-d, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s, -er) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (roll, rolling, rolls) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -ingly, -s) (smile, smiles, smiling) (-s) (-s) (-n, -ns) (kill, killing, kills) (melodies) (-ing, -s) (-ped, -ping, -s) (-s) (-er, -est) (-ing, -s) (-d, -s, surprising) (die, dies) (-ing, -ings, -s) (exact, exacted, exactness) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -es, -ing, -ings) (-ed, -ing, -s) (finger, fingered, fingering) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-es, -ing) (climb, climbing, climbs) (shout, shouting, shouts)


707. 708. 709. 710. 711. 712. 713. 714. 715. 716. 717. 718. 719. 720. 721. 722. 723. 724. 725. 726. 727. 728. 729. 730. 731. 732. 733. 734. 735. 736. 737. 738. 739. 740. 741. 742. 743. 744. 745. 746. 747. 748. 749. 750. 751.

continued (continue, continues) itself else plains (plain, plainer, plainest, plainly, plainness) gas (-es) England (-ers) burning (burn, burned, burns) design (-ed, -ing, -s) joined (join, joining, joins) foot (-less) law (-s) ears (ear) grass (-es) youre grew skin (-s) valley (-s) cents (cent) key (-ed, -ing, -s) president (-s) brown (-ed, -est, -ing, -s) trouble (-d, -s, troubling) cool (-ed, -er, -est, -ly, -ness, -s) cloud (-ed, -s) lost sent symbols (symbol) wear (-er, -ers, -ing, -s) bad (-ly, -ness) save (-d, -r, -s, saving, savings) experiment(-ed, -er, ers, -ing, -s) engine (-s) alone drawing (-s) east pay (-ing, -s) single (-d, -s) touch (-ed, -ing, -s) information express (-ed, -es, -ing) mouth (-s) yard (-s) equal (-ed, -ing, -ly, -s) decimal (-s) yourself

752. 753. 754. 755. 756. 757. 758. 759. 760. 761. 762. 763. 764. 765. 766. 767. 768. 769. 770. 771. 772. 773. 774. 775. 776. 777. 778. 779. 780. 781. 782. 783. 784. 785. 786. 787. 788. 789. 790. 791. 792. 793. 794. 795. 796. 797.

control practice report straight rise statement stick party seeds suppose woman coast bank period wired choose clean visit bit whose received garden please strange caught fell team God captain direct ring serve child desert increase history cost maybe business separate beak uncle hunting flow lady students

(-lable, -led, -ling, -s) (-d, -s, practicing) (-ed, -edly, -ing, -s) (-er) (-n, -s, rising) (-s) (-ing, -s) (parties) (seed, seeding) (-s, -supposing) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-s, -ing) (-ing) (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (receive, receives, receiving) (-ing, -s) (-d, -s, pleasing) (-ly, -ness, -st) (-ed, -s) (-s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -ly, -ness, -s) (-ed, -er, -ers, -ing, -s) (-d, -s, serving, servings) (-ed, -ers, -ing, -ion, -s) (-d, -s, increasing) (histories) (-ing, -s) (-es) (-d, -ly, -s, separating) (-ing, -s) (-s) (hunt, hunted, hunts) (-ed, -ing, -s) (ladies) (student)


798. 799. 800. 801. 802. 803. 804. 805. 806. 807. 808. 809. 810. 811. 812. 813. 814. 815. 816. 817. 818. 819. 820. 821. 822. 823. 824. 825. 826. 827. 828. 829. 830. 831. 832. 833. 834. 835. 836. 837. 838. 839. 840. 841. 842. 843.

human (-s) art (-s) feeling (-s) supply (supplied, supplies, -ing) corner (-ed, -ing, -s) electric (-al, -ally, -s) insects (insect) crops (crop, cropped, cropping) tone (-s) hit (-s, -ter, -ters, -ting) sand (-ed, -ing, -s) doctor (-ing, -s) provide (-d, -s, providing) thus wont cook (-ed, -ing, -s) bones (bone) tail (-less, -s) board (-ed, -ing, -s) modern compound (-ed, -ing, -s) mine (-d, -s, mining) wasnt fit (-s, -ted) addition (-s) belong (-ed, -ing, -s) safe (-ly, -r, -st) soldiers (soldier) guess (-ed, -er, -es, -ing) silent (-ly) trade (-d, -s, trading) rather compare (-d, -s, comparing) (-ed, -ing, -s) crowd poem (-s) enjoy (-ed, -ing, -s) elements (element) indicate (-d, -s, indicating) except (-ed, -ing) expect (-ed, -ing, -s) flat (-ly, -ness, -s) seven (-s) interesting (-ly) sense (-s, sensing) string (-ed, -ing, -s) blow (-ing, -s)

844. 845. 846. 847. 848. 849. 850. 851. 852. 853. 854. 855. 856. 857. 858. 859. 860. 861. 862. 863. 864. 865. 866. 867. 868. 869. 870. 871. 872. 873. 874. 875. 876. 877. 878. 879. 880. 881. 882. 883. 884. 885. 886. 887.

famous value (-d, -s) wings (wing, winged, winging) movement (-s) pole (-d, -s, poling) exciting (excite, excited, excites) branches (branch, branched) thick (-er, est, -ly, -ness) blood (-s) lie (-d, -s) spot (-s, -ted, -ting) bell (-s) fun loud (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) consider (-ed, -s) suggested (suggest, suggesting, suggests) thin (-ly, -ned, -ner, -nest, -ning, -s) position (-al, -ed, -s) entered (enter, entering, enters) fruits (-s) tied (tie, ties) rich (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) dollars (dollar) send (-er, -ers, -ing, -s) sight (-ed, -ing, -ings, -s) chief (-ly, -s) Japanese (Japan) stream (-ed, -ing, -s) planets (planet) rhythm (-s) eight (-s) science (-s) major (-ing, -s) observe (-d, -r, -rs, -s, observing) tube (-s) necessary weight (-ed, -s) meat (-s) lifted (lift, lifting, lifts) process (-ed, -es, -ing) army (armies) hat (-s, -ter) property (properties) particular (-ly, -s)


888. 889. 890. 891. 892. 893. 894. 895. 896. 897. 898. 899. 900. 901. 902. 903. 904. 905. 906. 907. 908. 909. 910. 911. 912. 913. 914. 915. 916. 917. 918. 919. 920. 921. 954. 955. 956. 957. 958. 959. 960. 961. 962. 963. 964.

swim terms current park sell shoulder industry wash block spread cattle wife sharp company radio well action capital factories settled yellow isnt southern truck fair printed wouldnt ahead chance born level triangle molecules France score forward stretched

(-mer, mers, ming, -s) (term, termed) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (industries) (-ed, -es, -ing) (-ed, -er, -ing, -s) (-er, -ing, -s) (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) (companies) (ed, -s) (-s) (-s) (factory) (settle, settles, settling) (-ing, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) (print, printing, prints) (-d, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (molecules)

922. 923. 924. 925. 926. 927. 928. 929. 930. 931. 932. 933. 934. 935. 936. 937. 938. 939. 940. 941. 942. 943. 944. 945. 946. 947. 948. 949. 950. 951. 952. 953. 965. 966. 967. 968. 969. 970. 971. 972. 973. 974. 975. 976.

repeated column western church sister oxygen plural various agreed opposite wrong chart prepared pretty solution fresh shop s) suffix especially shoes actually nose afraid dead sugar adjective fig office huge gun similar death bought led march northern created British difficult match win doesnt steel total

(repeat, -ly, repeating, repeats) (-s) (-s) (-es) (-s) (-s) (-ly) (agree, agreeing, agrees) (-ly, -s) (-ed, -ly, -s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (prepare, prepares, preparing) (prettier, prettiest, prettily) (-s) (-er, -est, -ly, -ness) (-ped, per, -pers, -ping, (-es) (shoe) (actual) (-d, -s, -ing, -y) (-ed, -s) (-s) (-s) (-s) (-ly) (-ned, -s) (-ly) (-s)

(-d, -s, scoring) (-s) (stretch, stretches, stretching) experience (-d, -s, experiencing) rose (-s) allow (-ed, -ing, -s) fear (-ed, -ing, -s) workers (worker) Washington Greek (-s) women

(-ed, -ers, -es) (-d, -s, creating) (-ed, -es, ing) (-ner, -ners, -ning, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -ly, -s)


977. 978. 979. 980. 981. 982. 983. 984. 985. 986. 987. 988.

deal (-er, -ers, -s) determine (-d, -dly, -s, determining) evening (-s) nor rope (-d, -ing) cotton (-s, -y) apple (-s) details (detail, detailed) entire (-ly) corn (-ed) substances (substance) smell (-ed, -ers, -ing, -s)

989. 990. 991. 992. 993. 994. 995. 996. 997. 998. 999. 1000.

tools conditions cows track arrived located sir seat division effect underline view

(tool, tooled, tooling) (condition, conditioning) (cow) (-ed, -ers, -ing, -s) (arrive, arrives, arriving) (locate locates, locating) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-s) (-ed, -ing, -s) (-d, underlining) (-ed, -ing, -s)



The 1000 Instant Words list is a record of the most commonly used words in the English language. The first 100 (including their variations) make up about 50% of all written material and the whole 1000 make up about 90% of all written material. The words are ranked in order of frequency of occurrence. This is a valuable and well-researched list of words. The 1000 Instant Word list is used for sight word reading and spelling. Directions for 1000 Instant Words Checklist: 1. Do an initial test of the words, testing only for sight-reading ability at this time. Place a checkmark in the column when he has read the word correctly. 2. Retest after about 50 words and again after about 100 words. 3. After the student has correctly read the word three times, have him write it in the sight word section of his notebook. 4. Check the fourth box when you have observed your student reading the word correctly in a natural context. This in context check-off is when you will feel confident that your student has really learned the word. 5. Repeat steps 1-4 for Spelling (see the Spelling section of this handbook for more information).




SIGHT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 the of and a to in is you that it he was for on are as with his they I at be this have from or one had by words but not what all were we when your can said SPELLING 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 there use an each which she do how their if will up other about out many then them these so some her would make like him into time has look two more write go see number no way could people SIGHT SPELLING


SIGHT 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 80 my than first water been called who oil its now find long down day did get come made may part over new sound take only little work know place years live me back give most very after things our just name good sentence man think

SPELLING 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 say great where help through much before line right too means old any same tell boy following came want show also around form three small set put end does another well large must big even such because turned here why asked went men read need



SIGHT 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 81 land different home us move try kind hand picture again change off play spell air away animals house point page letters mother answer found study still learn should American world high every near add food between own below country plants last school father keep trees

SPELLING 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 never started city earth eyes light thought head under story saw left dont few while along might close something seemed next hard open example beginning life always those both paper together got group often run important until children side feet car miles night walked white



SIGHT 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 82 sea began grow took river four carry state once book hear stop without second later miss idea enough eat face watch far Indians really almost let above girl sometimes mountains cut young talk soon list song being leave family its body music color stand sun

SPELLING 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 questions fish area mark dog horse birds problem complete room knew since ever piece told usually didnt friends easy heard order red door sure become top ship across today during short better best however low hours black products happened whole measure remember early waves reached



SIGHT 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 83 listen wind rock space covered fast several hold himself toward five step morning passed vowel true hundred against pattern numeral table north slowly money map farm pulled draw voice seen cold cried plan notice south sing war ground fall king town Ill unit figure certain

SPELLING 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 field travel wood fire upon done English road half ten fly gave box finally wait correct oh quickly person became shown minutes strong verb stars front feel fact inches street decided contain course surface produce building ocean class note nothing rest carefully scientists inside wheels



SIGHT 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 474 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 84 stay green known island week less machine base ago stood plane system behind ran round boat game force brought understand warm common bring explain dry though language shape deep thousands yes clear equation yet government filled heat full hot check object am rule among noun

SPELLING 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 529 530 power cannot able six size dark ball material special heavy fine pair circle include built cant matter square syllables perhaps bill felt suddenly test direction center farmers ready anything divided general energy subject Europe moon region return believe dance members picked simple cells paint mind



SIGHT 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 85 love cause rain exercise eggs train blue wish drop developed window difference distance heart sit sum summer wall forest probably legs sat main winter wide written length reason kept interest arms brother race present beautiful store job edge past sign record finished discovered wild happy

SPELLING 576 577 578 579 580 581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 612 613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 beside gone sky glass million west lay weather root instruments meet third months paragraph raised represent soft whether clothes flowers shall teacher held describe drive cross speak solve appear metal son either ice sleep village factors result jumped snow ride care floor hill pushed baby



SIGHT 621 622 623 624 625 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 664 665 86 buy century outside everything tall already instead phrase soil bed copy free hope spring case laughed nation quite type themselves temperature bright lead everyone method section lake consonant within dictionary hair age amount scale pounds although per broken moment tiny possible gold milk quiet natural

SPELLING 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 lot stone act build middle speed count cat someone sail rolled bear wonder smiled angle fraction Africa killed melody bottom trip hole poor lets fight surprise French died beat exactly remain dress iron couldnt fingers row least catch climbed wrote shouted continued itself else plains



SIGHT 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 87 gas England burning design joined foot law ears grass youre grew skin valley cents key president brown trouble cool cloud lost sent symbols wear bad save experiment engine alone drawing east pay single touch information express mouth yard equal decimal yourself control practice report straight

SPELLING 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 783 784 785 786 787 788 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 800 rise statement stick party seeds suppose woman coast bank period wire choose clean visit bit whose received garden please strange caught fell team God captain direct ring serve child desert increase history cost maybe business separate break uncle hunting flow lady students human art feeling



SIGHT 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 808 809 810 811 812 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 820 821 822 823 824 825 826 827 828 829 830 831 832 833 834 835 836 837 838 839 840 841 842 843 844 845 88 supply corner electric insects crops tone hit sand doctor provide thus wont cook bones tail board modern compound mine wasnt fit addition belong safe soldiers guess silent trade rather compare crowd poem enjoy elements indicate except expect flat seven interesting sense string blow famous value

SPELLING 846 847 848 849 850 851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860 861 862 863 864 865 866 867 868 869 870 871 872 873 874 875 876 877 878 879 880 881 882 883 884 885 886 887 888 889 890 wings movement pole exciting branches thick blood lie spot bell fun loud consider suggested thin position entered fruit tied rich dollars send sight chief Japanese stream planets rhythm eight science major observe tube necessary weight meat lifted process army hat property particular swim terms current



SIGHT 891 892 893 894 895 896 897 898 899 900 901 902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916 917 918 919 920 921 922 923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 89 park sell shoulder industry wash block spread cattle wife sharp company radio well action capital factories settled yellow isnt southern truck fair printed wouldnt ahead chance born level triangle molecules France repeated column western church sister oxygen plural various agreed opposite wrong chart prepared pretty

SPELLING 936 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 953 954 955 956 957 958 959 960 961 962 923 964 965 966 967 968 969 970 971 972 973 974 975 976 977 978 979 980 solution fresh shop suffix especially shoes actually nose afraid dead sugar adjective fig office huge gun similar death score forward stretched experience rose allow fear workers Washington Greek women bought led march northern create British difficult match win doesnt steel total deal determine evening nor



SIGHT 981 982 983 984 985 986 987 988 989 990 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 999 1000 rope cotton apple details entire corn substances smell tools conditions cows track arrived located sir seat division effect underline view






REPEATED READING In order to achieve automaticity with words and fluency in reading, students need to practice reading. This usually involves reading the same passage(s) over and over. To help them realize the benefits of doing this, it is important for the tutor to spend some time in every session doing Repeated Reading. Spend about ten minutes doing this in each session. It can often be used as a change of pace in the session. Choose material that is at the student's instructional level or somewhat easier. Usually, a passage from the lesson is just right. If the student is in the LWR, More Stories works great. More difficult material may be used if it is either something that the student is interested in or needs to know. One paragraph comprised of several sentences is an appropriate length for the whole routine. You may be able to do more than one paragraph in the ten-minute time frame. This is a very important, powerful activity and should be a part of every tutoring session. There are two approaches: 1) a six-step exercise and 2) a three-step exercise that combines steps from the six-step exercise. You should try both to see which works best for your student. Directions for the six-step approach: 1. Tutor reads using finger to keep place; student follows along silently. 2. Tutor reads without using finger; student follows along silently. To be certain that the student is keeping up, tell him that you will occasionally stop and then he should read just the next word. 3. Tutor and student duet read with tutor leading and using finger. 4. Tutor and student duet read with student leading and using finger. 5. Echo read a shorter portion of the whole passage. Tutor reads and then student reads, or echoes the same thing. Start with only one sentence at a time and then expand to longer passages if the student can handle it. 6. Student reads whole passage. Delete and/or repeat steps as needed. Notes for Each Step 1) Read at normal or slightly slower speed. Or, target your rate to slightly exceed your students recently timed rate. Read with expression. Be careful to model punctuation, pausing at commas and periods. Drop your voice at the end of a sentence and use rising inflection for a question. 2) Stop at a word that you are confident the student can read. We are only testing if he is keeping up not if he can read a difficult word. 3) We want to push the speed up towards a normal rate but not so fast that the student has real difficulty keeping up. 4) The tutor should drop the volume of her voice and lag slightly behind the student so the student really is leading. When the student falters, raise your voice and lead him through the difficult word or passage and then drop back and let him lead. 5) If the student is having lots of problems at this stage, you should probably look for easier passages to use in the future. 6) Insist that the student reads with expression. If he is not reading fairly fluently at this point, have him repeat this stage or back up to an earlier one.


Directions for the three-step approach: 1. I read. The tutor reads the passage using her finger to track the words. 2. We read. Duet read the passage with either the tutor or student tracking the words. 3. You read. The student reads by himself, tracking the words with his finger. Simply repeat the steps until the desired rate of fluency is achieved. In either of the approaches, if there are a few words with which the student continues to struggle, it is appropriate to work on them between steps. Such work should be brief and concise. While you may want to point out a phonetic element of a word, you do not want to turn this into a phonics lesson. When working on fluency, prosody (inflection, rhythm) is just as important as speed; it should sound natural. Word recognition errors should be less than 5%. Ignore common errors such as dropping endings or reading were for was. It may be helpful to start with one or both of these steps: 1. Have your student read the passage silently and identify any problem words. 2. Read the passage to your student without him looking at it so he can concentrate on the prosody. Point out to the student that fluency should be his goal and that this type of practice is essential to achieving it. Pick one or two paragraphs from the current lesson's new story or article to be practiced at home so that in the next session he can read it with this level, or nearly this level, of fluency. Use the example of a musician or athlete who must practice the same thing over and over in order to achieve proficiency. A baseball player does not bat .300 without swinging the bat thousands and thousands of times. Our library has Smart Readers, which are books with two tape recordings one at normal speed and one at a slightly slower speed. These are excellent for students to practice Repeated Reading at home. After reading the whole book with the tape, he should pick one page to work on fluency. He should reread until it is fluent. We have versions on cassette tape and on CDs.

The Importance of Fluency Fluency should include the following three elements: 1) quick and effortless word recognition, 2) adequate comprehension and, 3) reading with expression. A slow reading rate adversely affects comprehension. This is mostly due to the reader focusing so much mental attention on simply decoding words that not much mental attention is available to focus on comprehension. So, poor comprehension may be due to poor fluency and good fluency is a sign of good comprehension. Similarly, it is difficult to read with expression if there are too many decoding problems so reading with expression is an indicator of good decoding skills and good fluency. Fluency is the simplest and best measure of your students mastery of reading.


Fluency will only be achieved through practice that leads to automaticity in word recognition. Practice should include all three of the following elements: 1) Repeated Reading, 2) reading easy material, and 3) working on sight words. We have outlined two approaches for doing repeated reading in the tutoring sessions. Every session should include about 10 minutes of Repeated Reading. It is equally important that the student work on fluency via repeated reading at home. Unless he has a competent helper at home, he cannot do the Repeated Reading routine that you do in the tutoring sessions. What he can, and must, do is simply reread the same sentence/paragraph/page over and over until he has achieved fluency. Homework must always include repeated reading. The second way to improve fluency is to just read a lot. And students, like the rest of us, will only read a lot if it is not too challenging. Thus the need for easy-reading. We define easyreading as containing less than 5% of words that must be sounded out and less than 2% of words that cannot be easily decoded. Once your student has begun the Challenger series, he should always have supplemental easy-reading books at home for recreational reading. While easy-reading material can also be used for repeated reading, it is usually best to do repeated reading on passages from the workbooks. Usually, you will check on their easy-reading at home by simply asking what it was about, did they enjoy it, and are they ready for a new book. However, you may want them to read some of it to you or even do a short book report. Homework must always include easy-reading. Ultimately, fluency depends on more and more words becoming sight words. So, the third thing to do to improve fluency is to make certain that you and your student are working on the 1000 Instant Words. Remember that the first 100 occur 100 times as frequently as the last 100 so it is critical to teach the beginning words to the point of automaticity before moving on. There may be other frequently occurring words in the students particular reading selections that you will also want to teach as sight words. Fluency Benchmarks You should do regular checks of your students reading rate. Simply time your student reading for one minute and count the words to determine the words per minute (WPM). It is useful to do a timed reading before you do the Repeated Reading exercise as well as after. This enables you to show the student the positive results of practicing fluency. Charting the results over time and showing the improvement is also a big motivator for the student. (Additionally, creating a graph or having the student create a graph is valuable work on understanding that particular literacy task.) It is the reading rate that is achieved after doing Repeated Reading that counts for the benchmark. If you reach the end of a student workbook without achieving the fluency benchmark, you should plan on spending more time on fluency as you move ahead to the next book in the series. You will never want to work exclusively on fluency so while you concentrate on it you should continue to work on other skills.


FLUENCY BENCHMARKS If your student started in the Laubach Way to Reading Series: Book LWR 1 LWR 2 WPM 50 60 If your student started in the Challenger Series: Book Challenger 1 Challenger 2 Challenger 3 Challenger 4 Challenger 5 Challenger 6 Challenger 7 Challenger 8 WPM 70 80 90 100 110 120 135 150


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The Language Experience Activities (LEA) involves using the learner's own words to create passages to help teach reading and writing. LEA builds on the student's life experiences and treats him as a person with ideas, feelings, and stories that are worth communicating. Do LEA, or writing, about once a week (every other session). It can also be used as an alternate activity when your student seems bored with the regular lesson. The primary advantage to LEA derives from the fact that you are using the student's own, familiar words. He should have good success in reading the story since he told it to you only moments earlier. Additionally, it is a great way to ease your student into writing. What to do: 1. Have your student tell you a short story of only a few sentences. (You may have to help him with ideas.) 2. Print exactly what the student says. Write on every other or every third line. Be certain that your student is watching as you write. Say the words (syllables) aloud as you write them. The point is to get him to see the oral words become print. 3. Read the story back to him to make certain that you got it right. Make corrections if necessary. 4. Read each sentence aloud, tracking the words with your finger. 5. Have your student read each sentence after you. 6. Have your student read the entire story. Follow-up Activities There are many activities that you can use with the story, such as: 1. Make flash cards for difficult words. 2. Pick out words that create word families by substituting beginning consonants or blends. 3. Make flash cards for each word in a sentence. Mix them up and have the student put them in order. 4. Work on phonics skills. For instance, you could pick a word that begins with a consonant blend and have your student think of other words that begin with that same blend. Or, have him pick out all the words with short vowels. 5. Work on word endings. 6. If he used a contraction or compound word, you could work on those. 7. In some cases you can even work on grammar or spelling. 8. After your student has practiced reading the story, you can read the story to him and have him write it. For additional ideas, look in Teaching Adults, pages 45-50, or check out Using Language Experience with Adults from our the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library.



Once you have started working on spelling the 1000 Instant Words, you can begin to turn over the writing to the student. When the first twenty or so of the Instant Words are learned, start doing the LEA stories as quasi-Cloze exercises leaving a blank (shown by a line) for those Instant Words hes learned to spell as well as phonetically regular words and word parts (beginning consonants, blends, prefixes, and endings) that the student has studied. Continue doing this as the student learns the first 100 of the Instant Words and additional phonics leaving out new elements as they are learned. After the first 100 words are learned, continue with LEA stories but now have the student do all of the writing leaving out (indicated by a line) those words or parts that he does not know. Advantages for the student: Your student is gradually eased into doing the writing himself and is used to spelling only parts of words and using blanks for the parts that he doesn't know. It reinforces the phonics lessons and provides an opportunity to use his new spelling words in a meaningful context. He will occasionally have to use context as a memory aid to fill in the blanks. This will get him used to using context, which will later help him in figuring out unknown words. Example: LEA Tutor does all the writing. The student tells a story as the tutor writes it down word-for-word. I think I could hide for two years but I wouldn't want to be alone. I would like to have someone to talk to. If I was trying to hide out for a long time, I would choose my dad's farm in the woods in Arkansas. I would have an ax, hoe, gun, flashlight, radio and books. I would handle stress by staying busy. That way I wouldn't have time to think about my problems. I would only come out at night so I wouldn't be afraid. LEA After Laubach Way to Reading Book 1 and 20 Instant Words The tutor writes the story, this time leaving out (indicated by a line) those words or parts that the student knows. I __ink _ _ould _ide ___ _wo _ears _ut _ _ouldn't _ant __ _e alone. I _ould _ike __ _ave _omeone __ _alk __. If _ ___ trying __ _ide out ___ _ _ong _ime, _ _ould __oose _y _ad's _arm __ ___ _oods __ Arkansas. I _ould _ave an _x, _oe, _un, flashlight, _adio ___ _ooks. I _ould _andle stress _y staying _usy. That _ay _ _ouldn't _ave _ime __ __ink about _y problems. I _ould only _ome out _t _ight _o _ _ouldn't _e afraid.



Some of the best resources for Review and Reinforcement (R&R) material are books Teaching Adults: A Literacy Resource Book, LITSTART, and the introduction to the Challenger series. The New Readers Press catalog lists many other supplemental materials. Most are available at the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library along with many materials by other publishers. The following materials are appropriate for beginning students. Form a Sound Mouth pictures of the basic sounds Phonics Sounds Audiotape of the basic sounds. Includes blends. This is also a good resource for tutors who want to practice their phonics sounds. Flash Cards Calendars Books from the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library Books from public libraries Ask for books for new readers or high-low books. Flipping Phonics A word family approach from New Readers Press. Students usually like this because it is something they can handle. Blocks and Wheels A word family approach similar to Flipping Phonics but with many more combinations. Another hit with students because they can play with it. Reading Teachers Book of Lists You want it, its probably in here. An excellent resource for tutors. The following materials are for more advanced students Challenger 3 and beyond. Syllabo An excellent syllable game that follows naturally after the Blocks and Wheels. Real world materials Menus; checks; job applications; utility bills; various forms such as medical, library card, lease, job related, etc. News for You A weekly newspaper from New Readers Press written at a fourth to sixth grade reading level. Cloze Line A set of 50+ cloze exercises ranging from easy to hard. These are helpful to teach using context to figure out a word. Available at Literacy Kansas City. Grammar Fact Sheets Available in the Literacy Kansas City Resource Library, these include capitalization, syllabication, punctuation, plurals, spelling rules for adding suffixes, parts of speech, contractions, spelling rules for plurals, and homonyms.







(immediate) Week One (Each week equals two sessions) Introductions and read policy statement Phonics Phlashcards Laubach Way to Reading, or Challenger Sight Words Assign homework Week Two Include Goal Setting Basic Phonemic Awareness Exercises Weeks Three and Four Add Repeated Reading and Goal Driven Activities

When you come in to the third part of the Tutor Training Workshop, you will report on: 1. Phonics Phlashcards How many have you gone through? How hard was it for you and the student? Tracing Was it necessary? Was it helpful? Are you using them for Phonemic Awareness? 2. Laubach Way to Reading or Challenger Which book and lesson are you on? Are there any particular problems? 3. Sight words How many can your student read? Is the student making and using Flash Cards? 4. Goals What are your students goals? Which one will you address first? What are you going to do? 5. Homework Is the student doing it? 6. Repeated Reading 7. Phonemic Awareness How difficult is it for your student? Do you anticipate having to do significant work on it?



(soon) Topic Drill Phonics Phlashcards Laubach Way to Reading or Challenger More Stories Focus on Phonics Laubach Workbooks Writing for Challenger Drill Sight Words Phonemic Awareness Exercises Repeated Reading 10-15 10-15 40-45 Minutes 5-10


Language Experience Activities Every other session Goal Driven Activities Every other session Review and Reinforcement Activities This should be done only as needed.

20-30 15-30 10-20

Times are approximate and the order of activities is only a suggestion. Lesson plans are not written in stone. Always take advantage of Teachable Moments.



(future) Topic Drill Phonics Phlashcards Blending Syllables Challenger Focus on Phonics Writing for Challenger Drill Sight Words Spelling (10-15 minutes) Repeated Reading 10-15 20-30 15-30 10-20 40-45 Minutes 5-10


Writing Every other session Goal Driven Activities Every other session Review and Reinforcement Activities This should be done only as needed.

Times are approximate and the order of activities is only a suggestion. Lesson plans are not written in stone. Always take advantage of Teachable Moments.






One of the most difficult tasks you will have as a tutor will be getting your student to write. Students face the same impediments to writing that we all do: not knowing what to write about; feeling that it's too hard, too time consuming; wanting to produce a perfect product. To help your student overcome his fears, its important to convince him that its the process of writing you are interested innot the product. Convincing students about the importance of the writing process is especially difficult when it comes to spelling. Students are especially fearful of misspelling wordsso fearful that they may be unable to put any words down on paperso the first thing to do is reassure your student that, in this instance, spelling doesn't count. Give your student permission to simply spell the best he can, and then don't worry about it. Invented or phonetic spelling is okay. Writing the first letter or two followed by a line is okay: The only requirement is that he remembers what word he meant. The following are a few common concerns that come up when incorporating writing into tutoring sessions: When should students begin writing? Students of any level can begin writing, but when you initially introduce writing, you may need to do a lot of writing for your student while he talks about a topic out loud. Doing so will allow you to model and jump start the writing process. In such instances, use the language experience activities discussed in tutor training to help transition your student from discussing ideas out loud to taking over and writing his ideas on paper with minimal assistance. What should students write about? You may use topics from the Skill Books, topics that come up in conversation with your student, topics that come from your students reading, topics from the newsin short, your student can write about anything, but its best to choose topics that will interest him. Until your student seems comfortable coming up with his own topics, assign specific topics for homework so that your student does not become overwhelmed with topic selection. How much should students write? Start with specific, short guidelines. Try having your student write a few sentences. As he becomes comfortable with writing, increase the length of his assignments, and work toward writing more focused, coherent paragraphs until he seems ready to write short essays. How often should students write? Initially, at least twice a month, set aside about 30 minutes to invite your student into the writing process. It's often hard for us to break out of the routine of the Skill Books, but when it comes to writing, it's really worth it. Gradually build writing into your students regular homework schedule at least twice a week. As your student becomes more comfortable with writing, he will begin to think more about such mechanics as punctuation and spelling. What about grammar, punctuation, and spelling? As with spelling, let your student know that you are most concerned with him getting his ideas on papernot with perfection. Dont focus on these issues until your student is comfortable writing on his own. Otherwise, 106

The Laubach Way to Reading Skill Books provide rather limited opportunities for writing. Teaching Adults and, to a lesser extent, LITSTART, have ideas both for controlled writing (e.g. sentence completion) and freewriting (e.g. journals). The Literacy Kansas City Resource Library has several books on writing. Here we are presenting some ideas on freewriting taken from the book An Invitation to Write by Richard Krawiec (available for $15 from Voices, P.O. Box 2444, Raleigh, N.C. 27602). We're using the exercise "The Power of Your Name" as a model. Stages of a Writing Activity 1. Explain freewriting Freewriting is like daydreaming on paper. There is no right or wrong way to do it. The purpose is to get your thoughts down on paper. What you write isn't important. What's important is going through the process of getting words on paper. If you don't like what you're writing don't erase or cross out. Just skip on to something else. Only one rule: Once you start, don't stop. If you get stuck, write "I'm stuck." Write down everything that goes through your head. Usually you'll find something to write about. If not, ask yourself a question, any question. 2. Introduce the topic Talk briefly about the power of a name. Our names, to some extent, define who we are, how we feel about ourselves, how others might treat us. Don't over-do the discussion. Leave your student something to write about. 3. Freewrite for 5-10 minutes Have your student freewrite for 5-10 minutes about his name. He can write anything that in some way uses his name as a starting point to write about the question "Who are you?" It's imperative that you write with your student. You need to model your own struggle, the process you go through to discover what it is you have to say. As he sees you work, he'll draw strength for his own efforts. When you're ready to have him stop, ask him to finish the thought he's on. This allows him to stop in the middle of a sentence or write another paragraph. Remember that writing is hard work. If your student stalls out before 5 minutes, invite him to write more but don't insist. 4. Read Before reading, discuss how it felt to write. This helps keep the focus on the process rather than on the product. Then both student and tutor read their own pieces.


5. Discuss/Reflect After both you and your student have read, you must take time to discuss your work especially your student's work. Talk about what you liked best, what you could relate to, what was interesting, or what it made you think about. Ask questions or make comments that require explanations, not answers. When your student responds, point out that he is re-writing, starting a second draft, only he's writing it out loud instead of on paper. Usually, in the process, your student will offer more specific details. Point out that this makes his writing more interesting. Be sure to emphasize that these comments don't mean that he did anything wrong by leaving this information out of the first freewrite. He had to get the general ideas down first so he could look at it and see where he wanted to go with it. Praise your student for being so good at getting right into the writing process. Usually it's best not to do an actual re-write the first few times you do freewriting. Let the work stand on its own as something interesting, challenging, and fun. If you listen carefully to your student's piece, you can usually find something of interest in it that will make a good topic for the next freewrite. Having your student write about his own life is usually the best approach. After all, it's the subject he knows best. Our challenge is to learn to invite our students into the process of writing so that they can express their feelings and ideas to the best of their capability. The challenge is for us not to settle for too little, but to recognize our students have much greater capacities for achievement than we often give them credit for.


Teaching your student to spell will not only make writing easier for him, it will also improve his reading. In particular, it will greatly improve accuracy on those little words that our students so frequently mis-read. Start working right away on the 1000 instant words. Be sure to explain to your student that these are the most frequently used words and how useful it will be for him to be able to spell them. Try to include spelling in every tutoring session. Follow the suggestions below and you shouldnt have any problems. Test-Study-Test Procedure 1. Test the student on a list of words. 2. Keep testing until your student has missed five or six words 3. Study the missed words immediately under your guidance and later as homework. 4. Test the missed words again at the next tutoring session. Study Method for Students 1. Look at the word and say it. (If needed, help your student pronounce the word and discuss its meaning. 2. Cover the word with your hand and try to spell (write) it. 3. Uncover the word and check the word to see if you spelled it correctly. 4. Look at the word again and pronounce it correctly, cover the word and write it again. 5. Look again to see if you have the word spelled correctly. 6. Try to write the word four more times, each time covering the previous spelling. If you make no mistakes, go on to the next word you need to study. Important spelling procedures supported by research are: 1. The single most important factor in learning to spell is the student correcting his or her own spelling under the direction of the tutor. 2. Spelling should be taught in list form. 3. Spelling lists should consist of words of highest frequency used in adult writing. 4. The test-study-test method is superior to the study-test-study method for most students. 5. There is a specified method for studying words and this method should be followed. 6. Time allotted for the teaching of spelling should be between 10 and 20 minutes per session. 7. Although teaching spelling by phonics is of limited values, a few phonics rules do apply to spelling. 8. The whole word should be studied rather than learning the word by syllables. 9. Pointing out hard spots in a word is not recommended. What is hard for one person is not necessarily hard for another. 10. Systematic review is essential.



Consonants 1. q is always followed by a u. 2. Use ck for /k/ in a syllable that has one short vowel or at the end of one-syllable words. Examples: back, deck, sick, clock, chuck Use c for the final /k/ sound when the word has two or more syllables. Examples: music, traffic, historic, Atlantic 3. In one-syllable words, double final ll, ff, ss and zz after one short vowel. Examples: ball, tell, mill, cull, doll; staff, cliff, stiff, doff, gruff pass, press, miss, cross, muss (Exceptions: gas, bus) buzz, frizz 4. Use tch for /ch/ on the end of a one-syllable word after one short vowel. Examples: patch, etch, ditch, blotch, clutch (Exceptions: such, much, which, rich) 5. Use dge on the end of a word for /j/ after one short vowel. Examples: badge, edge, bridge, fudge, dodge 6. c has the soft sound /s/ before e, i and y. Examples: cent, peace, circle, decide, cyclone, cycle 7. g is soft /j/ before e, i and y. Examples: gentle, danger, giraffe, engine, gypsy, energy 8. j is never used at the end of a word. If dge cannot be used, use ge. Examples: age, serge, gouge 9. To represent /j/ in the middle of words, use g before i, e and y except in the root ject. Examples: legislator, margin, subject, pajama, jury 10. Never end a word with a v; always use ve no matter what the vowel is. Examples: have, grove, believe, relative 11. If you cannot double s or z, always add an e (-se, -ze). Examples: house, rose freeze, sneeze 12. Follow the letter g with a u when it comes before an e or and i in order to keep the hard sound for g. Examples: guest, guess, guide, guitar

Vowel Teams 1. ai is most often followed by an n or an l. Examples: rain, retain, pain, remaining, explain, mail, detail, sail 2. oa is almost always used in one-syllable words. Examples: oak, oath, coat, toast, load, coach 3. ie (//) is reversed after c. (i before e except after c.) Examples: receive, ceiling 4. eigh is a rare spelling for //. Here is a mnemonic to remember the most common words in which it occurs: Eight neighbors weigh as much as a freight of sleighs.


5. oe is a rare spelling for //. Here is a mnemonic to remember the most common words in which it occurs, and the two exceptions to the rule: Joe hit his foe with the toe of his shoe while in a canoe. 6. oi is used in the middle of words. Examples: joint, disappoint, voice, boil, noise Exceptions: oil, ointment 7. oy is used at the end of a syllable. Examples: royal, employment, boy, annoy, destroy, cowboy 8. augh is a very rare spelling for /aw/. Here is a mnemonic to remember the most common words in which it occurs: The haughty naughty daughter caught the cat and taught him how to slaughter. 9. ew comes at the end of a syllable. Examples: newspaper, fewer, sewage, blew, crew, grew, knew, new 10. ue comes at the end of a syllable. ue is a rare spelling for //. Here is a mnemonic to remember the most common words in which it occurs: Sue used a tissue to get glue off her blue dress. 11. ui is a rare spelling for //. Here is a mnemonic to remember the most common words in which it occurs: A waiter on a cruise spilled fruit juice on a mans suit and got bruised in the eye.


The Doubling Rules 1. If a word has one syllable, one vowel, and one final consonant, double the final consonant before adding an ending that starts with a vowel. Do not double a final w or x. (This is also called the 1-1-1 Rule.) Examples: hop + ed = hopped run + ing = running Exceptions: fix + ed = fixed row + ing = rowing 2. If a word has more than one syllable, double the final consonant if the last syllable has one vowel, one final consonant, is accented, and the ending starts with a vowel. Examples: forgot + en = forgotten begin + ing = beginning 3. If a word ends in a consonant le, does not contain a silent letter combination (ckle, stle, etc), and the preceding vowel is short, then double the first consonant in order to keep the preceding vowel short. Examples: battle, apple, middle, settle, baffle, pebble. The Silent e Rule If a word ends in silent e, drop the final e before adding an ending that starts with a vowel. Examples: joke + ing = joking secure + ity = security The y to i Conversion If a word ends in a consonant plus y, change the y to i before adding an ending, unless the ending starts with i. Note that this rule does not apply when a vowel precedes the y. Examples: lucky + er = luckier happy + ness = happiness Exception: cry + ing = crying



1. Add es to nouns ending in s, ch, sh, and x. Examples: glasses, watches, radishes, foxes 2. Add s Examples: eyes, ears, bows, shops, sails, noses, beetles 3. If the noun ends in a consonant and then a y, change the y to i and add es. Examples: country = countries butterfly = butterflies berry = berries daisy = daisies 4. If a noun ends in a vowel and then a y, add an s. Examples: monkey = monkeys turkey = turkeys Friday = Fridays 5. If a noun ends in f or fe, the f might be changed to a v. Examples: knife = knives half = halves calf = calves wife = wives 6. Add es to nouns that end in o. Examples: potato = potatoes tomato = tomatoes volcano = volcanoes or volcanos Exception: piano = pianos 7. Most nouns are very predictable (regular) in the spelling of the plural form. However, there are several nouns that are irregular in their spelling. Examples: moose = moose fish = fish goose = geese child = children mouse = mice oasis = oases tableau = tableaux woman = women this = these tooth = teeth








What do we, as tutors, want for our students? We want them to read words quickly, accurately and with expression, but we want more than that. We also want students to read with high comprehension, and for that to happen, they must be constructively responsive as they read, which includes the following: Excellent comprehenders overview text and scan it. They relate their prior knowledge to ideas in the text. They notice when they are confused or need to reread, and do so. They construct images in their minds eye reflecting the content of the text. Good readers summarize, and they interpret, often with intense feeling, rejecting or embracing the ideas of an author. Such reflective reading, actually, can be pretty slow. Speed in reading and accurate word reading are not the goals. Understanding, appreciating, and thinking about the ideas in text are. Yes, fluency at the word level is necessary so that the reader can choose to slow down and employ comprehension strategies. When word-level reading is fluent, there is enough available cognitive capacity to permit the decision to execute comprehension strategies and profit from them. Thus, good readers can and do think hard about what they are reading. What is Reading Comprehension? The definition of reading comprehension may appear to be both simple and obvious. In fact, it is anything but. Reading comprehension seems like a simple concept because for good readers, the comprehension process has become more or less automatic. Most of the time good readers don't think about what they are doing to make sense of text, to find important information, to learn how to do something, or to follow events in a story. That's why one might answer, "Comprehension is understanding what you read." And it is, of course, but those who have studied reading prefer a definition that emphasizes that good readers work at understanding. They are active and intentional, constructing meaning by using the message in the text and their own prior knowledge. So comprehension involves interacting with text in various ways. Michael Pressley says that good readers:

Are aware of why they are reading a text Gain an overview of the text before reading Make predictions about the upcoming text Read selectively based on their overview Associate ideas in text with what they already know Note whether their predictions and expectations about text content are being met Revise their prior knowledge when compelling new ideas conflicting with prior knowledge are encountered Figure out the meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary based on context clues Underline and reread and make notes and paraphrase to remember important points Interpret the text Evaluate its quality Review important points as they conclude reading Think about how ideas encountered in the text might be used in the future

Adapted from What Research Has to Say About Fluency Instruction, Chapter 3, Pressley, et al.


Of course, we don't read everything this way. Readers who use all of the strategies listed above have a serious need to learn and use the information in the text. If we are reading to locate a specific piece of information or reading for pleasure we don't use all of these strategies. Even so, the list reminds us that comprehension requires considerable work from the reader. Underlying skills Comprehension requires active, strategic thinking, but it also requires basic reading skills: decoding, fluency, and vocabulary (knowledge of word meanings). Unless decoding is automatic and reading is fluent, comprehension suffers. So another way to understand the reading process is to see it as a hierarchy of skills. Beginning with letters and sounds, moving to identification of words, fluent use of those skills, and understanding of the meaning of words and sentences, comprehension is the culmination of a series of processes. Why Is Comprehension-Strategy Instruction Important? First, evidence suggests that many readers are not aware that they have a comprehension problem: they often don't know how much they're missing. One researcher looking at readers' awareness of their comprehension processes found that "both young and mature readers failed to detect logical and semantic inconsistencies in the text. In other words, they didnt notice when the text didnt make sense. They may be reading one word at a time without much thought or failing to make important inferences and connections because of their limited background knowledge. Others may be struggling with basic word identification and as a result, cant pay attention to the meaning. These learners are missing the forest for the trees! In addition, adult learners may not be aware of strategies they could use to achieve better understanding. Poor readers probably dont know what good readers do. The process is mostly invisible, and efficient readers may appear to be simply running their eyes over the text. It isnt obvious that a lot of strategic thinking is going on. In short, you need to teach adult learners to use comprehension strategies. They are not likely to develop these strategies without instruction, and research tells us that learners who receive cognitive strategy instruction make significant gains on measures of reading comprehension over students trained with conventional instruction procedures. Who Needs Comprehension-Strategy Instruction? Because comprehension requires basic decoding skills and fluency, comprehension-strategy instruction is most often directed at mid-high level readers. However, even beginners need to engage in meaningful reading and therefore can benefit from learning to monitor their understanding and to apply some simple strategies as they read. Strucker suggests that learners at fourth grade level and below need to be taught pre-reading strategies explicitly. For example, they should learn how to use pictures, section headings, and summaries to predict content and learn how to activate their prior knowledge by asking, "What do I already know about this?"


We may conclude, then, that all the adults in basic education classrooms, regardless of their reading level, can benefit from comprehension-strategy instruction. Meaningful reading, including practice of important comprehension strategies, should be part of every lesson for all adult learners. What Kind of Comprehension-Strategy Instruction Is Most Effective? The National Reading Panel, in their review of the literature on comprehension, identified 16 categories of comprehension instruction in the research, but only the eight listed below appear to have "a firm scientific basis for concluding that they improve comprehension in normal readers." Comprehension strategies for readers Most of the items in the following list are strategies that readers apply to construct meaning from text. You as a teacher must use appropriate instructional strategies to enable adults to learn and use these comprehension strategies as they read. Comprehension monitoring Graphic organizers Story structure Question answering Question generating Summarization Multiple-strategies instruction Cooperative learning Comprehension monitoring Comprehension monitoring is applicable to many kinds of texts and may involve several different techniques. Monitoring strategies are intended to develop meta-cognitive abilities in readers, that is, to help them think about their own thinking. Using these techniques, readers learn how to (1) actively monitor their understanding, (2) identify specific problems when comprehension breaks down, and (3) take steps to solve their comprehension problems. You might try one or more of the following techniques. Most are broadly applicable to any kind of continuous text and various reading purposes. Thinking aloud One way to teach adults how good readers monitor their understanding is to show them how you do it. In other words, this technique is both a strategy for readers and an instructional approach you can use with any of the other comprehension strategies as well. Example: Teacher reads aloud (in italics) and thinks aloud [in brackets]. There were three main causes for the uprising. [OK, I'll be looking for three causes.] First and most important was the economic situation in the country. [That's number one, the economic situation.] (Reading on--further details) There was also a popular movement gaining strength that centered on a young leader, etc. [Is that number two? Hmm, I'm not sure. I'd better read on to check.] 118

(Reading on) It's clear the uprising was rooted in recent, if not ancient history, as explained by journalist Browne, etc. [Wait a minute. This is almost the end. Did I miss the third cause? I guess I had better read it again.] (Rereading) The chaos surrounding the earthquake and concern about the nation's ability to repair and rebuild contributed to the unrest. [I wonder if this is it. It seems pretty different from the other two. I think that's it. I'll read on and see if I get any other clues. Maybe the writer has more to say about the three causes later on.] After you demonstrate your thinking processes you can ask the learners to practice thinking aloud, too, to make them more conscious of their understanding and their thinking processes. Other monitoring techniques You can teach learners to stop periodically (after each section, for example) and try to restate whats been read in their own words. You can help them develop the habit of asking themselves who, what, where, when and why questions after each section or page. If they cant answer these questions they might have to stop and reread. Another way to keep readers actively engaged with the content is to have them make notes as they read. You can teach a simple code that allows the reader to make quick responses to the text. If writing in a book is not an option, learners can use small adhesive notes. The INSERT system is one example of such a code. Interactive Notation System for Effective Reading and Thinking (INSERT) = -- I agree X -- I thought differently + -- New information ! -- WOW ? -- I don't get it * -- I know this is important Finally, you can teach specific repair strategies for solving comprehension problems. You describe and demonstrate the different kinds of problems that can arise while reading. Then, taking them one at a time, teach repair strategies, by modeling, providing guided practice, and independent practice. Examples of comprehension problems: I can't read this word. I don't know what this word means. I'm confused. I don't get it. This doesn't make sense. This doesn't fit with something I know (from an earlier part of the text or the reader's life experience). You can explain to the learners that when these problems arise its a good sign: it means their monitoring techniques are working! So what can they do? What do good readers do about the third type of problem, for instancewhen they just dont get it? Try teaching these strategies:


Reread the sentence or passage. Read on to see if it gets clearer. Try reading aloud. Look at the words in the confusing part. Maybe a word is being used in an unfamiliar way. Check the word(s) in the dictionary or ask someone. Talk about your problem with others.

Instructional approaches for comprehension strategies Teaching reading comprehension is complex, and although research has identified effective strategies for readers to use, it does not tell us exactly which instructional approaches work best in developing strategic readers. Of course, much of what you know about good teaching will apply in your work with reading comprehension strategies. And if you are a strategic reader, you can learn how to pass on your good habits. Pay attention to your own reading behavior. Analyze what you do and plan ways to describe and model you thought process. These are the first steps. Then follow these general guidelines found in the National Reading Panel report: teachers help students by explaining fully what it is they are teaching: what to do, why, how, and when; by modeling their own thinking process; by encouraging students to ask questions and discuss possible answers among themselves; and by keeping students engaged in their reading via providing tasks that demand active involvement. (Pages 116120 adapted from: McShane, Susan. Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers, Ch. 7, NIFL, 2005.)


With our emphasis on phonics, it is understandable that some students think that reading is simply a matter of calling words. Sometimes we may need to explicitly teach that the goal of reading is to make sense of print. Reading is more than a visual activity; it is the process of mentally interacting with text. Students who are having trouble with comprehension may say they cant remember what they read. Often it is not a matter of memory, but rather a symptom of poor comprehension. It is easier to remember something that we do understand, rather than something we dont understand. Whether we are talking about understanding a single word or an entire story, the most important thing for the student to understand is that he must assume responsibility for his comprehension. He must constantly monitor his own comprehension by pausing and actively questioning himself about what he has read. Comprehension problems may occur on any of three different levels: A single word A single sentence A longer passage such as a paragraph or chapter Single Word When sounding out words, it is easy to make mistakes and end up with the wrong word. Once a student does this, he tends to get locked into that mistake. Note that this is not a problem of misunderstanding the meaning of a word, but rather one of misreading the word. This is where sentence context becomes important. Students have to be taught to read the rest of the sentence then judge the correctness of the word in question. Cloze exercises are a good way to get students used to using context to figure out a word. (Examples of Cloze exercises are included in this handbook.) Sometimes sentence context is not sufficient to identify the word. This is particularly true if there is more than one word in the sentence that the student doesnt know. In this case, the student has to make a judgment call: Can he simply skip the word and keep on reading with adequate understanding, or does general comprehension hinge on this word? In the first case, he should skip the word and keep on reading (but encourage him to underline the word so he can come back to it later). However, if the word is essential to comprehension he will have to go to the dictionary or another person for help. Single Sentences Often, problems with comprehending sentences are a result of misreading one or more words. If a student struggles with more than one word in a sentence, he may simply have lost his train of thought. After figuring out all the words in a sentence, he needs to go back and reread the sentence. Students must be taught that it is acceptable to go back and reread a sentence. Good readers do it all the time. Sometimes, finishing the paragraph may clarify the sentence in question.


Problems With Syntax Syntax is that part of grammar that deals with how words, phrases, and clauses are combined to form sentences. Passive sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and ambiguous sentences all create additional comprehension problems. When you come across such sentences, you will need to pull them apart to help your student understand them. Putting a passive sentence into the active voice should solve that comprehension problem. With ambiguous sentences, simply point out that this is probably the authors problem (although sometimes ambiguity is intentional) and no one can tell for certain what is meant. Understanding signal words will help students navigate the more difficult sentences. Teach these signal words: 1. continuation signals (and, next, similarly) 2. change-of-direction signals (but, although, however, on the other hand) 3. sequence signals (first, second, until, during) 4. illustration signals (for example, similar to, in the same way as) 5. emphasis signals (above all, a key feature, should be noted) 6. cause, condition, or result signals (because, for, if, in order that) 7. spatial signals (between, beside, middle) 8. comparison/contrast signals (or, more than, much as) 9. conclusion signals (as a result, consequently, finally) 10. fuzz signals (almost, maybe, nearly) 11. non-word emphasis signals (exclamation point, underline, italics, bold)

Understanding a paragraph is like solving a problem in mathematics. It consists in selecting the right elements of the situation and putting them together in their right relations, and also with the right amount of weight or influence or force for each. The mind is assailed, as it were, by every word in the paragraph. It must select, repress, soften, emphasize, correlate, and organize, all under the influence of the right mental set or purpose or demand.
Edward L. Thorndike Longer Passages A much more complex problem occurs when a student understands individual words and sentences, but still fails to comprehend a paragraph or longer passage. On this level, comprehension is a process of combining new information with prior knowledge, a process that involves both understanding and memory. It is an active process with the student interpreting and making inferences from readings. Students with learning difficulties often find this hard to do. If your student is poor at comprehending, you will need to devote systematic and consistent efforts to helping him. The following suggestions present several strategies to help you in that effort.


Teaching Concepts to Enhance Paragraph Comprehension Teach/discuss these concepts with your student: Fiction versus non-fiction Main idea and supporting details Sequence of events Cause and effect Identifying problems and solutions Identifying fact versus opinion Categorizing information Making predictions Drawing conclusions Making inferences Understanding plot development (fiction) Understanding character development (fiction) Visualization Summarizing Before, During, After Before actually reading a passage, have your student look over the material to get a general idea of it. Reading the title and any subheadings and looking at accompanying pictures will give him a general idea and will start to activate his prior knowledge about the subject. Engage the student in conversation to further activate his prior knowledge and to find out what he already knows. Help him to set a purpose for reading by making predictions and formulating questions about what he wants to learn from the passage. It will be useful to write down both the predictions and questions. During reading, encourage your student to pause frequently to check his understanding and paraphrase what hes read. Are his predictions accurate? Does what he has read so far suggest any new or different predictions? Are his questions being answered? Are new questions arising from what he has read so far? Encourage your student to make judgments about which details are important and to reflect upon how this information fits in with what he already knows. After reading, have your student check his predictions and see if his questions have been answered. Have him summarize, in his own words, what hes read. Discuss with him whether his understanding comes directly from the text, had to be inferred, or whether he relied upon his prior knowledge. Writing summaries is one of the best ways to increase comprehension. Finally, have your student relate what hes just read to what he already knows. Does it fit in? Are there new ideas to think about? What else does he want or need to find out?


There are several strategies to help the student activate before-during-after thinking. The simplest is called K-W-L. K-W-L K-W-L stands for Know, Want to know, and Learned. When preparing to read expository text (non-fiction), create three columns with those headings and then help your student list what he already knows about the subject and what he wants to learn. As he reads, he should list in the third column the answers to his questions. If there are any unanswered questions after completing the reading, he should go back and see if he can infer the answers by putting together what he has learned with what he already knew. If that doesnt work, he must decide (with your help, of course) where to look to find the answers. Main Idea, Details, and RAP Explain to your student that in expository text (non-fiction) most paragraphs will have a main idea and then some supporting details. The main idea is usually, though not always, the first sentence of the paragraph and may be restated in the last sentence of the paragraph. Most paragraphs will also include some details to support the main idea. After youre certain that your student thoroughly understands the concepts of main idea and details, model, by thinking aloud, your process of determining the main idea and details. Then guide your student in determining the main idea and details in several paragraphs. Finally, take time to have your student do independent practice. Have him think aloud as he goes so you can critique his effort later. Do stay out of it as he works so he gets practice in thinking through the task on his own. Once your student can confidently find the main idea and details on his own, he is ready for RAP. Again, after you have explained RAP to him, you will need to repeatedly model the whole process for him, provide guided practice, and have him do independent practice in your sessions. RAP Read the paragraph. Ask whats the main idea and details. Put it in you own words (paraphrase). Although paragraphs in narrative text (fiction) may not have topic sentences, RAP will still work in most instances.


Five Ws and an H A real simple and straightforward way to work on comprehension is to teach your student to look for the 5 Ws and H who, what, when, where, why, and how. This can work for both expository and narrative (fiction) text. A good place to work on this is with newspaper articles since journalists try to embody all this information in their writing. News for You, the weekly newspaper from New Readers Press, is written at a 3-6 grade reading level and should be accessible for Challenger students. Webbing Webbing, a.k.a. Semantic Mapping, is a way to graphically show the main idea and subordinate ideas and to show their connections. Put the main idea in a circle and draw spokes out from it to show secondary ideas or connect the spokes to other circles with supporting ideas. It can be as simple or as complex as you like. It is also a good pre-reading technique for brainstorming what a student already knows about a subject.


Questions Poor readers must be taught how to ask their own questions in order to increase their comprehension. Modeling your own strategies for comprehension is the best way to teach this technique. To do this, read aloud to your student and pause periodically. During the pause, you evaluate your comprehension and demonstrate what you do to improve it. You must think aloud as you pose questions, come up with answers, clarify concepts, and develop strategies to remember what youve read. Students should be taught that question-answer relationships can occur in three different situations: 1. Right There both the question and answer come from the same sentence. 2. Think and Search the question and answer come from different parts of the text. 3. On My Own the question arises from the text but the answer comes from the students prior knowledge. ReQuest The ReQuest procedure is designed to encourage the student to formulate his own questions about the material he is reading in order to better understand it. The ReQuest procedure consists of the following steps: 1. Select a paragraph that is at the students instructional level. 2. The tutor and the student both read the first sentence silently. Then the student asks as many questions as he wants about the sentence. 3. The tutor answers the question(s) and, if necessary, asks for unclear questions to be rephrased. 4. After the students questions have been answered, the tutor and student exchange roles. Both read the next sentence and the tutor asks questions of the student. When possible, include questions that require the student to synthesize information from two or more sentences. Periodically, the student should verify his responses by reference to the text. 5. Continue the procedure until the paragraph is completed. Throughout the procedure, it is important to ask clear, concise questions and to reinforce similar questions from the student through positive feedback. Summarize Having your student summarize, in his own words, what he has read is the best way to improve comprehension and to check if he really understands what hes read. But summarizing is not easy. In a sense, you need to already understand what youve read in order to summarize it. Read Understanding a paragraph below to get an idea of what you have to do in order to both understand and summarize a paragraph. When you model summarizing for your student, you must explain how/why you chose to leave out or include particular elements. Summarizing can start with simple sentence combining. For instance, The girl has a bird in her hand. and the girl has a cup in her hand. can be combined (summarized) into The girl has a bird and a cup in her hand. When doing these simple exercises it is useful to literally cross out those words in the original sentences that were left out in the summary sentence.


Modeling is an excellent strategy for teaching comprehension. But, remember that it must be shown multiple times and you must move slowly from your doing all the modeling to your student doing some and then all of the modeled strategy. Comprehension and Memory Heres a great chicken or the egg quandary. Its pretty hard to remember something that you dont understand but its equally hard to understand something if you cant remember much about it. In fact, the two things are inextricably linked. For both things, encourage underlining (but not in library books), annotating, taking notes and making outlines. Liberal use of sticky notes in the text is a good substitute when using library books. Sticky notes can also be useful in that they can be pulled off and then arranged for sequencing or categorizing information. Work on comprehension and memory in small chunks. Dont wait until the end of a chapter to start; a paragraph or a set of a few paragraphs is plenty. Constant reviewing is essential. After working on the second set of paragraphs in a chapter, go back and review the first set of paragraphs. Be careful to scaffold this work. You must try to move the student along so he eventually applies these strategies on his own. Metacognition Metacognition is at the heart of comprehension. Good comprehension requires thinking about what you are reading and knowing whether or not you are getting it. Students often simply dont realize that theyre not getting it. They must be taught to actively monitor their comprehension and apply fix-it strategies when they dont understand something. They must be taught to reread, get words defined, make connections to what they already know, make inferences, argue with themselves about meaning, summarize what they have read, and generally take time to reflect on their understanding. Asking your student, What do you do when you dont understand something? is an easy way to approach the subject of comprehension and will give you some insight into the students own ideas about comprehension. Remember that comprehension naturally improves if were reading something that were either interested in or already know something about. Comprehending Documents Understanding documents can be quite different from reading other kinds of expository material. Examples of documents include: charts, graphs, forms, schedules, calendars, menus, pay stubs, ads, food labels, maps, and ATM screens. Even pamphlets and brochures would be considered documents if one is searching for very specific information. Some of the ideas presented above can be applied to documents. Another very important skill for reading documents is scanning. Students often feel that they must always read everything on a page. Give them exercises where they scan first for specific words, then categories or ideas. Vocabulary knowledge can be critical for reading documents so be certain that you teach relevant vocabulary words. Be careful to not tackle too much at once. Work on only one type of document at a time.


Both of our reading series, Laubach Way to Reading and Challenger, present some work on document reading but will require lots of reinforcement. We have many examples of job applications, health forms, menus, etc. Math books will provide help with charts and graphs. Look in the Life Skills section of our library for material on forms, schedules, etc. Comprehending Fiction Reading and comprehending narrative material (fiction) adds another layer of complexity to the problem. Students generally do not understand that there are standard conventions that authors use. Most stories are based on a problem-solution or conflict-resolution model. Thoroughly teach such concepts as plot development, rising and falling action, climax, character development, setting, fact versus inference, problem-solution, and conflict-resolution. Your student should be able to define those terms. Literally draw a plot line showing rising action, climax, and falling action. Then add, in proper sequence, such elements as setting, characters, and plot developments. You can also do all this on sticky notes that the student initially places in the text and subsequently puts them on the plot line. We have an excellent book in our library, Teaching Comprehension Strategies for Stories, by Phyllis E. Fischer that outlines how to do this.


Each of the comprehension models below includes the tasks of reading a paragraph, figuring out how to better understand it, and taking action to remedy difficulties. Choose one of the models. Take at least three twenty-minute sessions to train your student in that model. Then continue on with another model. Each session should follow this pattern: Stage 1: Modeling (5 minutes) The tutor models the comprehension training tasks by doing all the activities. Stage 2: Guided Practice (10 minutes) The tutor guides the practice of the student by doing some of the activities while assigning progressively more and more activities to the student. The tutor then helps the student struggle through the activities. Stage 3: Independent Practice (5 minutes) The student practices independently, doing all the activities by himself while the tutor listens. Comprehension Tutoring Models: Summarizing Techniques 1. Read a paragraph Summarize it while scanning it Summarize it with book closed Continue with next paragraph 2. Read a paragraph Cover it up and write down key words you remember Summarize from the key words Continue with next paragraph 3. Read a paragraph Underline the key words


Use the key words to make 1-2 sentences Continue with next paragraph Questioning Techniques 1. Read a paragraph Ask a broad question Answer the question Continue with next paragraph 2. Read a paragraph Ask a question that can be found in the text Find the answer Continue with next paragraph 3. Read a paragraph Ask a question that can be found in your head Figure out the answer Continue with next paragraph Clarifying Techniques 1. Read a paragraph Ask if it makes sense If yes, continue reading If no, re-read to clarify Continue with next paragraph 2. Read a paragraph Thumb-up if you understand it; continue reading Thumb-down if you didnt understand it If its a problem with a word, figure out the meaning If its a problem with the whole thing, re-read it Continue with next paragraph 3. Read a paragraph What does it say? What does it not say? Continue with next paragraph 4. Read a paragraph Tell what it says Predict what will come next Continue with next paragraph Emotional, Visual, and Physical Techniques 1. Read a paragraph Tell your personal reaction Continue with next paragraph 2. Read a paragraph Draw a graph, chart, or picture to depict it Continue with next paragraph 3. Read a paragraph Act it out Continue with next paragraph (-Nadine Rosenthal, M.Ed., Director, Center for Reading Improvement, San Francisco State University)







The most important thing to remember about teaching new vocabulary words is that it must be done in depth with a lot of review and reinforcement. Try the following routine to start but dont be afraid to experiment to see what works best with your student. 1. 2. 3. 4. If necessary, help your student decode the word and verify the pronunciation. Have him find the word in the dictionary; give help as needed. Discuss multiple meanings and decide which ones you want to learn. Talk about the word, giving as much background as possible a science or history lesson where appropriate. 5. Orally show how the word is used in a sentence. Do this for all of the definitions you are learning. 6. Have your student do the same thing. 7. Help him compose simplified, understandable definitions and write them in the vocabulary section of his Student Notebook. 8. In the homework section of the Student Notebook, write a sample sentence for each definition. Discuss the words part-of-speech: noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. 9. As homework, and with the aid of your sample sentences, have him do the same thing. 10. Encourage him to read his definitions and think about the words every day. If you believe that your student doesnt require this much reinforcement, do steps 1-7, skip 8 & 9, and go to step 10. In the next tutoring session, if he is not comfortable with the new words, repeat from the beginning but include steps 8 & 9. Or, try just picking it up with steps 8 & 9. Be sure to review the word in future sessions until he owns the word and all of its definitions. Not all new vocabulary words need to be learned this thoroughly. You and your student will need to make judgments about which words should be learned. Most words that are going to be studied less thoroughly should still be discussed and then explored more the next time they are encountered. Some words that are either obscure or highly specialized may be briefly defined and then forgotten.



1. Have the student do as much of the work as possible (including the actual writing). 2. On the left side write the word in the top box. Write the phrase or sentence where it was seen on the second line. Write a memory link on the bottom line. The memory link must be generated by the student and would be a phrase, sentence, or picture that he associates with the word. 3. On the top line of the right side write a definition &/or a synonym. On the bottom line write an antonym or an opposite definition. Sometimes its easier to define a word by describing what it is not. For instance, soft is not hard. 4. Fold the card in half. The student studies the word by either looking at the left side and recalling the definition, synonym, antonym, and opposite meaning or looking at the right side and recalling the word.




anxious afraid or nervous

In context

The boys were anxious about the big game.

Memory link


I get anxious when my wife gets out her credit cards.

calm, relaxed



Word Definition/synonym

In context

Antonym/opposite Memory link



In context

Antonym/opposite Memory link



In context

Antonym/opposite Memory link





Having your student create his own Vocabulary Dictionary is a good way to both help him learn new vocabulary words and work on his dictionary skills. Designate a section of his Student Notebook as his Vocabulary Dictionary. If at all possible, use the same dictionary in your sessions that he has at home. The loose-leaf notebook (his Student Notebook) allows him to keep entries in alphabetical order. When he comes upon a word that he doesnt know, have him look it up in the dictionary. You will probably have to help with such dictionary skills as alphabetical order, pronunciation guides, abbreviations such as n and adj, multiple definitions, and words in the definition that he cant read. For words he cant read, he can always look them up in the dictionary. But that might go on forever so he should first try to make sense of the definition without having to look up additional words. Also teach him to look for synonyms. For multiple definitions, guide him in how to choose the definition that fits the context where the word was originally seen. Depending on the word and the student, you may want to include a second or third definition. Once you have decided on a definition or definitions, try to get the student to put it in his own words. If the student finds that difficult to do, model for him how you would do it. Then have him use the word in a sentence or two. When you are certain that he understands the meaning(s) of the word, have him enter it in his Vocabulary Dictionary. Do have him include the word function (noun, verb, etc) as well as the definition(s). Finally, have him write a sentence using the word. In subsequent tutoring sessions, go over the word(s) again to check that he still remembers it/them. As you continue to do this over time, gradually withdraw your support so eventually he can do all of this on his own. Remember that your ultimate objective is to get him to the point where he can do this independently of you. In order to get new vocabulary words to stick, you must: 1. Explore the words in depth including multiple definitions. 2. Have your student put the definitions in his own words and talk about the differences in meanings. 3. Have him use the word in sentences that illustrate the different meanings. 4. Review and reinforce the words over several tutoring sessions.


Student Dictionaries
Websters New World Basic Dictionary of American English, $13 Paperback. Nearly 50,000 entries; around a 4th5th grade reading level. This is our preferred dictionary: most entries; easy-to-understand definitions; ideal for adult learners. Only minor drawback is that, even though its a paperback, its somewhat big and heavy to carry around. Mirriam-Webster Dictionary of Basic English ($9 paperback) or Websters Basic English Dictionary ($20 hardcover). About 32,000 entries, around a 5th6th grade reading level. These two dictionaries are really the samejust different titles for the paperback and hardcover versions. A little higher reading level but perfectly acceptable. Paperback is a bit easier to carry around. New Readers Press Dictionary $22 Large Paperback (8 x 11). Over 5,000 entries. Around a 2nd3rd grade reading level. This is definitely easiest to use. Most entries have a sample sentence that uses the word. If you have a lower-level student and the student is eager to start using a dictionary, this is your best choice. Drawbacks are the price and relatively small number of entries. Prices may have changed. Check Amazon or other online stores. In the past, weve found the Websters New World basic for $4.00 including shipping.


(Example 1, from The Cloze Line, #30)

KEY WORDS trees Several beauty students raise barrier away terrible

When the school officers met in September, the students said that the school grounds looked __________. Everyone wondered why, at a brand new high school, no one had planted any __________. Mrs. Higgins, the school principal, said that trees did __________ important things. The roots held soil from washing __________. The trees could act as a wind __________. Trees also, she said, added __________ to any place they were planted. But there was no budget for buying probably 200 trees that would be needed. You guessed it. The __________ said they would __________ the money to buy the trees and then they would plant and care for them.
(Example 2 from The Cloze Line, #52) The Science Project

Toms teacher gave an assignment to his science __________. Mr. Morris told his class that each __________ would have to create a project and then prepare a __________ on it. He allowed the students three months. Tom thought and __________ about the assignment. What project could he create that was within his ability to handle? He thought about studying the human __________. He thought about a project concerning rocket __________ in space. He thought about experiments with electricity. But no, these would be too __________.
(Example 3) You can develop Cloze exercises to target words a student is having problems with. was saw on no

The first time I __________ Jim he __________ riding a bike. I had __________ idea that I would soon be __________ the bike with him. Jim __________ me sitting __________ my porch and called to me. I __________ glad to see him since he owed me some money. I __________ going to ask him for my money but I decided that there __________ __________ chance of getting it right then.






Goals provide students with an individualized road map for success. As the old saying goes: If you dont know where youre going, how will you know when you get there? By setting goals, your student will be able to track progress not only on their literacy achievements, but also on personal goals that reflect their hopes and dreams for the future. Through the goal setting process, studentcentered instruction can be achieved. Students who identify and achieve their goals are more actively involved in their learning. Tutors who are aware of students goals are better able to make the learning process relevant to the student. Goal setting is a crucial and useful process. Simply setting goals is not enough, though. The process includes examining goals and developing strategies to track goals; revising goals; celebrating successes; and setting new goals. This process is not only useful to students, tutors, and administrators, but also to the community. When goals are measured and reported along with standardized test results, the community is informed about what our students are learning, and what they are able to do with their enhanced skills. Goal setting is an ongoing process. The purpose of goal setting is to engage students in the practice of identifying and documenting their goals; determining whether their goals are attainable and measurable; creating a timeline for achieving them; and establishing a system of periodic review and revision of their goals. You will help your student set and assess two types of goals: Personal Goals and Literacy Goals. Personal Goals Personal goals are the types of goals that are unique and specific to your student. Your student may have more than one personal goal and it may be necessary to help them prioritize which goal is most important to them. The Personal Goals Worksheet is an excellent tool to help your student articulate how they want to reach their personal goals. Personal goals can include: Obtaining a drivers license Reading a book to a child Applying for a job Getting a GED Reading personal paperwork Writing a letter Learning the computer Reading the Bible Improving math skills Learning English Achieving citizenship Owning a business Writing checks Reading a newspaper

Personal goals should be specific and attainable. Often, however, students dont know how to break an important goal into manageable pieces. It is essential that you help your student identify the steps that will make their goal a reality. Long-term goals, such as earning a GED, may be frustrating if students have a long way to go before that goal can be attained, and students may drop out because they see no accomplishments. Setting short-term goals as milestones along the way toward attainment of the long-term goals can provide students with a sense of accomplishment and motivate continued learning. 142

Discussing the questions on the Personal Goals Worksheet encourages your student to take a look at their goals and helps them determine the actions necessary for achieving those goals. Students need to be involved in the setting of their own education goals, but the tutor must provide students with guidance to ensure that their goals are realistic and feasible. Literacy Goals With your help, your student will also develop six Literacy Goal Statements outlining their specific objectives in relation to learning to read. Literacy goals fall into six categories: Reading Comprehension Phonics Writing Sight Words Spelling Reading Fluency Literacy goals differ from personal goals in that they are naturally integrated into the learning process and are based on the basic skills and knowledge that the student needs to learn. Below are some suggestions on helping your student develop Goal Statements for each of the six categories: Goal statement for reading comprehension. Possible goals include: I will answer questions about a passage. I will retell (orally or written) a passage. I will be able to discuss elements of a story (e.g. plot, character, setting). Goal statement for writing. Possible goals include: I will write a sentence independently. I will participate in shared writing with my tutor. I will write for basic needs (e.g. shopping list, job application). I will write for the joy of sharing my voice (e.g. poem, story, journal). Goal statement for spelling. Possible goals include: I will learn five spelling words a week. I will use learned spelling words in writing. I will get 80% and above on each spelling test. I will learn spelling generalizations and patterns (e.g. silent e). Goal statement for phonics. Possible goals include: I will increase my ability to manipulate phonemes within words. I will learn phonics phlashcards. I will blend sounds together to form words. I will decode multisyllable words. Goal statement for sight words. Possible goals include: I will increase the number of sight words learned. I will recall the sight words when reading a passage. I will correctly spell sight words.

Goal statement for reading fluency. Possible goals include: I will increase how many words per minute I can read. I will read with greater expression. I will read in phrases, rather than word-by-word.


Student Notebooks are provided to students who have completed at least twelve hours of instruction. The notebook is a way for students to organize and keep track of their work, but it should also be presented as a reward for the students commitment. Students who drop out early will do so within that first twelve-hour period. Do not give your student the notebook if you havent met for at least twelve hours or if you have doubts about their commitment. Tutors will receive their students notebook during Part 3 of the Tutor Training Workshop. Make the presentation of the Notebook an event that recognizes their commitment. Then turn it into a learning experience about organizing. Explain that they will use it to organize their work. We have provided the three-ring binder, eight tabbed dividers, and some notebook paper to start. Have the student do as much of the work as possible including writing the labels. Theoretically, the student will decide what goes in the Notebook but you will need to ensure it includes the following items: 1. Personal and Literacy Goals and evidence of accomplishing them Keep any goal related work in this section. Make an event of checking off goals that have been accomplished. Homework assignments When possible, have the student write these. If you need to do the writing, have your student read them back to you so you know they understand them and will be able to read them at home. This eliminates excuses of not knowing the assignment. Suggest that the assignments are checked off upon completion. A list of things that have been read Include Workbooks, More Stories, books from the library, outside reading including newspapers, magazines, mail, TV Guide, billboards, labels, notes from school, work related materials, etc. Listing these outside materials, in particular, will encourage your student to look around for such opportunities. Sight words After you have checked them off for the third time on your form, write them here. Students see this as very tangible evidence of their progress. Spelling words Again, after you have checked them off the third time on your form, list them here. Its very motivating for students to see this evidence of progress. Writing assignments In addition to assignments in the students books, include any examples of outside writing. Other Eventually you may want to include things like a vocabulary dictionary, math assignments, or even things like an attendance record or a graph of progress.



4. 5. 6. 7.

Its very important to date everything that goes in the Student Notebook. Encourage your student to make a cover for the Notebook and to put their name in it.


A literacy portfolio is a collection of materials that provides tangible evidence of growth and achievement, allowing you and your student to measure progress in ways that standardized tests do not. Unlike standardized tests, a portfolio reflects the scope of teaching and learning, and shows how students apply what they have learned. Portfolios promote student confidence, build awareness of their improvement and foster responsibility for learning. Your students literacy portfolio is a record of progress. They become aware of what they do well, and in which areas they need to improve. Instead of asking you, How am I doing? students can show you how they are developing as readers and writers. As you get evidence of what your student knows, how they read and write, and what they want to be able to do, you can help your student develop further in the directions they want to go. The students portfolio should include: 1. A copy of the students Personal and Literacy Goals Worksheets. 2. Descriptions of the items that represent progress toward the students goal. 3. A summary of each entrys significance in the portfolio. Avoid adding everything to the portfolio. Portfolios contain those selections that your student feels are most important in showing their improved literacy skills. Items that challenge your student are just as important as perfect entries. Include draft/practice items, final copies for comparison, or works in progress. This is another concrete way of documenting progress and achievement. An average portfolio will consist of about eight to ten selections that record the students achievements over the previous six months, especially if those achievements reflect clear progress towards your students personal goals and the specific literacy goals already mentioned on page 143. Literacy Portfolios dont happen over-night. Its a good idea to review your students goals on a monthly basis, and discuss one or two items that reflect progress toward their goals. And finally, make sure each entry is dated!


PERSONAL GOALS WORKSHEET Student This is one of my most important goals: Tutor


I will get there by first reaching these goals:

I know I am on my way because I can already

I can help myself reach my goals if I

These things stand in my way:

This is what I can do to get help:

Here is my plan:

Directions: Student completes this form (with tutors help if necessary).


LITERACY GOALS WORKSHEET Student 1. Goal for reading comprehension: Tutor


Description of item for portfolio: What does this selection show that youve learned?

2. Goal for writing:

Description of item for portfolio: What does this selection show that youve learned?

3. Goal for spelling:

Description of item for portfolio: What does this selection show that youve learned?

4. Goal for phonics:

Description of item for portfolio:


What does this selection show that youve learned?

5. Goal for sight words:

Description of item for portfolio: What does this selection show that youve learned?

6. Goal for reading fluency:

Description of item for portfolio: What does this selection show that youve learned?

Overall: What are you most proud of accomplishing?

What would you like to do better?

What suggestions do you have to improve instruction?




Word Part a ab ad be com con de dis en ex im in mis per pre pro re un Key Word above abdomen advertise belong compare continue depart discover entail example immediate insert mistaken permit prevent protect return uncover Meaning in, on, at; not, without from; away; off to, towards; against really; by; to make with; together; really with; together; really away from; down; negative away, apart; negative in; within out, away in, into; not in, into; not; really wrong through; really before in favor of; before; forward again, back, really not; reversal of

Word Part able age al ance ant ary ate cial cious ed ence ent er est ful ible ic ing 150 Key Word disposable courage final disturbance dormant military regulate special precious walked essence consistent fanner biggest careful reversible frantic running Meaning able to be that what is; state related to, like action, process; quality; state one that performs; thing that promotes; being related to to make, act; having the quality of related to; like having the quality of in the past; quality action, process; quality; state one that performs; thing that promotes; being more; one who, that which the most full of able to be like; related to doing something; quality, state

ion ish ism ist ity le less ly ment ness or ous s sion sive tial tion tious tive ture y

million selfish realism artist oddity cradle useless safely argument kindness tailor nervous birds mission expensive partial action cautious attentive picture industry

state, quality , act like, related to; to make state, quality; act one who quality; state without how something is that which; quality , act that which is; state, quality one who; what which having the quality of more than one, verb marker state, quality , act one who; quality of related to; like state, quality , act having the quality of one who; quality of state; quality; that which having the quality of; in the manner of; small

Our library has copies of The Reading Teachers Book of Lists which provides a comprehensive list of prefixes and suffixes.


Online Resources
For those tutors who are tech savvy, weve included a list of online resources that offer supporting materials. There is a bunch of stuff out there, so feel free to incorporate this into your lessons. Additionally, if you happen to run across something outside of this collection you think beneficial, let us know! PurdueOWL.(OnlineWritingLab)Containsover200resourcesfor: o WritingandTeachingWriting o Research o GrammarandMechanics o StyleGuides o ESL(EnglishasaSecondLanguage) o JobSearchandProfessionalWriting TheLiteracyTribunefromUnitedLiteracy o Adultliteracycenteronlinewithseveralavailableresources o Featuresadditionalstories/newslettersforadditionallearningcontent o AlsocontainslinkstoFrys1000InstantWords o Teachingandadultlearningtips o Providingprofessionaldevelopmentandtraining, o Publications o Publishingeducationalmaterialsthataddressthelearningneedsand difficultiesofadultlearners. LiteracyVolunteersofGreaterHartford( o Variousreferencelinkstoevenmoreresources EnglishGrammarExercises( o Geared mainly towards ESL students, but much of it applies to all students o Wealthofresourcesandquizzesoverpartsofspeech,vocabulary,grammar, etc. BreakingNewsEnglish o Leveragescurrenteventsandnewsstoriesadultlearners o Introducesvocabularybasedoncurrentevents o Writtenatvaryinggradelevels o GearedmainlyforESL,butcanbenefitanyadultlearner


VERBCONJUGATIONWORKSHEET VERB:_____________________ PRESENTTENSE SINGULARPLURAL I____________________we__________________ You__________________you_________________ He/She/It_____________they_________________ PASTTENSE SINGULARPLURAL I____________________we__________________ You__________________you_________________ He/She/It_____________they_________________ FUTURETENSE SINGULARPLURAL I____________________we__________________ You__________________you_________________ He/She/It_____________they_________________







Literacy Kansas City provides residents of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area with basic literacy assistance, including one-to-one tutoring in reading and writing, math, spelling, and comprehension. Working with individualized educational plans, identifying and achieving personal goals, as well as maintaining student portfolios, contributes to the adult learners active involvement in his or her learning. Tutoring is free, confidential, and is offered at times and locations that are convenient to the adult learner.

Adopted by Board of Directors, Oct. 16, 2001


Confidentiality of Student and Tutor Records Literacy Kansas City gives top priority to providing complete confidentiality for its students, tutors, and volunteers. Students, tutors, and volunteers are welcome to share their experiences either privately or through the media in order to encourage others to become involved and support Literacy Kansas Citys activities, as long as they do not violate the privacy of anyone else. Literacy Kansas City encourages such sharing of experiences and is most appreciative of the support it brings. It is the policy of Literacy Kansas City that all records pertaining to students, tutors, and volunteers involved with the program will remain confidential unless prior written consent is obtained. The written consent will include what information can be released and how this information can be used. However, once records are made public, Literacy Kansas City has no control over them. No information pertaining to a students assessment or progress will be released or transferred to another agency while the student is being tutored or at any other time without the students permission. General statistical information can be released anonymously.

S:\Documents\Accreditation\S12 - Confidentiality Policy.doc

Updated 10/24/01


Tutor Certification Summary

Certification Requirements
A Volunteer Tutor is Certified upon completion of the following three criteria: Attend Volunteer Orientation Consecutive attendance at 15-hour Tutor Training Workshop Sign Tutor Contract

Recertification Schedule
The recertification period begins upon completion of the initial certification requirements. Standards: Meet at least 9 hours per month (Team tutors shall meet at least 4.5 hours per month) Turn in monthly Student Progress Report Participation in a special group/grant project Attend two In-Services per year (One of which shall be the Comprehension In-Service within the first six months of Certification).


The Tutor Handbook is intended to convey descriptions of policies, procedures and standards that are important to know and understand so that the relationship between volunteers, clients and Literacy Kansas City may be harmonious and productive. The information in this handbook is subject to change as situations warrant and it is understood that changes may be made to modify, eliminate or add to the policies of this handbook. Definitions

Person for whom literacy services are provided in a one-to-one or group setting. Also known an adult learner or student. Volunteer: Person who is trained to provide unpaid support services to the organization. Assessor: Person responsible for interviewing, assessing, and determining the appropriateness of potential clients who enroll in the program. Librarian: Person responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and circulation of resource materials appropriate for use by volunteers and clients. Office Assistant/Center Staffer: A person who is responsible for assisting in the operation of the organizations office. Tutor: Person who is trained, matched, and working with client(s) toward literacy goals. Supervisor: Person who is responsible for facilitating implementation of the organizations programs through management of volunteer and client services. Client:
Mission The mission of Literacy Kansas City is to advance literacy among Kansas City area adults through direct services, advocacy and collaboration. Our vision is literacy for all. Responsibility The Executive Director of Literacy Kansas City is responsible for administering written volunteer policies. All volunteers shall receive a copy of these policies. Executive Director's Statement As executive director of Literacy Kansas City, it is my goal to foster a pleasant, productive, and stable environment where every volunteer and client is valued and appreciated. It is my responsibility to create a work culture that enables volunteers to achieve their full potential, in order to best serve our clients and the community. Volunteers Literacy Kansas City relies heavily on volunteer support. Volunteers are expected to be shown the same courtesy and consideration as paid staff. Office Hours Literacy Kansas Citys headquarters shall be open for normal daily business from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.


Holidays Literacy Kansas City observes the following holidays: 1. New Years Day (January 1) 2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday in January) 3. Presidents Day (February) 4. Memorial Day (last Monday in May) 5. Independence Day (July 4th) 6. Labor Day (First Monday of September) 7. Veterans Day (November 11) 8. Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday of November) 9. Day after Thanksgiving (Fourth Friday of November) 10. Christmas Eve Day (December 24th) 11. Christmas Day (December 25th) 12. New Years Eve (December 31) When New Years Day, Christmas, Veterans Day, or Independence Day fall on a weekend, the adjacent Friday or Monday will be observed as the holiday. Job Description and Performance Evaluation All Literacy Kansas City volunteer positions will have written job descriptions which will be used for position evaluation and as the basis for agreement between the volunteer and Literacy Kansas City regarding volunteer responsibilities and performance. Volunteer Records A volunteer file shall be maintained by the Literacy Kansas City staff. Such file must include at a minimum: Volunteer or Tutor Data sheet Signed Volunteer Tutor contract Emergency information All memos relating to performance Volunteers will have access to their complete file. Volunteer files are confidential and with exclusive access reserved for Literacy Kansas City staff or a supervised volunteer. Information requested on behalf of a volunteer is limited to position title(s) and dates of volunteer service and may only be disclosed by the Program Director or Executive Director. Volunteers are responsible for assuring that the file has the most current information. Any change of name, address, or home phone number should be given in writing to the appropriate Literacy Kansas City staff person. Statement of Non-Discrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Literacy Kansas City supports the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action in all its employment and service delivery practices. Literacy Kansas City will not discriminate against persons because of sex, race, color, religion, class, national origin, age, political or union affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation, and will not allow such protected status to hinder access to either volunteer opportunities or services delivered by Literacy Kansas City. Physical and mental disabilities will be considered only as they relate to bona fide job requirements. Harassment and/or discrimination by supervisors, other volunteers or clients on the basis of any protected status will not be tolerated. Harassment and discrimination on the basis of such protected status in service delivery is also prohibited. Literacy Kansas City prohibits retaliation against any volunteer or client who makes a complaint of discrimination on the basis of any protected status or who provides testimony in the investigation of any such complaint.


Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment of employees, volunteers or clients is illegal under section 703, Title VII, of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and will not be tolerated by Literacy Kansas City. Sexual harassment is defined as: 1) any unwanted, deliberate, or repeated unsolicited verbal comment, gesture, or physical contact of a sexual nature; 2) implicit or explicit coercive sexual behavior used to control, influence, or affect the career or job of any volunteer or service recipient; 3) implicit or explicit requests of a sexual nature which serve as a condition of volunteerism or service; and 4) requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which have the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with service delivery, with a volunteers work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; and 5) presentation of unwanted graphic sexual materials. Volunteers who experience any form of sexual harassment should immediately report it to the Program Director and/or Executive Director. All complaints will be investigated. Persons guilty of violating the sexual harassment policy, either against employees, volunteers or clients, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination. Literacy Kansas City prohibits retaliation against any volunteer or client who makes a complaint of sexual harassment or who provides testimony in the investigation of any such complaint. Substance Abuse Policy Literacy Kansas City is committed to providing volunteers and clients with a tutoring environment that is safe, productive and conducive to the welfare of all. Literacy Kansas City expects volunteers and clients to arrive for lessons as scheduled in a sober and reliable state, free of the influence of alcohol or drugs. Literacy Kansas City also expects volunteers and clients to remain free of the influence of alcohol and drugs while they are tutoring. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol is prohibited anywhere on Literacy Kansas City property, including adjacent parking areas, or while conducting Literacy Kansas City business, irrespective of location. An exception to this policy may be made for volunteers and clients attending Literacy Kansas City-sanctioned events at which alcohol is served. Any volunteer or client found violating the terms of this substance abuse policy will be terminated immediately. A volunteer or client of Literacy Kansas City who has been convicted of any criminal drug statute for a violation occurring anywhere on Literacy Kansas City property, or while conducting Literacy Kansas City business, irrespective of location, must notify the Executive Director no later than five days after such conviction. Prescription drugs may be possessed and used as prescribed by the volunteer or clients physician. Volunteers or clients must inform their supervisor if the use of such drugs may affect their ability to work safely. Literacy Kansas City expects all volunteers and clients to report for their lessons able to perform their duties safely. Safety Literacy Kansas City strives to create a safe environment for all employees, volunteers and clients. As stated in the signed volunteer application, Literacy Kansas City reserves the right to perform background checks on any volunteer. Volunteers and students are encouraged to meet at the Literacy Kansas City office; however, when that is not possible, they are required to meet in a public location (i.e., library,


church, career center, etc). When an employee, volunteer or client is in the office alone or during nonbusiness hours, s/he should keep the door locked; persons wishing to gain entry may use the doorbell. If a person acts inappropriately, or harasses an employee, volunteer or client, the offending person should be told to leave immediately and the police should be called. Volunteers may not transport or lend money to other volunteers or clients. Tobacco Policy Literacy Kansas City is committed to providing volunteers and clients a smoke-free environment. The use of tobacco is prohibited in all Literacy Kansas City work areas. Violations of this policy will result in immediate disciplinary action. Conflict of Interest Volunteers are prohibited from utilizing confidential information obtained in the course of his or her service with Literacy Kansas City. This includes the intent to secure any financial benefit from staff, other volunteers or clients of Literacy Kansas City. Volunteers who may have a potential conflict of interest with respect to any contract or agreement involving Literacy Kansas City or its constituents shall disclose the potential conflict to the Executive Director. Confidentiality Literacy Kansas City gives top priority to providing complete confidentiality for its students, tutors, and volunteers. Students, tutors, and volunteers are welcome to share their experiences either privately or through the media in order to encourage others to become involved and support Literacy Kansas Citys activities; however, they are not allowed to release specific information pertaining to any individual participating in Literacy Kansas Citys program. This includes, but is not limited to full names, contact information, progress reports and assessment scores. Literacy Kansas City will insure volunteer confidentiality through monitored file access and by storing all records in a secure location. Individual information will remain confidential unless 1) individual written consent is obtained for release, 2) the individual is a participant in an employer-subsidized literacy program. General statistical information can be released by Literacy Kansas City at any time without written consent in an aggregate report format. Discipline Literacy Kansas City reserves the right to discipline and, if necessary, terminate an individual's service at any time and for any reasons and in its sole discretion. Nothing in Literacy Kansas Citys policies and procedures shall be construed as creating a restriction of this right. All volunteers and clients are expected to support Literacy Kansas City's mission, policies and procedures, and satisfactorily perform assigned work responsibilities. When a volunteer or clients work performance or behavior is of concern or becomes an issue, the Executive Director or his designee will meet with the volunteer or client. If the volunteer or clients work performance or behavior does not improve, further disciplinary action will be taken. Disciplinary action may include written reprimand and/or termination if the work performance or behavior is of a continuing substandard level.


Grievance Policy Literacy Kansas City seeks to provide a mutually supportive environment for all employees, volunteers and clients. If a disagreement arises between employees and volunteers or clients, volunteers or clients are asked to attempt to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible. If the conflict is not resolved, the volunteer or client is urged to request that the Program Director resolve the conflict. In the event that the volunteer feels that the problem was not satisfactorily resolved, he/she has the right to present the issue to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will make final determination on the resolution. If a volunteer or client has a grievance against the Executive Director, the volunteer or client is asked to outline, in a letter, the cause of the grievance. The Executive Director has 30 days in which to respond to the grievance, and if no action is taken, the volunteer or client may then submit a written complaint to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Executive Director may not take disciplinary action against the volunteer or client if the volunteer or client is making a fair and honest attempt to resolve the conflict, and if the volunteer or client is not in violation of office policies. Any disciplinary action will be documented in the volunteer or clients file. Literacy Kansas City reserves the right to begin and end the disciplinary process at any point up to and including termination. The following non-exclusive list is representative of offenses that may result in severe disciplinary action up to and including termination. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. False statement(s) of a material fact on a volunteer, tutor or student application. Violation of a policy or rule of Literacy Kansas City. Incompetence or uncorrected inefficiencies in the performance of duties or job responsibilities. Improper or unauthorized use of equipment, records or other properties of Literacy Kansas City. Exercising unreasonable force against any person while in the service of Literacy Kansas City. Any kind of theft of Literacy Kansas City property. Using indecent, obscene or offensive language during the performance of Literacy Kansas City business. 8. Use of alcohol or illegal drugs on Literacy Kansas City premises. 9. Sexual, racial or other forms of harassment of an employee, volunteer or client. 10. Failure to perform duties as assigned, or refusal to perform duties assigned. Termination Service with Literacy Kansas City may terminate as a result of, but is not limited to: resignation, mutual agreement or disciplinary action. A volunteer or client who plans to resign is expected to give at least a two-week notice or longer if possible.

Revised 6/21/11


Student Policy
Tutors: Read this to your student at the first lesson. Wed like you to know what our program is about so you will know what to expect of me and what I expect of you. In that way we can always be honest and fair with one another. All Literacy Kansas City tutors are volunteers who do not get paid for teaching. We tutor because we want to make a difference in our students lives. We must take training before we teach. Literacy Kansas City expects us to meet twice a week for 90-minute lessons and to be on time for each lesson. If a student is more than 15 minutes late, I am supposed to leave. Either you or I may cancel a lesson when there is an emergency by calling the other person as soon as possible. However we should cancel only for real emergencies. Try to arrange all appointments so that they do not interfere with lessons. I will give you a business card with my name and phone number on the back. You may also write my name and phone number on the inside cover of your student workbook. If you cant reach me, you should call the Literacy Kansas City office and they will get your message to me. We have an excellent reading program. If you attend each lesson and practice at home you can learn to read twice as fast. Please feel free to ask any questions. Theres no such thing as a silly question and Ill need to know if theres anything you do not understand. Literacy Kansas City always has a list of students waiting for tutors. If a student misses many lessons, is often late, is not making progress or is not doing homework, Literacy Kansas City expects the tutor to drop that student and take another one. However, this is never done without discussing the problem and giving the student a chance to do better. On the other hand, if you have any complaints about me or the way I teach, please call the Literacy Kansas City office. They will be happy to help you and will keep your remarks confidential. We will always respect your privacy. Our goal is to make your lessons easy, useful, and interesting. Now lets talk about your goals. (Encourage your student to talk freely, encourage discussion.) 1. What do you want to achieve by learning to read and write better? 2. Are you willing to meet regularly for a year or more if necessary? 3. Can you think of anything that might interfere with your lessons? Good! Lets get started!
S:\Forms\Workshops: Student Policy 1003


VOLUNTEER POLICIES Acknowledgment of Receipt I acknowledge receipt of Literacy Kansas City Volunteer Policies. I understand that it is my responsibility to read and comply with the policies and procedures contained in this handbook. I also understand that these policies and procedures are a guideline of current policy and are not themselves to be considered or interpreted as terms of an implied or expressed contract. I understand and agree that my service with Literacy Kansas City is at will, meaning that it is not for any definite period of time and that either I or Literacy Kansas City may terminate our relationship at any time.

Volunteer (Print Name)

Volunteer Signature


Staff Representatives Signature


Revised 7/01/11


This contract is intended to indicate the seriousness with which we treat our volunteers. The intent of the contract is to assure volunteer tutors both of Literacy Kansas Citys deep appreciation of their services and to indicate our commitment to do the very best we can to make their volunteer experience with Literacy Kansas City a productive and rewarding one. LITERACY KANSAS CITY We, Literacy Kansas City, agree to accept the services of (volunteer) beginning , and we commit to the following: 1. To provide adequate information, training and assistance for the volunteer to be able to meet the responsibilities of his or her position. 2. To ensure diligent supervision of the volunteer and to provide feedback on performance. 3. To respect the skills, dignity and individual needs of the volunteer and to do our best to adjust to these individual requirements. 4. To be receptive to any comments from the volunteer regarding ways in which we might mutually better accomplish our respective tasks. 5. To recognize the volunteer as an essential partner with agency and staff, jointly responsible for the achievement of Literacy Kansas Citys mission. VOLUNTEER I, , agree to serve as a volunteer tutor and commit to the following: 1. To perform my volunteer duties to the best of my ability. 2. To adhere to policies and procedures as outlined in the Tutor Handbook, including record keeping requirements and confidentiality of organization and client information. 3. To meet time and duty commitments or provide adequate notice so that alternate arrangements can be made. 4. To fulfill my yearly Tutor Certification and Re-Certification requirements. In addition, I give permission for Literacy Kansas City to release my performance data including contact information and service hours to secure contract reimbursements or to comply with grant requirements. AGREED TO: Volunteer Staff Representative


Date Revised 7/01/11


TOPIC 1000 Instant Words (Tutors Copy) 1000 Instant Words Checklist 1000 Instant Words Directions Automaticity (Principals of Teaching) Before, During, After (Comprehension) Blending Word Exercises Blending Words Certification Summary, Tutor Challenger Series Checklist for 1000 Instant Words Cloze Exercises Common Phonics Elements and Principles in English Words Comprehending Documents Comprehending Fiction Comprehension Comprehension and Memory Confidentiality Policy Correlated Readers Decoding DecodingTeaching Strategies Deletion Exercises (Phonemic Awareness) Dictionaries Documents, Comprehending Endings, Rules for Adding Engagement (Principles of Teaching) Fact Sheet, Literacy Kansas City Fiction, Comprehending Five Ws and an H Fluency Focus on Phonics Focus on Phonics 3 Practice 7-C, Teachers Manual Focus on Phonics 3 Practice 9, Teachers Manual Freewriting Goal Setting Goals Worksheet, Literacy Goals Worksheet, Personal Instant Words (Tutors Copy) Instant Words Checklist K-W-L (Comprehension) Language Experience Activities (LEA) 167

66 79 66 11 123 58 55 158 16 79 139 47 127 128 116 127 157 16 10 12 54 138 127 111 11 2 128 125 93 16 39 40 107 142 147 146 66 79 124 96

Laubach Way to Reading Laubach Way to Reading Skill Books and Teachers Manuals Lesson Plans Literacy Goals Worksheet Literacy Kansas City Fact Sheet Literacy Portfolios Main Idea, Details, and RAP (Comprehension) Memory, Comprehension and Metacognition Metacognition (Principles of Teaching) Modeling Approaches for Teaching Reading Comprehension Monthly Student Progress Report More Stories New Tutor Procedures Personal Goals Worksheet Phoneme Phonemic Awareness (Definition) Phonemic Awareness, Teaching of Phonics Phlashcards Plurals, Rules for Policies Policy Articulating the Nature of Student-Centered Instruction Policy: Confidentiality Policy: Student Policy: Student Centered Instruction Policy: Volunteer Portfolios Prefixes Principles of Teaching Problems of Illiteracy Procedures for the New Tutor Pyramid of Reading Questions (Comprehension) RAP (Comprehension) Reading and Spelling Problem and Solution Reading Pyramid Recordkeeping and Reporting Reinforcement (Principles of Teaching) Relevance (Principles of Teaching) Repeated Reading ReQuest Review and Reinforcement Review. Preview, Do, Review (Principles of Teaching) Rules for Adding Endings Rules for Plurals 168

15 18-21 101 147 2 145 124 127 127 11 128 7 16 5 146 10 10 52 56 112 155 156 157 164 156 159 145 150 11 4 5 10 126 124 60 10 6 11 11 92 126 98 11 111 112

Rules for Sounding Out Multisyllabic Words Scaffolding (Principles of Teaching) Schwa Sequencing (Principles of Teaching) Series Overviews Sight Words, Teaching of Six Basic Syllable Types Overview Speech Sounds Spelling Spelling Rules and Generalizations Student Dictionaries Student Notebook Student Policy Student Progress Report Student Vocabulary Dictionary Suffixes Summarize (Comprehension) Syllabication Rules Syntax Teachable Moment (Principles of Teaching) Teaching Phonemic Awareness Teaching Principles Teaching Sight Words Teaching Vocabulary Words Test-Study-Test Procedure Think Time (Principles of Teaching) Tutor Certification Summary Using Language Experience Activities to Ease into Writing Vocabulary Dictionary Vocabulary Words, Teaching of Volunteer Policies Volunteer Policies, Acknowledgement of Receipt Volunteer Tutor Contract Webbing Word Study Cards Writing

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