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How to use fluency grids" text to the left of a nk fluency grid laying on purple paper. Above this are brightly colored notebooks.

How to Use Fluency Grids to Build Automaticity with Phonics Skills

Fluency grids are a great phonics practice tool alongside your existing phonics program. They are quick, targeted and can be implemented in virtually any setting. This post walks through what they are, how to use them, and why they’re a valuable. Whether you’re a classroom teacher, or interventionist, fluency grids are a great addition to your phonics work. What are fluency grids? Fluency grids are just what they sound like: grids of words that build

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"How to use blending lines" next to a long i magic e blending line page. The page is resting on an orange colored page below colored spiral notebooks.

How to Use Blending Lines and Decoding Drills in the Classroom

I first heard about blending lines in A Fresh Look at Phonics by Wiley Blevins. He recommends them as a tool to practice blending with your current phonics skill during whole class instruction. He incorporates intentional, continued review, frontloading of words students will have within decodable texts, and challenging words for more advanced readers. Because I use blending lines solely within my small group instruction, rather than during whole group instruction, I use them a

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Do 3rd graders need phonics instruction text with magnetic letters on left side of page

What Does Phonics in 3rd Grade Look Like?

By the time students reach 3rd grade, phonics is no longer a large part of typical classroom instruction. Third grade is the year that instruction shifts to more of a focus on morphology and understanding roots and affixes while incorporating some phonics review. It’s also the year that comprehension and written expression begins to take a larger focus.  But there’s still a place for phonics in 3rd grade. Every single year I’ve been a teacher

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Top 6 Websites for Phonics Resources

6 Top Sites for Phonics Resources to Enhance your Instruction

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for high-quality phonics resources to use with your students. I am hesitant to purchase so many commercial products because I’ve seen so many poor ones. I’ve purchased products that have “car” in the CVC words, or “giraffe” for initial work for the letter g. I’ve seen products that require no actual thought by the student and they just assemble. Finding high-quality phonics materials, that follow a logical

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"The Best Free or Affordable Diagnostic Phonics Assessments" text on the right with printed individual student page that's color coded by score on the left. The student data is laying on colored pages.

The Best Free or Affordable Diagnostic Phonics Assessments

As a classroom teacher, reading interventionist, and member of my school’s leadership team, I have seen the need for diagnostic phonics assessments in elementary schools. These phonics tests identify students’ current phonics proficiencies to determine those in need of intervention as well as student placement for small group instruction. I believe every student should have grade level instruction, regardless of the grade level or student ability. However, I also believe that every student should also

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