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Reading for Life: Preparing Students to Function in Educational and Community Settings

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Keywords: Reading, Literacy, Fluency, Assessment, Phonemes, Online,
Subject(s): Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Special Needs, Writing, Speech and Language, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Mountain Home Sr High School, Mountain Home, ID
Planned By: Jaimie Crane
Original Author: Jaimie Crane, Mountain Home
Target students receive 1:1 specialized support during their Reading hour. Curriculum is delivered via PowerPoint presentations with a specific lesson each week (e.g., short "a" sound). As students click through each themed presentation they read aloud, or listen to, the words, phoneme segments, sentences, sound blends, short stories or pseudo words while the instructor scores each exercise. The itinerary, which follows the same schedule each week, is as follows:

1) Sound slideshow (short 'a' sound, 'ch' sound, etc.): students will see a picture that represents a word that follow the weekly theme (e.g., map) and have to guess the word. The next click will show the word broken into its phone segments (m/a/p) and, upon the final click, the word itself will appear (map). The next slide will show the phoneme segments first which the student will sound it out. The whole word and the picture will follow and each slide will alternate from this point on.
2) Sight Words List slideshows: students read theme words (e.g. short 'a' sound) first in all uppercase, then all lowercase.
3) Segmentation Game: instructor reads phoneme segments of a word and the student either says the word aloud or writes it down, depending on their skill level.
4) Read For Speed!: student reads short passage that contains numerous examples of the week's theme (e.g. short ' a' sound) while the instructor times them. This is done 2 more times then the students is asked to go back and circle every word that applies to the weekly theme.
5) Words & Sentences slideshow: students click through the presentation and read aloud each short sentence that "pops- up" onto the screen. Each sentence contains at least one theme word.
6) Sound Blending slideshow: upon the first click, a two-letter combination appears on the screen (e.g., 'ap'), students sounds out the blend according to the weekly theme (short 'a' sound) and, as they continue to click, both real and pseudo words appear on the screen for them to read aloud. (e.g. bap, cap, fap, map, nap, lap, vap). Each screen will present a new sound blend and words and "real" words appear on the screen in a different color to differentiate them from pseudo words.
7) Say It! game: students are asked to say a word, then to say a "new" word by removing a specific phoneme segment. For example: the instructor would say: "Say play." The student says "play" and the instructor follows with "Now say play without the /l/." The student then says "pay"
8) Short Stories: students read short stories that focus on the theme of the week. Some are simply read aloud, others have comprehension questions.

On Fridays, the instructor leads a small group lesson that includes various forms of reading. We had a poetry packet that had corresponding video or audio of others reading the selections. This helped students learn cadence and also provided a new visual. We also went through various applications (job, bank, credit, housing) and the students circled words they were unsure about and learned how to navigate the various formats. This time can be either student or instructor-directed based upon the needs of the group and is very flexible and adaptable through the addition of new tools, resources and technologies.

This program was developed for students that have reached High School but have elementary-level reading skills and can be adapted to suit any classroom. The 1:1 time allows students to feel more at ease by eliminating the need to read in front of peers while also allowing the instructor to learn, firsthand, the strengths and weaknesses of each student. The small group time allows for students input while providing a non-verbal reminder that they are not alone in their journey to functional literacy. This curriculum was designed to be repetitious, yet flexible, so students will know exactly what to expect each week and to help them grow accustomed to seeing, sounding out and learning words visually and audibly, both in and out of context.
Online curriculum reduces waste production and acclimates students to learning through technology.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Can be utilized by Special Education or SLP professionals to focus on word and sound formation.
Scheduled assessments to monitor and report progress. Feedback collection from students on likes and dislike of program.
Materials: Projectors, Projector Screens, Computer Accessories, English/Language Arts, High, Animation, Internet Services, Dyslexia