End-of-Year Challenge!

20 Days to ACCELERATE Your Weakest Reader(s)

Are you counting down the days till summer break?

Who’s not, right?

With over-testing, kids’ spring fever, students who are not progressing as we hoped, and the arrival of warm, blue skies, we may be a tad less effective in our teaching in the last few weeks and days.

I know I’ve gotten too worn-down and taught with much less effort in May than I had in September.

I’m not alone am I?

[Last year we had a Spring Forward Challenge and it was a hit! This year we’re hosting it again with a lot of the same achievement-changing information. Join us again for inspiration or for the first time for guidance AND inspiration!]

An End-of-Year Challenge

end of year lesson plans

But we love our kids and the academic need is great, right?  I have an offer to help us all not slink into summer….

Rather, let’s join forces for the End-of-Year Challenge–a 20 day event!

Jump straight ahead for FREE access to our

Lesson Plans!

See your weakest readers spring forward!


I know it’s actually not too late to see significant growth with your struggling readers before the school year ends.

{Watch how 1 student grows rapidly with just 1 activity, Switch It, if you don’t believe me!}

And when you actually witness them growing each day, you will gain hope.

You will add a little pep to your step.  You will actually look forward to the next day of school because you know your student(s) are going to progress…

Because. Of. Your. Instruction.


I’m not suggesting you work harder, or work longer. Rather, I will hold your hand with small, little steps every day so you will see success.

Each week, I’ll show you the counter-cultural activities–just a few–that accelerate all my readers. You can easily add one activity at a time till your cranking out life-changing lesson plans. I see it all the time!

If your students are higher than this plan, you can still use it as a general guide for what to add each day. I’ll offer more specifics for what you could do via email and Facebook live.

The End-of-Year Challenge Details

Anyone can snag the freebies by signing up on this page for the End-of-Year Challenge, learn the activities, and try some or all of the activities with their students. Those who think they can make a big difference with the 10 to 30 days left in the school year can enter the End-of-Year 20 Days contest.

I’m looking for a winner, or two, are you in?

To participate, select a struggling student or students to target for the rest of the school year. Download the End-of-Year PDF below and follow each day’s simple activity.  You can get direction in a few places:

  • in the End-of-Year challenge PDF,
  • via emails from me, and
  • watching occasional Facebook Lives on each activity.

THEN, when your school year ends, whether it’s next Friday or June 8, enter the brief story of how your student(s) progressed in the comments below.  I’ll pick winners based on the significance of the change.

First Prize: a 3-month subscription to the Reading Simplified Academy to discover our entire streamlined system that accelerates all students’ achievement (worth about $120)

Second Prize: 5 complete Sort It and Guided Reading packets for 5 different Advanced Phonics sounds (you pick the reading level)

All Commenters: a collection of games in PDF format for the /oa/ & /ee/ sounds

{Be sure your comments are below before June 8 when the contest ends!}

Some of you are pumped!

But some of you are concerned it will be too much.

Look at the lesson plans above in the images above.  Notice how you only start 1 little activity for the first 2 days.

It’s baby steps.  But each step, each day, will add up to so much more than the sum of its parts.


woman walking beach steps

I hope you’ll give it try!

Let’s not countdown till we escape into summer….rather let’s countdown how many more days we have to boost our struggling students’ reading before they leave us…  🙁

Who’s in? Please let us know so others can be encouraged!  Or, please ask any question in the comments below.

Learn more by following us on our Facebook page here.


Join the Reading Simplified Academy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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28 thoughts on “End-of-Year Challenge!

  1. Hi Marnie,
    I just want to clarify where we need to leave our comments for this challenge. Do you want them here or on the Facebook page?

    • Great question, Jennifer! HERE in the comments under this post is where the comments for the contest need to go.

  2. I’m looking forward to trying this. I work work with 5-6 years olds, many of whom don’t get much parental support at home (read to). I really want to see this work! It doesn’t completely match up wiTh the phonics program we are using at school, but I’m going try anyways!

  3. Hi Marnie,

    I have been following you and your program for a little while now and can’t thank you enough for the insight you’ve brought. I have trialled a few of your activities with my students and not only have I seen growth, but the kids gave loved them and shown increased confidence in their abilities. Thanks again. Justine

    • Justine, thank you so much for taking the time to write this. 🙂 And what good news to hear about growth and motivation!!

      Congrats on being willing to test something new. Please let me know what you discover next…

  4. Hi Marnie
    I am in Australia so we are only into our second of four terms for the year. I can’t wait to put your plans into action with a number of my struggling students know that I have longer to work miracles. Thank you for the opportunity to join your challenge

    • Caryn, so glad you can make this work too for your situation. Yeah!! Please let me know how it goes….

  5. We in the Southern Hemisphere are a long way from end of year 🙂 but that just means we have even longer to put these plans into action!

  6. Hi Marnie,
    I began this challenge with the same group of students that I have been using Switch It with from the previous challenge, so we didn’t start with Week 1 and jumped right into the Week 2 lessons. We had missed several days of learning due to a school closure in our district, so we started with the Monday list even though I suspected it might not be a big enough challenge for them. As suspected they quickly got into the groove and were able to build all of the words on the list without much difficulty. We read the Read It words, then they wrote the words on the table using Expo markers–they love doing that! We had a couple of short vowel confusions, but they were able to correct themselves when the error was pointed out. We finished the lesson with the Zac the Rat story and they all seemed very excited at how easily they were able to read on their own. This is the first time for a couple of them to read an entire book completely unassisted. They clutched their books like treasures as they put them in their personal book boxes. We continued the next day with the Tuesday lesson and they had a bit of difficulty with the CVCC endings and needed a lot of prompting to hear the blends. Looking ahead, I am happy to see that the next two days continue with the CVCC blends to give them more opportunity to practice. They were gaining success with the CVCC and CCVC words before our interruption, so I am sure I can get them back there quickly. I only have two more days left with this group, so I will let you know how they do in the next couple of days. After that, I will start brand new with a group of summer school students!

    • This is so AWESOME Jennifer! I’m so pleased about the addition of the guided reading. Sweet! Thanks for tracking with us for these few months. It’s such a pleasure to see your students’ progress.

  7. I am in!
    I teach 1st grade in NC and our year is about over (8 more days with a lot going on). But as soon as school ends we start 3 weeks of Summer Reading Camp for our struggling readers 1st – 3rd grades. This is going to be the first thing I teach them…so excited, can’t wait to see results.

    • Yeah, Susan!! How wonderful that you have a summer reading camp. Can’t wait to hear what you discover…

  8. Today was the last day with my little group. I wish that I had more time with them because they finally started making real progress thanks to Switch It and Read It. They are a group that had been seeing the intervention teacher all year with very little progress. Two of them are qualified for SPED and two others are on the list to be tested. I only began working with them recently, after taking the Switch It challenge. They loved the activity and I saw them really making the letter sound connection that they hadn’t been able to make before. Once they were making words, we began Blend as you Read and that is when they really started making the connections. They had only ever been taught to sound out each word one sound at a time, but they didn’t have the memory to put all of the sounds together to create a word. Even two letter VC words stumped them. Once I started using the Blend as you Read they realized they could actually read words because they could hear it and not have to rely on memory. The End of Year challenge lessons helped me to move beyond just Switch It and Read It and I started including the Guided Reading books. I was amazed, and so were they, at how easily they were now able to blend and read words in context. The look of pride on their faces when they read Zac the Rat completely on their own was priceless!!! They had a little difficulty with The Big Hit but did very well with Peg the Hen. I think the short i sound is difficult for them as ELL learners. Their confidence and attitude towards letters, sounds, and reading was their area of biggest gain and the more their confidence grows the better they get at reading. I am excited to share this program with my fellow summer school teachers and I am hoping they will see the progress that I did with their kids this summer. Our summer school program lasts exactly 20 days…hmmm..Perfect!

    • Fab. U. Lous.

      What a great story of transformation, Jennifer! Way to go trying something new and caring enough to persist with tough learners. What a victory for them and for you.

      And super-pysched to see what happens in summer school! Will any of this group be coming?