Thank you for serving our future.

You put up with sickness, no bathroom breaks, running noses, ungrateful parents, mercurial district expectations, and so many other challenges well beyond just teaching.

We know it's hard.

Thanks for sticking with it!

In honor of your hard work, we're offering a FREE gift!

blank phonics tracker image

Download this free Take-Off! by clicking here: Advanced Phonics_Reading Simplified.

It's perfect for this time of year because students can have fun coloring it and look back at all they've learned this year.

I originally created it for a 2nd grade boy with profound reading frustration. His father indicated that asking him to practice reading often caused him to curl up like a baby and cry.  🙁  And he constantly compared himself with the others in his class who “read so much better!”

I wanted him to compare himself to his former self.  😉  In other words, I wanted him to track how his hard work was paying off.

So, each week he returned to this same phonics tracker and remembered what he had learned previously and colored in the additional spellings he'd learned in the current week.

So, when he was doing Sort It and Search for the Sound with the /oa/ sound, he colored in all those spellings that he had learned at the end of the week (i.e., “o,” “o_e,” “ow,” “oa,” “oe”).

The next week we reviewed the /oa/ sound and he learned the /ee/ sound with Sort It.  Then he colored in all those spellings (i.e., “e,” “ee,” “y,” “e_e,” “ea,”).


Advanced phonics tracker rocket ship

In less than 12 1-hour tutoring sessions, he colored in his entire Take-Off! Phonics Tracker because he'd learned to recognize those spellings, most of the time, on his own.

Great academic learning.

Even greater emotional and motivational changes.

Now he's reading with no, or almost no, resistance.  And certainly no crying. Now he's reading chapter books whereas before he was struggling with simple books.

In addition…

  • He rocketed from a Woodcock Johnson Passage Comprehension score of 1.5 grade equivalent to a 3.1 grade equivalent.
  • His fluency went from 26 words/minute to 61 words/minute.
  • And his sound-based decoding ability went from 2.5 grade equivalent to a 7.5 grade equivalent (yes, that's 7th grade).

I'm not giving all the credit to the Phonics Tracker.  🙂  It was just a helpful tool to set his mind on the right things.  Most of the benefits came from straightening out his sound-symbol processing through just a handful of activities, such as:

and lots of new text reading and re-reading.

If you aren't finding some students able to recall all those crazy English spellings, you might find the Sort It activity to be beneficial. Here's an example of Sort It:

completed Sort It activity page

On this page I describe how I typically have each group study one sound at a time, such as /oa/, and then the following week they focus on the /ee/ sound.

The progression to learn all the high frequency spellings can happen pretty fast. Here's a 1-page view of each week's step:

streamlined pathway 1st grade

We call it our Streamlined Pathway and you can get a free copy of it too if you downloaded the Phonics Tracker above.

May this Take Off! Phonics Tracker be inspirational for at least some of your students–each child is unique and different motivational tools work for different ones, right?

May the end of the year be bright for you, too!