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RESOURCES for LEADERS

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Welcome! As a school leader, in any capacity, you are the visionary, motivator, problem solver, resource provider and where the buck stops. Our hope is to provide you with answers to your questions, resources and enough information about Literacy Essentials to support you as a leader.

 

If you do not find what you are looking for here, please let us know.

INTRODUCTION TO Literacy Essentials

Dear  School  Leader,

 

This  section  is  intended  to  help  you  understand  the  key  elements  Literacy  Essentials  and  how  the elements  of  the  program  differ  from  most  other  reading/literacy  programs.  Please navigate the categories below to understand more of what makes Literacy Essentials unique. 

 
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PROGRAM content

Access Literacy’s Literacy Essentials: The Journey From Spelling to Reading® teaches children to read by presenting a thorough, explicit, multisensory explanation of the sound-symbol relationship for the spelling patterns of English (phonetics), as well as the rules and consistencies governing their use in English words (orthography).

SPELLING vocabulary

Literacy Essentials explicitly teaches more than 2,000 words in grades K-3. These words would be considered high frequency words which simply means “those words used most often in reading and writing.” There are many different lists of high frequency words that vary in numbers of words. The vocabulary words taught in Literacy Essentials have come from several such lists that include the Fry list and the Ayers list.

TEACHERS

Literacy Essentials explicitly teaches more than 2,000 words in grades K-3. These words would be considered high frequency words which simply means “those words used most often in reading and writing.” There are many different lists of high frequency words that vary in numbers of words. The vocabulary words taught in Literacy Essentials have come from several such lists that include the Fry list and the Ayers list.

 

Want a printable version? Click to download the PDF.

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CURRICULUM RESOURCES

This section will help you get a good handle on Literacy Essentials: The Journey From Spelling to Reading®  and its components, as well as provide some good-to-know overall information you'll want to keep in mind.

  Literacy Essentials: The Journey From Spelling to Reading® MATERIALS:  

Training Manual

Teacher Training Manual:

 Prior to teaching Literacy Essentials, a 4-day training will prepare teachers with the background knowledge necessary in order to teach this program. The manual is designed to engage the teachers and provide the philosophy and some research for the way literacy is instructed with this program. The manual also allows opportunities for the participants to interact and practice the content through exercises designed to support mastery of the concepts taught. 

Phonogram Cards:

A set of 5 X 7 cards are used for introducing the 72 most common spelling patterns of English. The written form of the letter on the front uses a font that accurately represents the handwriting instruction which is included on the back of the cards for the letters A-Z. The back of the cards also provide information for teaching the phonogram and additional helpful tips.  

Phonogram Cards
Teacher Guides

Teacher Guides:

K-2 guides provide detailed daily and weekly guidance for planning and instruction which integrates spelling, writing, grammar and reading.  

 

The 3rd grade guide provides only daily and weekly lessons to teach spelling/vocabulary and continue instruction in orthography. A formal grammar program would be chosen by the school.   

 

Note: Schools choose the literature to be taught at each grade level K-3. 

Copy Masters: 

This book is used with the teacher guides in K-2 to provide easy-to-copy resources for teachers and students. Copies of anything needed for the week is provided in a weekly Prepare section. Examples of resources include: teacher references, student handwriting practice sheets, progress monitoring and assessments, spelling word lists and reading homework supports. 

Copy Masters
Wall Charts

Wall Charts: 

Large, lined, reusable charts for each classroom. The K-1 box contains 20 charts. The box for 2+ contains 5 charts, one of which is cursive letter formation. The charts are used to display graphically organized literacy content for easy student reference throughout the day. 

Alphabet Strip: 

Displays the alphabet in manuscript with upper and lower case letters as taught in the Literacy Essentials handwriting program. The strips are primarily used to support alphabetizing skills. 

Alphabet Strips
Student Notebook

Student Notebook: 

My Orthography Notebook is given to each student in Grades 1-3 (and Grades 4-6 for first year schools) to accompany instruction in phonograms, spelling, grammar and writing. The notebook graphically organizes the content taught and is used by the children as a reference to all that is learned in literacy and orthography. The notebook contains the child’s personal record of all the words taught in spelling/vocabulary each year.  

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Good to Know:

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Spelling Homework

An explanation for why we recommend that spelling should not be sent for homework

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Bibliography

The bibliography from Literacy Essentials: Journey From Spelling To Reading, including research articles and books used to inform decisions made for the curriculum.

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TRAINING & COACHING

The most significant way you will support your teachers using any Orton-based program is to provide sufficient training and coaching. Most teachers have had little or no training in the science of reading and how the English code works. To teach and implement well, teachers and supporting staff need quality training and coaching. This support is critical in the early years until knowledge, procedures and practices are well established. We are eager to help you support your staff with training and coaching.

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Teacher Instructional Videos

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Hop on over to the Teacher Resources page to view the videos we created to help them teach Literacy Essentials Phonograms.

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Scheduling Literacy Minutes

An example of how the 2-2.5 hours are divided up and used throughout the school day using first grade Week 14 as the example.

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Question and Answer Flow Checklist Multisyllable

An outline format of the Question and Answer Flow for multisyllable words. It can be used as an observation tool by leaders, or as a planning tool for teachers learning to introduce new spelling vocabulary.

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Common Pitfalls Implementing Literacy Essentials

A list for administrators of commonly seen issues in schools implementing the Literacy Essentials program.

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Literacy Minutes: A first grade example

An example of how the 2-2.5 hours are divided up and used throughout the school day using first grade Week 14 as the example.

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Teacher Observation Sheet

An example observation sheet that highlights key areas within literacy an administrator would be looking for in classrooms using Literacy Essentials.

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Question and Answer Flow Checklist One Syllable

An outline format of the Question and Answer Flow for simple one syllable words. It can be used as an observation tool by leaders, or as a planning tool for teachers learning to introduce new spelling vocabulary.

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Reading Practice Checklist

A checklist that teachers and leaders can use to evaluate a reading practice session.

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MATERIALS & ORDERING

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Materials Ordering Checklist

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A list of materials used with Literacy Essentials: Journey From Spelling To Reading. The list includes where to purchase materials and what is needed by grade level.

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SUGGESTED READING & RESEARCH

Psst! Can't find what you're looking for here in the list below? You'll find plenty of additional online material referenced in the official Literacy Essentials Bibliography (downloadable here).

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The ABC's and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics

Magaret M. Bishop

880621400

Why Our Children Can't Read and What We Can Do About It

Diane McGuinness, Ph.D.

978-0684853567

Speech To Print: Language Essentials for Teachers, second edition

Louisa Cook Moats

978-1-59857-050-2

Bringing Words To Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction

Isabella L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Linda Kucan

1-57230-753-6

How To Read A Book

Mortimer J Adler

978-0684853567

Overcoming Dyslexia

Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

0-375-40012-5

The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them

E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

978-0385495240

The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children

E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

978-0-618-87225-1

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FAQs

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