A new year, a new plan. Are you ready for literacy instruction this year? If planning for the whole year sounds daunting, stick with me for a minute. We’ll look at why planning for literacy instruction for the year actually makes things easier. I’ve got tips on how to simplify setting up literacy lesson plans, keep engagement high, and keep your literacy instruction focused, not scattershot. Let’s jump in!
3 tips for an amazing year of literacy instruction
Before you even plan the year, take a look at your classroom. Do you have a print rich environment? You don’t have to transform your room overnight, but look for ways you can bring more print into the classroom—wall posters, student work, additions to your reading corner—and use it in your daily routines. Make literacy part of every day, even outside of literacy instruction.
Then plan your year with these three tips.
1. Keep it focused.
A phonics scope and sequence simplifies things when it comes to literacy instruction. It outlines what to teach and when. It suggests tools for teaching each sound or skill. Plus it helps you track what you’ve covered and what you still need to do.
A solid phonics scope and sequence is based on systematic synthetic phonics and moves through the 44 sounds of English in a logical order. You don’t have to wonder what to teach next. Your scope and sequence will guide you through the most common consonant sounds and short vowel sounds to digraphs, other consonant, and r-controlled vowel sounds. Then you’ll move on to alternate spellings for different sounds. All this helps students become readers, following the science of reading.
Get your Phonics Scope and Sequence here:
The free phonics scope and sequence provides phonics structure/phoneme, graphemes, example words, high-frequency words, and resources suitable for each of 8 levels. The levels are broken into sets so that you can focus on one thing for a week or two, making phonics lesson planning easy!
2. Keep it fun.
You know what your kids need to know. You have a plan for what to teach when … but how do you keep students engaged? Make a variety of activities … including games … part of your literacy lesson plans.
Why games? For kids, it may just be about the fun factor, but games also give students practice:
- Saying different words and sounds
- Segmenting and blending
- Phoneme manipulation
- Writing words
- Reading words from the spelling list
- Taking turns and following directions
Board games, card games, even cootie catchers can be used for additional practice, review, or homework. Include them in your literacy center or as an option for academic choice time. Some games work well for full-class literacy instruction. Others are perfect for small groups or pairs. Many can even be adapted for independent work.
Seasonal games keep things fresh by adapting familiar games throughout the year. You can use games to target any sound or list of words.
3. Keep it doable.
A plan is only as good as the teacher following it. Do yourself a favor when it comes to literacy lesson plans. Make it simple. Keep it doable. Schedule some time at the beginning of the month to preview your plan. Do you need to print game cards or copy worksheets? What other prep do you need? With that overview, you can make sure you are set up for each week without scrambling or stress.
Here’s another way to keep it doable: You’ll find games and so much more in the Top Notch Literacy Club.
No more endless searching for the right tools or hours spent creating games and worksheets. The club features done-for-you tools that you can pair with your scope and sequence.
So grab your scope and sequence, join the Literacy Club, and get ready for a fabulous year of literacy instruction.