Next Steps in Literacy Instruction

Once Anna had developed competence blending sounds and had learned approximately 6-7 letter sound correspondences, then we started to teach her decoding skills and we provided her with opportunities to apply her decoding skills in the context of shared reading activities.

We continued to teach her new letter sound correspondences and regularly reviewed the ones that she had already acquired. And we continued to practice sound blending skills to build her fluency so that she did not have to devote many cognitive resources to this task. And of course, we continued to read and talk about books with Anna.

We used the Literacy Instruction Checklist  to make sure that instruction was effective. Specifically, we checked that we:

  • Made instruction meaningful and motivating
  • Provided sufficient time for instruction
  • Targeted appropriate skills
  • Utilized effective instructional procedures
  • Provided adaptations to support participation.

As Anna developed competence with decoding skills, we also started to teach her sight word recognition of those words that were motivating, but were irregular and could not be decoded easily (e.g., school). We provided opportunities for her to apply her sight word recognition skills as well as her decoding skills during shared reading.

At this stage, instruction focused on the following instructional activities. We broke instruction down into a series of short activities and provided Anna with breaks in between activities to ensure her attention and maximize her learning.

Targeted skill Time spent in instruction
Letter sound correspondences

·      Teaching new letter sounds

·      Reviewing letter sounds that were already acquired

5-10 minutes
Decoding skills 10-15 minutes
Sight word recognition skills

·      Teaching sight word recognition of high interest words

10 minutes
Shared reading

·      Applying decoding and sight word recognition skills during shared book reading

10-15 minutes
Phonological awareness

·      Reviewing sound blending

5 minutes
Reading books to Anna and talking about these books to build language skills 10-15 minutes

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