Resources that may Help us Put Research into Practice


CLICK HERE to receive a FREE quarterly e-newsletter from the Reading League. Or, become a member of The Reading League and receive a hard copy of their journal three times a year.


One way to stay current with trusted scientific research, and how to put this research into practice.

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The International Dyslexia Association (especially the Ontario branch) is a terrific source  of information, including effective approaches for all students - not just those with dyslexia. CLICK HERE for a link to the Onatario branch. CLICK HERE for a link to the main International branch.

By becoming a member of the IDA, you will receive:

  • Perspectives: A quarterly periodical containing articles authored by professionals in the field, including a special section for parents

  • Annals of Dyslexia: A semi-annual peer-reviewed research journal

  • Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal - free online access


CLICK HERE for their Virtual Teaching Resource Hub with lesson templates and sample lessons and videos. Scroll down to the newest video: Word Chains

  • Decodable books contain words in a fairly structured order of spelling patterns that children can read (e.g., books that begin with only cvc words, then -ck, then floss words, then ccvc, then ng/nk, then cvcc, then magic e, etc...).

  • WARNING: Some books are called "decodable" but they are NOT useful or engaging. Even decodables can be interesting and make sense!

  • Start with decodable books at the very beginning to help students practice reading words in books that contain spelling patterns that they are learning. They need lots of practice applying their new knowledge!

  • I use decodable text/passages until students have enough skills to be able to read any simple authentic engaging children's book (with help from me to read the words with patterns I have not yet taught them). Every time a new pattern is taught, it is critical to have students practice reading text with that pattern

The Ontario Branch of the IDA has a terrific explanation of what decodable texts are, and the difference between these and "levelled readers" that are typically used in schools. CLICK HERE for a link to this page on their website.

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FREE to download in pdf.

I really enjoy using these decodables with my students online. They are some of the best I have found.

CLICK HERE to download online - download the pdf files.

CLICK HERE to purchase in hard copy.

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The "Catch Up" decodable books from this company are so effective for my Gr. 4 - adult students, some of them cannot wait to learn the next spelling pattern to be able to read the next book. This series moves quickly through the spelling patterns though, so it takes a bit of time to be able to teach them what they need to know before moving on to the next book (mostly because I work with children who need a LOT of repetition). They also have high quality vocabulary and sentence structure. 

CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD FREE digital copies of one of their series!


These are my favourite decodable books for very beginning readers. Written by Nora Gaydos, these stories are cute and make sense, and they help children read with fluency due to lots of repetition.

For online tutoring for very beginners, I download the Kindle App, then purchase these on Amazon for $0.99/set of 10 books!



These are tried and true decodable readers. I used to get right into authentic children's literature as soon as possible, but these little readers provide lots of necessary practice with decoding, but they have engaging and important content knowledge. 

For online tutoring, it is so EASY download the Kindle App, then purchase these on Amazon.

This is a terrific video about decodable text by Dr. Marnie Ginsberg, founder of Reading Simplified.

Reading Simplified has many many many FREE videos for teachers and parents.

Join Dr. Ginsberg on Tuesdays at 8pm (EST) via Facebook for free workshops!


FREE ONLINE decodable books! CLICK HERE for link. 

Many of these free online books are not totally decodable (e.g, for the book targeting a_e/ai/ay, there are words like "diagram", "illustrate", etc. - all very difficult to read for children just learning about the "long a" spelling), but I like the storylines. So do my students. They are more authentic. I just underline the words they cannot read and read them for them. 

CLICK HERE for a link to these authentic decodable readers:


High interest and completely decodable. 
CANADIAN author.

Her scope and sequence is slow and makes sense to me if working with students with dyslexia.

Lovely real photos.

CLICK HERE for link to her website.

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CLICK HERE for Simple Words Books! Great author for older struggling readers - Cigdem Knebel

For online tutoring, download the Kindle App and purchase on Amazon.

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Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum

A well-organized 35-week curriculum of daily phonemic awareness lesson plans.

This is a good tool, but there are a couple of things that I wish they would change. For example, using "eggs" for the "short e" sound is not helpful. Many of my students hear the "long a" sound at the beginning of the word 'egg'. Similarly, using "igloo" for "short i" is confusing. Most of my students hear a "long e" sound at the beginning.
Click Here for a link to some great videos


Equipped for Reading Success


Written by Dr. David Kilpatrick

Includes an easy-to-use Phonological Awareness Assessment.

Copyright © 2016 by David A. Kilpatrick,Ph.D


CLICK HERE to download FREE and SIMPLE assessment called The PAST TEST.


Recipe for Reading is a classic book has a simple little scope and sequence on the inside cover, and lots of word lists for each pattern (and even some ideas for introducing new patterns).

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This Keys to Literacy website has a simple little introduction to morphology (prefixes, roots, suffixes), and includes some links to word lists (free resources but you must sign up as a free member).

*Also has photos of fun classroom activities for teaching morphology.

  • CLICK HERE for WORD LISTS (very easy - all words in order of length automatically)

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I love anything that Ron Yoshimoto teachers, but particularly his approach to morphology. It is simple and understandable.

CLICK HERE for one of his quizzes - how much do you know about suffixes?

CLICK HERE for his booklet that I use ALL the time. SO easy. Great for practice sheets for homework, and a systematic order.

Watch this video of Martha chatting about Crazy Cards with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg from Reading Simplified.
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*Conflict of Interest Note: I am the creator of these games/courses.

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Click Here to locate and compare high quality reading programs.

Click Here to learn about his K-3 program. I have heard good things about this, as long as the teachers receive the professional development to go along with it. Although this is not a complete Language Arts program, it does address vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

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The video is directed at parents and teachers of children in junior- and senior-kindergarten for French first language, and Primary levels for French as a second language instruction, and special education teachers.

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NEW!! Francophone Phonemic Awareness Program

“I can't recommend these lessons enough! I used them during our morning literacy block for 5-10 minutes a day. When we first started, I saw a good handful of students who really struggled with the more basic phonemic tasks. After explicit instruction and guided practice, the improvement was not only visible to me but to the students!

Progress was especially noticeable in my struggling readers. I am thrilled to find French resources to address these skills that are so critical for successful reading development. I can't wait to use them again next year and to witness continued reading growth.”

  • Grade 1/2 French Immersion teacher


CLICK HERE to view The Reading League's  list of recommended books  - many of which are considered (or will be considered) classics in the field of reading instruction.

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The ABCs and All Their Tricks

I have heard terrific things about this book! This is a simple reference book that will answer any question about phonics, spelling, syllables, the history of English spelling, and more.


There is SO much more to vocabulary than talking about the 'definition' of a word.

CLICK HERE for a link to this book - lots of interesting suggestions for helping children gain a breadth and depth of knowledge of words.


Reading Assessments

CLICK HERE for a link to this book the FREE Gallistel Ellis decoding assessment. Easy-to-use immediately. 

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Reading Assessments

CLICK HERE for a link to this book the FREE Gallistel Ellis decoding assessment. Easy-to-use immediately. 

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Decoding Assessment

CLICK HERE for a link to this book the FREE Gallistel Ellis decoding assessment. Easy-to-use immediately. 

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Reading Assessments

CLICK HERE "The easyCBM system was developed by educational researchers at the University of Oregon...It is designed to give teachers insight into which of their students may need additional instructional supports as well as to provide a means by which they can measure the effectiveness of their teaching.

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Sample Scope & Sequence of Spelling Patterns 

CLICK HERE for "The Purple Page"

Conflict of Interest Note: I am the founder of Sound Readers.

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The Florida Center for Reading Research has a terrific page that includes several games for implementing literacy center activities in kindergarten and first grade.

CLICK HERE for a direct link to many activities!


Tiffany Peltier Blog for Practical Help

Tiffany Peltier's Blog about how to teach FIRST GRADE is EXCELLENT. 

Click on the Pic for a STEP-BY-STEP guide to teaching the Science of Reading in Grade One!! 

Part One

Part Two


Nessy is a company from the UK, and they have a multitude of products and programs to choose from. I use some of their worksheets with my students because they are really fun, and VERY EASY TO TURN INTO GAMES. I find the worksheets really useful as reinforcements as well.

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Kindergarten Cue Card - FREE download

A little resource I created many years ago to help teachers/ECEs help children start off on the right foot with learning about sounds and letters. LOTS of playful ideas.

Click on the pic to download.


This is where I got my MAGNETIC LETTERS - foam, black outline, lowercase. Click Here.

Lots of other fun resources too.

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Although I am not a fan of worksheets (games are so much more motivating most of the time), these "Explode the Code" workbooks are terrific.


I love their scope and sequence. The activities are the same each time, so it creates 'safety' for students. I use these books to come up with sentences for games and writing tasks.

They have two levels: Numbers 1-8 are the original - more basic. Numbers 1 and a half, and 2 and a half, etc. are a little more advanced (but same scope and sequence).

CLICK HERE for Books you can use ONLINE or for PURCHASE in hard copy.


I like using IXL to help my students (and myself!) learn about grammar, punctuation, and other aspects of language arts. These are just fun reinforcement activities (Canadian). It is divided into grades, and includes fun activities (e.g., find which sentence has the error; place the comma where it should go, etc...), and it is easy to use online. My students like it for a nice change of pace. I do not usually let them see which grade I am drawing from, so that helps. There is a 'smart score', but they do not usually look at that - just their score out of 100, and I always say, "let's try to get to 50", which is just 5 or 6 questions. Short. Easy. Fun. BUT GRAMMAR IS BEST TAUGHT USING TEXT THEY ARE ALREADY USING IN SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES.

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  • Ingall’s Tutoring

  • Sound Readers Crazy Cards (my site)

  • Orton Gillingham Mama

  • This Reading Mama

  • The Literacy Nest

  • The Measured Mom

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Great for card flipping (go to "Randomness") and for Memory Games.

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Fabulous activities. I use this all the time. 

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My "go to" as I can help students 'build words", build word chains, and upload all of my games and game pieces.

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I love this video by the Homeschool Pop. 

Prepositions are like concepts, and when children have difficulty with receptive and expressive language (DLD - Developmental Language Disorder). prepositions are a challenge!!

The Homeschool Pop does a great job of explaining how these words work in written sentences.

The Homeschool Pop also has some terrific videos about animals, art, science, etc. Excellent for building general content knowledge.