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.

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 1.16.14 PM.png

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

  • 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


     NOTE: 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. Decodable text can support word recognition. 

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.

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 1.16.14 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 11.31.53

These are some of the best decodables I have found, which is ironic, because I think Journeys is known for 'balanced literacy' approaches. FREE to download in pdf.

I like them because:

  • they sound like authentic stories (except the first couple, which is challenging as students have only been taught a couple of patterns)

  • the illustrations and characters are varied, which makes it seem more authentic

  • there is a variety of fiction and non-fiction

  • the "cumulative" nature of these stories is very good (contantly reviewing previously learned patterns)

  • there are several stories that give students practice in the same spelling pattern, so lots of fresh opportunities to read books with the same splling pattern

  • they are FREE online and are easy to use and access

  • the scope & sequence makes total sense to me

CLICK HERE to download online - download the pdf files.

CLICK HERE to purchase in hard copy.

Screen Shot 2019-11-26 at 12.12.00

These are the books I have:

  • Alba Series

  • Magic Belt Series

  • Totem Series

  • Rescue Series (more advanced)

  • Moondog (free to download)


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! However, the series moves very 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.

I love these 'catch up readers' because:

  • they have engaging and mature storylines (for older struggling readers)

  • they contain high quality vocabulary and sentence structure, so lots to discuss

  • there are several series that work in the exact the same way and have the exact same structure (which makes students feel safe and confident):

                1) Read the word lists that contain the targeted spelling pattern;

                2) Read the vocabulary list (they read the word, and I read the definition);

                3) There are always 4 very short "chapters" - something students can count on. 

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

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 12.14.44 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 12.11.48 PM.png

I dont' have as much experience with these, but I really like their scope & sequence and diversity in the illustrations. This is a smaller company with a dedicated  & hard-working team.

Click Here for the Scope and Sequence

CLICK HERE for the home page.

SCROLL DOWN to see everything! Super value.

These books come with matching workbooks too!!


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, tested, and true decodable readers. They have 6 Sets, and 2 sets per set (so, Set 1A/1B, Set 2A/2B, Set 3A/3B. I am not a fan of their scope and sequence. It is just confusing for me, with not a lot of cumulative practice. Also, for some books, there are not nearly enough words for students to get lots of practice. For the "qu", for example, (Set 2A and 2B, there are only 3-4 "qu" words, and the words chosen were really difficult (e.g., squelch, squid). However, Set 1 and 2 are good for beginning readers, and Set 5 & 6 have very engaging and important content knowledge for my older struggling readers. They love learning about sharks and molecules and King Tut, etc. 

They are also good for online learning as it is so EASY download the Kindle App, then purchase these on Amazon.


High interest and completely decodable. 
Canadian author from Ontario.

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

Lovely real photos. Author includes multisyllable words (decodable with knowledge of syllable division).

And she includes words to practice the 3 main spelling rules.

CLICK HERE for link to her website.

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:

Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 6.41.06 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 6.40.54 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 6.32.51 AM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 1.09.58 PM.png

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).

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 3.57.06 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 5.36.57 PM.png
  • CLICK HERE for WORD LISTS (very easy - all words in order of length automatically)

Screen Shot 2021-08-18 at 8.43.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-10-13 at 2.04.22 PM.png

Ron Yoshimoto resources are terrific and included in any training you take with him.

I love his approach to teaching morphology. It is simple and understandable.

CLICK HERE for morphology cards.


These "Explode the Code" workbooks are terrific to get children writing and working independently.


I love their scope and sequence. The activities are the same each time, so it creates 'safe' feeling for students (they don't have to read new instructions all the time). 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.


Crazy Cards card games are 25 decks of cards played just like Crazy 8's, only with words. Words are organized by spelling patterns that go from the simple (cvc) to the complex (-ture). Ready-made games are also great for no-prep games for Structured Literacy Centers.

*Full Disclosure:: I am the creator of these games/courses.

Click on this video to hear Martha chatting about Crazy Cards with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg from Reading Simplified.
Screen Shot 2021-08-21 at 9.09.17 AM.png

*Full Disclosure:: I am the creator of these games/courses.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 6.44.55 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 10.27.43 AM.png

Click Here to locate and compare reading programs.

Screen Shot 2022-02-26 at 6.52.58 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 12.38.01 PM.png

Click Here to learn more about CORE KNOWLEDGE LANGUAGE ARTS (CKLA). This program is a complete Language Arts program for K-5. Training is excellent. Includes a rich language component and combines content knowledge with literacy knowledge instruction. CONTENT-RICH programs result in SIGNIFICANTLY better reading achievement measures as students - particularly disadvantages students - gain broad general knowledge covering a wide range of topics.

*Note: I imagine that a lot of the content is US-based, so Canadians may find this challenging.

It is top rated by Ed Reports.

Watch this 9 minute video to learn more. I loved the teacher's comment about not having to worry about what to teach, so she could focus on how she was teaching.

Screen Shot 2022-02-20 at 7.20.57 PM.png

Click Here to learn more. I have not had personal experience using this program, but I have heard good things about it. It looks like an extremely practical, effective, efficient, and cost-effective program for K-2 decoding. Teachers enjoy using it. I have seen terrific results with student writing!

There are FREE assessments online.

There are many FREE videos you can view to learn more about it.

There are many excellent FREE webinars.

Screen Shot 2022-02-26 at 7.03.13 PM.png

Click Here to learn more. This is a very popular program. I have heard that it moves at a slow pace, it doesn't come with decodable readers, and it must be used faithfully as intended. But teachers have good things to say about the results they get from using this program.

Screen Shot 2021-11-09 at 1.18.04 PM.png

Click Here to learn about this 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. I have heard it is a little dull, but not necessarily for the children!


CLICK HERE for francophone resources

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 7.57.31 AM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2021-02-16 at 6.39.08 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-08-27 at 10.38.08 AM.png

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.”

  • 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.

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 5.36.57 PM.png

The ABCs and All Their Tricks

This simple little reference book will answer any question about phonics, spelling, syllables, the history of English spelling, and more.

Be sure to read p. 1-26 and Appendix C for SUCCINCT explanations of the most important aspects of systematic & explicit phonics instruction. A MUST HAVE. It will sit on your desk forever.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 6.58.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 7.00.34 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 7.03.22 PM.png

Acadience® Reading is the new name of the DIBELS Next® literacy assessment. It is the same DIBELS assessment authored by researchers Dr. Roland Good and Dr. Ruth Kaminski.

Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 12.44.28 PM.png

It doesn't get easier than this.

FREE assessments!

Screen Shot 2021-04-25 at 1.35.58 PM.png

Decoding Assessment

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

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 5.45.31 PM.png

Sample Scope & Sequence of Spelling Patterns 

CLICK HERE for "The Purple Page" (an example of a scope & sequence)

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

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 9.31.47 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2022-02-26 at 7.10.55 PM.png

Lexia Learning is a popular digital-focused structured literacy program. I have heard good things about this program as a SUPPLEMENT to a good structured literacy program, but for students who struggle with reading and are not getting good support at school, they HATE IT (I have heard this first-hand several times). It is NOT a substitute or an answer to give to struggling readers. They need INTERVENTION with a KIND AND PATIENT experienced/qualified structured literacy teacher.

If using LEXIA in your school, the principal and superintendent in your board can easily monitor how much the teacher is logging on to support the students, and follow up with teachers to make sure that they are teaching the spelling patterns that the students are practising on Lexia. LEXIA is a practice tool, not a teaching tool. Teachers must teach the spelling patterns first.


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. However, just like LEXIA (above), Nessy is not an intervention. It is a great supplement. For students who struggle, they need INTERVENTION WITH A KIND AND EXPERIENCED STRUCTURED LITERACY TEACHER.

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 8.44.54 AM.png

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. Includes lots of playful ideas to learn about the alphabet

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.

Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 1.48.28 PM.png

These "Explode the Code" workbooks are terrific.


I love their scope and sequence. The activities are the same each time, so it creates 'safe' activity 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.

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.15.08 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 7.04.53 AM.png

Click Here for some very engaging resources. Fun online slide bundles, including morphology (Latin prefixes, roots, suffixes, Greek combining forms). Cute posters for reading strategies.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 7.07.31 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 7.06.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 10.33.44

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

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 10.32.33

Fabulous activities. I use this all the time. If you want to use the activities that I have already created (all free with your WordWall subscription), just type in "" or ( in the search bar.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 4.53.09 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 4.59.35 PM.png

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. 

Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 1.09.24 PM.png

The Reading Partnership

-parent/family literacy program

This is the best example of a parent involvement program that invites, includes, and values the contributions that parents and the community make to children's learning.

Check out the videos about this program from East Scarborough (outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

This is the best example of parent involvement I have seen. They have created beautiful resources (with books that are written by students), an organized and succinct website, and several meaningful projects - all led by founder Camesha Cox, MEd.