Resources that may Help us Put Research into Practice

Professional Organizations

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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.


This is one way I can 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 (my favourites)

  • 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 should be somewhat 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 we teach a new spelling pattern, it is critical to help them read words that contain this pattern in BOOKS. And when writing.

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 am really enjoying 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). It is a bit slow going sometimes, but the anticipation builds...

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, and I like using the first two levels.  I do not like their scope and sequence after the first two levels because they include too may patterns that I do not teach until much later. 

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

This is a terrific video 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.

Phonemic Awareness Assessment & Programs

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Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum

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

This is a fabulous 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 to download FREE and SIMPLE assessments.


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.

Sound Readers® Crazy Cards Card Games


These games have been a teacher and student favourite since 1998 as they help students link the sounds, spellings, and meanings of words through fun card games.

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*Note: I am the creator of these games. I stopped producing them for many years, but teachers kept asking for them, so they are  now back in print!

*CLICK HERE for The Purple Page scope & sequence

Word Lists & Morphology Word Lists 


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.

I often just search online for "words that contain ___ (e.g., "ai"), or "words that end in____ (e.g., "...lp"), and then click on the  "" link and click on "sort by length".



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.

CLICK HERE for a VERY EASY Teachers Pay Teachers group of cards for PREFIXES, Latin ROOTS, and SUFFIXES. ($7.99).

These are just like what Ron Yoshimoto uses - not sure if they are his, but if you can find his, that would be best.

Francophone Resources

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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.

The video includes instruction for teaching letter-sound correspondences, word-level decoding and encoding skills, handwriting, and reading/writing sentences.

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I know the owner of this company, Jenny Gray, and she has been working as long and hard at providing quality structured literacy resources as I have! lol 


Jenny will also be a great resource for similar francophone resources. Click on the pictures to link up.


Books about the Research



CLICK HERE to view this comprehensive resource. It is very expensive, but contains a comprehensive look at the research all in one place.  It covers every topic about learning to read (not just about problems with reading). It was published in 2019, and is a WEALTH of information.


CLICK HERE to view Sally Shaywitz's newly revised (March 2020) book, Overcoming Dyslexia. This book is an easy read, focusing on the neurological evidence behind the reading process, and what is happening for those who struggle.

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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.

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CLICK HERE to view The Reading League's  list of recommended books for more information about learning to read - most of which I have heard of or read. And most of which are considered (or will be considered) classics in the field of reading instruction.


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.

Other Resources


Nessy is a company from the UK, and they have a multitude of products and programs to choose from. I use their worksheets with my students (mostly for homework - sometimes within the lessons). They are really helpful. I subscribe to their Nessy Reading and Spelling Program, and pay a monthly fee. That way I can stop paying whenever I want. However, in about two years, I haven't stopped paying. LOL. I find the worksheets really useful as reinforcements.


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. 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.


Tel: 705-309-7745


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© 2021 by Martha Kovack