Do your students use Word Warm-ups Live to improve their phonics skills? If so, you may have noticed some changes in the program’s appearance and functionality. Here are the exciting updates we’ve recently made to Word Warm-ups Live, our phonics intervention accessible to any student with a Read Live license. 

NEW Decode & Read Along Step 

We’ve added a whole new step to Word Warm-ups Live Levels 1 and 2 as part of the Word List Exercises. This step, known as the Decode & Read Along step, provides an additional level of support for students who need help sounding out the words in the word lists. When the student starts the Decode & Read Along step, the narrator will say each sound or syllable in each word and then say the whole word as she reads down the columns. The audio for each word is accompanied by a “flashcard” that highlights each sound or syllable as the narrator says it. Once the narrator has read down each column, she will read the whole word as she reads across the rows. By default, this step is turned on, but the step is optional, and teachers can turn this step on or off depending on their students’ needs. Teachers can also adjust the number of times a student does the Decode and Read Along Step. The required number of read alongs is set to zero by default, so this number should be increased in Change Exercise Options if a student needs to read along with the narrator. 

Students who don’t need every word in the word list decoded for them can have this step turned off and still click on individual words to hear them decoded.   

Easier Story Versions 

We updated the Story exercise in each Word Warm-ups Live section to include a second, easier version of the story. Some students are ready for the challenge of the original Word Warm-ups Live stories, and other students would benefit from easier, pared down versions of these stories. The addition of the easier story versions allows teachers to differentiate based on students' individual needs.

The easier version of each story contains no more than 90 words, and its sentences are shorter and simpler than those in the more challenging version. The questions that follow the easier stories are also simplified. The more challenging story version has 130-210 words. Its sentences are longer and more complex than those in the easier version. 

Students who are already working in Word Warm-ups Live will still see the original stories. New students assigned to Word Warm-ups Live will also be assigned the original stories by default. 

To change the story version a student sees, open the Teacher Menu and choose an option from the story version dropdown. 

Changes in Appearance 

  • New audio controls on the Introduction and Look, Listen & Respond pages allow students to interrupt lessons that play during these activities. For example, the lessons that play on entering the page can be stopped, allowing a teacher to interact with the student or change the student's exercise options. 

  • The lessons must still be heard in their entirety for the student to continue. After a student stops a lesson, using the play control will play the complete lesson from the start. 

  • Small changes to the appearance of Word Warm-ups Live's exercises have also been made on the Select an Exercise page. Disabled exercises no longer include a lock icon, and numbers are no longer present on open exercises. 

Please let us know what you think of these updates to Word Warm-ups Live. We ‘ll continue to listen to your feedback and work to improve our programs.