Experts in the Science of Reading advocate explicit, systematic instruction in phonics in order to help striving and struggling readers master the necessary skills to achieve literacy. Word Warm-ups Live is a robust phonics program that is based on the Science of Reading and uses research-based best practices. This program delivers systematic phonics instruction that's easy for teachers to administer and enjoyable for students to use. Word Warm-ups Live develops accuracy and automaticity in decoding using a modified version of the highly motivating Read Naturally Strategy. Students work on short audio-supported phonics exercises for as little as 10 minutes a day as reading warm-ups, or up to 30 minutes a day as an intervention.

We are excited to announce that we recently added a third level of content to Word Warm-ups Live. This new content makes Word Warm-ups Live an excellent tool to support phonics instruction for students up to fifth grade. 

What’s included with Word Warm-ups Live?

Each Word Warm-ups Live exercise provides explicit, sequential instruction followed by supported practice. The exercises and Phontastic game also provide phonemic awareness activities to strengthen decoding skills.

Word Warm-ups Live Level 1 provides practice in beginning letter sounds and detailed lessons on decoding one-syllable words across 69 exercises in nine sections. Each section has six to nine exercises and focuses on decoding and encoding skills for different phonics elements: letter sounds; short vowels; long vowels with silent e; long vowel teams; digraphs; blends; vowels with the consonant r; soft sounds of c and g, and silent consonants; and other vowel sounds.

Word Warm-ups Level 2 teaches higher level decoding skills using two-syllable words across 68 exercises in eight sections. Each section includes several exercises and focuses on phonics decoding and encoding skills for different word types: compound words, words with suffixes, two-syllable words, and words with prefixes.

The newly added Word Warm-ups Live Level 3 teaches multi-syllabic words across 55 exercises in seven sections. Each section includes several exercises and focuses on decoding and encoding skills for multi-syllabic words, including words with prefixes and suffixes, words with open and closed syllables, words with the schwa sound, and more.

Learn more about what’s included with Word Warm-ups Live and check out the full scope and sequence to see all skills taught in each level of Word Warm-ups Live. Before starting the program, you'll use the Word Warm-ups Live Phonics Assessment to determine where students should begin working.

How does Word Warm-ups Live work?

Each section begins with an introduction lesson for the skills taught in that section. Then the student chooses an exercise within the section.

The Look, Listen, and Respond step is first. The student clicks a picture to hear a lesson about a featured sound, syllable pattern, or affix. The student responds orally to the instruction by segmenting the featured word before reading it as a word. Then, the student clicks each of the five words to segment and reads each word with the narrator. In Level 3, students are then asked to complete flashcards in which they pronounce word parts and compare their attempts with the model pronunciation.

Next is the Word List step. The student reads the words in the exercise word list, down the columns and across the rows until complete. The student practices reading the word lists independently, learning to decode the pattern more easily and to read the words with automaticity. In Levels 2 and 3, students can click words to hear and see modeled decoding of the syllables in each word.

After the word list, there is the Spelling step. The student spells five words from the word list. The student listens to a word and sentence about the word and attempts to spell the word. Then, the student clicks Show Me to check the spelling.

While the student is waiting for the teacher to do the final pass activities, they play Phontastic, a phonemic awareness and phonics skills game. When the teacher arrives, the student does a final Pass Timing of the word list for the teacher and together they review the work completed during that exercise.

Learn more about how Word Warm-ups Live works and the research basis for the program.

Are there supporting resources to help with implementation?

Absolutely! There are several useful resources to help you implement Word Warm-ups Live with your students.

The online course for teachers is a great place to start. This free, self-paced training course provides everything you need to know to be successful with Word Warm-ups Live. Don’t forget to check out the other courses for Read Naturally Live and One Minute Reader Live while you’re there.

Our Word Warm-ups Live how-to videos are another great resource to support teachers using this phonics program. Determining a Phonics Intervention and Placing Students with Phonics Needs are both excellent videos to help you determine which students need the program and where they should start. There are also videos that describe the process for Working Through a Word List Exercise and Working Through a Story Exercise in Word Warm-ups Live.

You can also watch a recording of our Word Warm-ups Live Basics webinar, in which our Teacher Trainer, Claire Hayes, gives a thorough overview of the program.

Don’t forget about student training. Our five-part video series, A Student's Guide to Word Warm-ups Live, is the best option for teaching your students the steps of the program and what’s expected at each stage of the process. After watching a video, have each student log in to Word Warm-ups Live and complete the steps demonstrated in the video.

Finally, check out this blog post in which a Read Naturally teacher describes her students' incredible success using Word Warm-ups Live alongside Read Naturally Live.

Interested in trying Word Warm-ups Live with your students?

If you have a Read Live account, Word Warm-ups Live is already available to you. All you need to do is assign access for your students.

If you’re not currently a Read Live user, we offer free 60-day trials. Start your trial today for complete access to all four curriculum options included with Read Live: Read Naturally Live, Word Warm-ups Live, One Minute Reader Live, and Read Naturally Live—Español.

Student on Computer with Headphones