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Signs for Sounds: Planning and setting up

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When first planning and setting up the program, you will need to prepare a schedule, choose a setting, and gather and prepare materials.

PREPARING A SCHEDULE

The lessons can be paced to accommodate the classroom schedule and/or the needs of the students. More than one lesson can be completed per week. Lessons can be divided into more than one session if the schedule for instruction is in short time blocks or if students perform better in short sessions. Some teachers choose to coordinate the sequence of skills in Signs for Sounds with reading instruction elements, which may determine pacing.

Signs for Sounds 1

A teacher can present a complete Signs for Sounds 1 lesson, including all of the phases, in about 30 minutes.

Option 1: One Session Per Lesson One 30-minute session for the teaching, testing, and dictation phases
Option 2: Two Sessons Per Lesson
  • Session 1: 20 minutes for the teaching and testing phases
  • Session 2: 10–15 minutes for the dictation phase
Signs for Sounds 2

In a Signs for Sounds 2 lesson, the teacher first presents the teaching and testing phases with a practice list of words. Then the teaching and testing phases are repeated using a mastery list of words. The teacher presents the dictation phase after students pass the mastery list of words. A complete lesson takes about 50–55 minutes. Older or more capable students may be able to complete each lesson at a faster pace of about 30 minutes.

Option 1: Two Sessions Per Lesson (Typically Most Effective Pace)
  • Session 1: 20 minutes for the teaching and testing phases for a practice list
  • Session 2: 30 minutes for the teaching and testing phases for a mastery list and the dictation phase
Option 2: Three Sessons Per Lesson (For Shorter Sessions)
  • Session 1: 20 minutes for the teaching and testing phases for a practice list
  • Session 2: 20 minutes for the teaching and testing phases for a mastery list
  • Session 3: 10–15 minutes for the dictation phase
Adaptation for Older or More Capable Students One 30-minute session for the teaching phase for a practice list, testing phase for a mastery list, and dictation phase. (This option can also be divided into more than one session.)

CHOOSING A SETTING

Signs for Sounds can be used in a regular classroom, in a resource room or special education classroom, as part of an after-school or extended-day program, or in a one-to-one tutoring setting.

GATHERING AND PREPARING MATERIALS

To use Signs for Sounds, you will need the following program materials and additional materials.

Program Materials

The following program materials are included in each level of Signs for Sounds.

Signs for Sounds Teacher's Manual Teacher's Manual
Read the teacher's manual to understand how to effectively implement Signs for Sounds.
Signs for Sounds Lesson Guides Lesson Guides
Use the lesson guides to present the content for each lesson. Each Signs for Sounds level has its own lesson guide.
Assessment Forms Assessment Directions and Student Forms
Use the student assessments to evaluate students' ability to spell words with regular spelling patterns. The assessments help determine whether students can benefit from Signs for Sounds and place students in the program. Copies of the assessment directions and student forms are available in the Signs for Sounds assessment packet.
Lesson Forms Lesson Forms
Each student needs a lesson form to mark during the teaching and testing phases. Make extra copies in case students need to repeat a difficult lesson and for demonstrating how to mark the forms.
Dictation Form Dictation Forms
Students mark these forms during the dictation phase. Each level has versions of the form for set A (shorter sentences) and set B (longer sentences). You may decide to use set A for a number of lessons and then decide to switch to set B. If you make copies of both sets, you will be able to choose either set from day to day.
Score Sheet Score Sheets
Students use the score sheets to record their scores for the testing and dictation phases. These can be copied front and back on a single piece of paper or cardstock. Another option is to photocopy the score sheets on only one side and attach each page to the inside of a folder. You can keep all of the score sheets in a folder and pass them out when students are ready to record scores.
Parent Letter & Award Letter to Parents/Guardians and Super Fantastic Speller Award
Send home a parent letter when students start the program, and send home Super Fantastic Speller Awards as students make progress to help keep parents/guardians involved in the learning process.
Additional Materials

The following additional materials are also needed to implement the program.

  • Blackboard, whiteboard, or chart paper (for presenting the teaching phase and guiding students in checking and correcting their work)
  • Pencils for students
Contact

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