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Word Warm-ups: Planning and setting up


Planning and setting up involves preparing a schedule, choosing a setting, and gathering materials.


Word Warm-ups is most effective when students work in the program for at least ten minutes daily. A student can stop anywhere in an exercise and continue the next day without difficulty. The program works well when used in the following ways:

  • As a reading station activity for all students
  • As an individualized activity for differentiated instruction
  • As an intervention for at-risk students
  • As a warm-up to Read Naturally Live, Read Naturally ME, or Read Naturally SE


Word Warm-ups 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.


Before implementing the Word Warm-ups program, you need to make sure you have the necessary materials.

Program Materials
Assessment Materials Assessment Materials
You use the assessment materials for each level to identify which students will benefit from Word Warm-ups, where to place students in the program, and how to build exercise packets for students.
Assessing and Placing Students in Word Warm-ups
Exercises Exercises
The program includes a package of pre-cut exercises for six students. To create additional student exercises, you photocopy the blackline masters of the exercises in the corresponding Student Exercises book.
Audio CDs Audio CDs
Word Warm-ups includes six copies of the CDs that provide audio support for the program. The audio CDs have a track for each exercise with instructions and a recording of each word list or story.
Storage Box Storage Box
The storage box for each level is a convenient place to store copies of the student exercises. Instead of making copies every time a student starts a new section, you can keep several copies of each section (collated and stapled into packets) and store them in the boxes behind the corresponding dividers.
Mini-Folders With Graphs Mini-Folders With Graphs
By using graphs to track their progress on the exercises, students can see how much they improve between the cold and hot timings, and how their scores improve over time. Students can store the exercises they are working on inside the mini-folders.
Poster Poster
An 11- by 17-inch poster included with Word Warm-ups helps students remember the steps of the program. A small version of the poster is also included on the back of each mini-folder.
Super Word Reader Award Super Word Reader Awards
Use these awards to keep parents/guardians involved in the learning process. After a student passes all of the exercises in a packet, staple a Super Word Reader Award to it as a cover sheet and send the packet home for the student to review with his or her parents/guardians.
Additional Materials
Audio CD Player Audio CD Players
Each student needs an audio CD player for the audio support in the first two steps of the program (Look, Listen, & Respond and Read Along). Ideally, each student should have his or her own CD player to use, but students could take turns using a shared pool of CD players if necessary.
Order CD players
Earphones or headphones are important for ensuring that students hear the recordings of the exercises clearly. They can also reduce the distraction of other students reading along with the audio.
Order headphones
Timer Timers
Students use timers during the Cold Timing and Practice steps, and teachers use timers during the Hot Timing step. Choose digital timers with an audio signal that sounds when the time is up. The timers should not show the seconds remaining, because this tends to distract students.
Order timers
Colored Pencil Colored Pencils/Crayons
Students use colored pencils or crayons to mark the cold and hot scores on their graphs. We generally recommend using blue for cold timing scores and red for hot timing scores.
Order graphing pencils
Optional Materials
Red/Green Pouch Red/Green Pouches
These pouches are red on one side and green on the other side. Students keep the green side up when they are working and do not need assistance. They turn the red side up to signal that they are ready for the teacher to listen to them during the Hot Timing step.
Order red/green pouches
Reading Guide Reading Guides
These are transparent pieces of plastic with a straight edge. Students can use reading guides to track words across a line of text.
Order reading guides

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