Signs for Sounds provides...
- Explicit phonics instruction paired with explicit spelling instruction.
- A system for teaching the spelling of irregular high-frequency words.
- Appropriate scaffolding that diminishes as the student becomes proficient.
- Best practices in spelling instruction, including immediate self-correction.
- Differentiation for individual students or small groups.
- An assessment to place students in the appropriate level and lessons.
- Build proficiency in spelling.
- Master correspondence between sounds and letters to spell decodable words.
- Internalize a system for learning to spell irregular high-frequency words.
- Apply spelling skills by writing dictated sentences.
- Review skills based on performance.
Signs for Sounds is a systematic spelling program that teaches students how to take words apart, sound-by-sound, and how to write them down on paper, letter-by-letter. Each lesson reviews or builds on skills taught in previous lessons, adding just a few elements at a time. The program emphasizes both regular and irregular high-frequency words. Teachers present instruction to individual students or small groups of students with similar needs.
Research basis for Signs for Sounds
In each lesson, the teacher teaches the featured phonics element, the sound-out words (words with a regular spelling pattern) that use the phonics element, and one or more spell-out words (high-frequency words with irregular spelling).
- Teach the Element
The teacher teaches the phonics element by saying the sound that the element makes, writing the corresponding letter(s) on the board, and presenting a few words from the sound-out word lists so students can practice the featured elements.
- Teach Sound-Out Word(s)
Students listen as the teacher dictates a sound-out word. On the lesson form, students circle the letter(s) that represent each sound or syllable in the dictated word and then write the word. Having defined letter choices increases students’ chances of success. The teacher immediately writes the word on the board so each student can check and correct his or her spelling of the word.
- Teach Spell-Out Word(s)
The teacher introduces each spell-out word by saying the word and saying each letter as he or she writes the letters on the board.
- Practice Spell-Out Word(s)
Students independently practice writing the spell-out word(s). For each spell-out word on the lesson form, they say and spell the word quietly as they trace the gray letters and write the missing letters. The student checks and corrects his or her spelling of the word.
Before continuing with the next phase, the teacher tests the students to make sure they’ve learned the new skills.
- Test Sound-Out Words
Students fold their lesson forms to hide the practice words. The teacher then dictates each sound-out word from the teaching phase as students write the word on their lesson forms.
- Test Spell-Out Words
The teacher dictates each spell-out word as students write the word on their lesson forms.
- Correct the Words
Students unfold their lesson forms to check and correct their tests. Students record their scores on their score sheets. If students score 80 percent correct or higher on the sound-out words, they are ready for the dictation phase. Otherwise, they repeat the teaching and testing phases with an alternate list. Using alternate word lists, students repeat lessons as often as needed to ensure mastery of target skills.
In the dictation phase, students write more spell-out words and sentences from dictation. The teacher focuses on words that are difficult for students based on the results of the testing phase.
- Review/Test Spell-Out Words
The teacher dictates each spell-out word in the dictation list as students write the word on their dictation forms. The teacher writes the word on the board so each student can check and correct his or her spelling of the word.
- Dictate Sentences
Students fold their dictation forms to hide their spell-out words. The teacher then dictates sentences as students write each sentence on their dictation forms. The teacher can choose the short or the long dictation sentences.
- Correct the Sentences
The teacher collects and corrects the sentences, and students record their scores on their score sheets.
Read Naturally's Signs for Sounds has two levels. Each level has multiple spelling lessons aligned to phonics skills.
- Signs for Sounds 1 teaches letter sounds, beginning phonics skills, and the first 50 high-frequency words.
- Signs for Sounds 2 reviews all skills taught in level 1, additional phonics skills, and the first 100 high-frequency words.
Read Naturally Signs for Sounds is sold by level. Teachers select the appropriate level(s) for their students. A free placement assessment is available online so teachers can select the level(s) that are appropriate for their students.
Each level includes a lesson guide, a book of reproducible masters, a teacher's manual, and free web resources.
Lesson guide includes:
- Review of the steps.
- Short explanation of what to teach and/or review in the teaching and testing phases.
- List of spell-out words to teach and/or review.
- Dictation sentences.
Book of reproducible masters includes:
- One student lesson form for each lesson.
- Two dictation forms.
- Student score sheets.
- Student assessment forms, directions, and record sheets.
- Scope and Sequence.
- Class planning sheet.
- Pronunciation Guide.
- Parent letter.
- Super Speller Award.
Teacher’s manual includes:
- Research and rationale of the program.
- Overview of the three phases of instruction – teaching, testing, and dictation.
- Explanation of student and teacher materials.
- Description of teacher responsibilities.
Free web resources include:
- Assessment packet with overview and instructions.
- Fidelity checklist.
Student Assessment (for Program Screening & Placement)
|Description ||Item Number ||Item Price, $ || Quantity |
|Signs for Sounds Level 1 ||SFS01 || $75.00 || |
|Signs for Sounds Level 2 ||SFS02 || $75.00 || |
Signs for Sounds Level 1
Teaches phonics elements typically taught to students working at a first-grade level. Content includes consonant review, short vowels, long vowel/silent e pattern, consonant blends and digraphs (sh, th), vowel sounds ay, oy, e (me), o (so), and y (my). Also includes the first 50 high-frequency words.
Signs for Sounds Level 2
Reviews first-grade phonics elements taught in Level 1 and then moves on to teach phonics elements and syllable patterns typically taught to students working at a second- or third-grade level. Content includes additional long-vowel digraphs (ea, ai, oa, etc.), qu, soft c and g, vowel diphthongs (oo, ow, ou, etc.), r-controlled vowels, silent consonants kn and wr, two-syllable word patterns, doubling the final consonant, dropping silent e, two-syllable words with open and closed syllables, changing y to i, prefix un-, and suffix -tion. Also includes the first 100 high-frequency words.
What Customers Say About Signs for Sounds
"Signs for Sounds is especially helpful in eliminating the 'first letter plus guess' method of trying to read. Your method forces the child to focus on each sound and slows down the spelling/reading process just enough to allow the child to make sense of the phonics system."
— L.L., San Bruno, CA
"After using your Signs for Sounds phonics program in the classroom, I am delighted with the results. The kids like it, and their spelling skills have improved tremendously!"
— R.S., Auberry, CA
Whitney Simpson Apr 27, 2016
Signs for Sounds has been very beneficial for my special education students. The structure and the flexibility built into the system allows me to work on specific skills depending on the needs of individual students. They are learning to apply the spelling rules, not just memorize the rules for a test on Friday .
Margaret Nov 4, 2014
I have been using Signs for Sound since last Spring (2014) when I purchased it to use with a specific kindergarten student who could not learn the alphabet - I work with the students who need extra assistance. Once I started the program I realized that it works extremely well with Cued Speech and would recommend all people using Signs for Sounds to also use the cues from Cued Speech - cuedspeech.org. This would be extremely important for students who have phonemic issues such as dyslexia.
Karen Apr 2, 2014
I love how the assessment for Signs for Sounds tells me exactly which lessons each child needs. A student can zone in on the specific skills he or she has missed somewhere along the educational path. Older students are often eager to improve their spelling skills because social media has made those skills valuable to today's kids. When I tell them I can help them become better spellers, they are intrigued. When they see their own progress, they are amazed!