Intervention Programs

Word Warm-ups®

Reproducible Masters with Audio

4.9 of 5 (8 reviews | add review)

  • Phonics

Additional Support:
  • Fluency
  • Phonemic

Skill Level: Grades 1‒4
Intervention Range: Beginning Reader to Adult Learner

Build mastery and automaticity in phonics and decoding using the research-based Word Warm Ups intervention. This reading program features systematic phonics instruction that teaches students to decode and encode one-, two-, and three-syllable words easily. Audio-supported lessons for teaching phonics allow for individualization and enable students to work independently.

Word Warm Ups provides...

  • Differentiation for students who need additional phonics instruction.
  • Motivation through graphing progress.
  • Practice and systematic review to solidify learning.
  • Instruction in the most common phonics and syllable patterns.
  • An assessment to place students in the appropriate level and lesson.


  • Improve word recognition.
  • Learn to use word patterns to decode rapidly.
  • Read words with the featured patterns in connected text.
  • Decode increasingly difficult phonetically regular words.
  • Reinforce featured phonics skills by spelling phonetically regular words.

Word Warm-ups develops accuracy and automaticity in decoding through a modified version of the powerful Read Naturally Strategy of teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring. 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.

pointer Research basis for Word Warm-ups

Use Word Warm-ups exercises as reading warm-ups or a phonics intervention

Word Warm-ups Steps
  1. Look, Listen, and Respond
    The student looks at the exercise sheet while listening to the audio lesson on the CD and responding to the lesson instructions. This step helps the student learn the featured sounds, phonics patterns, or syllable patterns.
  2. Cold Timing
    The student reads the words in a new exercise for a one-minute cold timing, underlining any words he or she doesn’t know. The student subtracts the number of unknown words from the total number of words attempted to obtain a cold-timing score. This step establishes a baseline for progress monitoring, the component of the Read Naturally Strategy that motivates the student to improve.
  3. Graph Cold Score 
    The student graphs the cold score in blue. Marking the graph provides a visual of the baseline data.
  4. Read Along
    The student reads along quietly with a recording of the exercise, which models correct pronunciation. Depending on the level, the student reads sample words sound-by-sound or syllable-by-syllable with the audio and then blends the parts into whole words. This step is the teacher-modeling component of the Read Naturally Strategy, which helps the student learn new words and master others.
  5. Practice 
    The student practices reading the word lists independently until he or she can read all of the words correctly, down the columns and then across the rows, in one minute. As the student practices many words with the featured pattern, he or she learns to decode the pattern more easily and to read the words with automaticity. This step is the repeated-reading component of the Read Naturally Strategy, which helps the student apply the featured sounds, phonics patterns, or syllable patterns to master the words.
  6. Hot Timing
    The teacher listens to the student read the word lists for one minute. To pass, the student must read all of the words down the columns, then across the rows, with three or fewer errors. After the student passes, the teacher has the option of dictating five to ten words from the list for the student to write. The teacher provides additional instruction if needed.
  7. Graph Hot Score
    The student graphs the hot-timing score in red above the cold-timing score (in blue), to show how much he or she has improved.

Read Naturally Word Warm-ups has three levels. Each level focuses on specific phonics skills. 

  • Word Warm-ups 1 teaches phonetically regular one-syllable words in 77 audio-supported exercises.
  • Word Warm-ups 2 teaches phonetically regular two- and three-syllable words in 57 audio-supported exercises.
  • Word Warm-ups 3 teaches phonetically regular multisyllabic words, including prefixes and suffixes, in 65 audio-supported exercises.

pointer Word Warm-ups phonics elements by level

Read Naturally Word Warm-ups is sold by level. The teacher selects the appropriate level for each student.

​Each level includes a book of reproducible masters, audio CDs for up to six students, and teacher materials.


Multiple packets of student exercises include:
  • An introductory activity.
  • Several practice exercises.
  • A review exercise.
  • A nonfiction passage.
  • A challenge exercise focused on a phonic pattern.
Additional resource materials exercises include:
  • Letter to parents.
  • Student assessment.
  • Assessment scoring worksheets.
  • Class data sheets.
  • Pronunciation guide.
  • Mini-folder with graph.
  • Step poster.
  • Completion certificate.


Each CD includes:
  • Phonics lesson for each exercise.
  • Recordings of each word list or story.
  • Student directions.


Teacher’s Manual includes:
  • Research and rationale.
  • Teacher responsibilities.
  • Additional resources.
Additional Resources include:
  • Storage Box with six starter packets of each exercise.
  • Compact CD case.
  • Full-color 11-by-17-inch steps poster.


Use the following links to view a sample lesson or follow a step-by-step example of the program including the audio support.

Assessments (for Program Screening and Placement)

pointer Phonics elements by level

Description Item Number Item Price, $ Quantity
Word Warm-ups 1: One Syllable Words WWUP01 $169.00
Word Warm-ups 2: Two-Syllable Words WWUP02 $169.00
Word Warm-ups 3: Multisyllabic Words WWUP03 $169.00

Customer Reviews

Mar 4, 2024


I love Read Live and the added bonus of Word Warm Ups is helping meet all of struggling readers. My student love meeting their goal. I love that I can see their spelling errors/ misconceptions on the Word Warm-ups Spelling Graph report.


Feb 28, 2024


I have been using Word Warm-Ups for about 3 months with my 3rd and 5th Grade Intervention Students. I feel that it is beneficial to help reinforce and help concrete the graphemes of the different vowel patterns and consonant digraph phonemes. I also feel that it is very helpful for students who are struggling to decode multi-syllabic words.
I also find it helpful for my weaker spellers. I have been working closely with several who are weak in spelling and helping them by going over the ones they missed using during the spelling portion. I have been able to identify other problems and help correct those with individual students by working with them on Word Warm Ups. I feel it is a beneficial program and hope to continue to use it in our district.


May 28, 2021


I love Word Warm-Ups!! It is such a great program that breaks down where a student needs help as far as syllable type and allowing them to do a repeated reading with just that phonetic element piece that students need. The words in isolation are already done for you. Students challenge themselves to improve that accuracy and fluency in words only. The carry-over into a non-controlled text is such a great piece to add so they can further their practice in connected text.


May 22, 2017


I purchased this program to use with my small group intervention groups. I use it with 2nd and 3rd graders and they love it. Their accuracy has drastically improved as well as their confidence.


Mar 6, 2015


My Intervention students have been enjoying the Word Warm Ups. They encourage each other to increase their word fluency the next time they read their words. It is challenging but Word Warm Ups gives my students confidence. They look forward to move on to the next set of words.


Nov 4, 2014

I started using the second level of Word Warm-Ups as a spelling program for a private tutoring student. We completed both levels of Signs for Sounds and his family wanted additional spelling assistance. We use the program as intended and then at the end of each exercise (except the story) I give a spelling test of the words. The student needs far more than the usual number of exposures to a word before he learns the word and Word Warm-Ups helps in this regard.

May 2, 2014

We use the Word Warm-UPs in correlation with the CORE Phonics Survey. It is a very good, targeted intervention for the sub-skills. We use the Read Naturally leveled passages all the way through K-5. We use the passages for strategic, intensive as well as advanced students.

May 2, 2014

This is a great little program for practicing decoding through word patterns and syllable rules. When my students are waiting to consult with me, they move to this program and work for ten minutes. All the phonics and syllable lessons are on the CDs, and my students do repeated practice of the word lists until the words become automatic. Once I pass them, the kids love to graph their progress and prove to me that they can even spell the words!

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