Graphic by Mike Wittmer

Now available from Linus Books: The complete explanation of the ideas on teaching reading summarized briefly on this site. Making Sight Words applies reading research to provide explicit directions on how to help children learn to read words effortless, without memorization. This is the book I wish I'd had when I first studied Reading Education. Click here for a synopsis of the book.


Overview of how children learn to read words
How to help children tune into the sounds in words
How to teach phoneme awareness 
How to teach blending
How to teach a letterbox lesson
How to assess decoding and phoneme awareness
How to teach spelling as wordmapping 
How to help with oral reading
How to develop reading fluency 
Using decodable text
How to count phonemes in spoken words
How to teach letter recognition
How to analyze miscues for missing correspondences
Pictures and information about the 2014 Auburn University Summer Reading Program

Read a sample Reading Genie decodable book online.

Access a collection of Geniebooks in PowerPoint files.
Find short-vowel decodable books written by teachers 

FROM THE CLASSROOM:  These lessons apply scientific knowledge of reading with creativity and flair.

          Partnerships--Lesson designs Spring 2014
          Invitations Expeditions--Lesson designs Fall 2013       
          Invitations Transformations--Lesson designs Summer 2013       
          Invitations Rendezvous--Lesson designs Spring 2013
          Invitations Epiphanies--Lesson designs Fall 2012
          Invitations Awakenings--Lesson designs Spring 2012      
          Invitations Doorways--Lesson designs Fall 2011
Invitations Invitations--Lesson designs Spring 2011
Adventures--Lesson designs Fall 2010
Caravans--Lesson designs Summer 2010
Realizations--Lesson designs Spring 2010
Journeys--Lesson designs Fall 2009
Solutions--Lesson designs Summer 2009
Projects--Lesson designs Spring 2009
Sightings--Lesson designs Fall 2008
Passages--Lesson designs Summer 2008
Voyages--Lesson designs Spring 2008
Encounters--Lesson designs Fall 2007
Navigations--Lesson designs Summer 2007
Odysseys--Lesson designs Spring 2007
Perspectives--Lesson designs Fall 2006
Catalysts--Lesson designs Summer 2006
Inventions--Lesson designs Spring 2006
Constructions--Lesson designs Fall 2005
Innovations--Lesson designs Summer 2005
Connections--Lesson designs Spring 2005
Explorations--Lesson designs Fall 2004
Beginnings--Lesson designs Summer 2004
Guidelines--Lesson designs Spring 2004
Inspirations--Lesson designs Fall 2003
Discoveries--Lesson designs Summer 2003
Openings--Lesson designs Spring 2003
Inroads--Lesson designs from Fall 2002
Elucidations--Lesson designs from Spring 2002
Challenges--Lesson designs Fall 2001
Illuminations--Lesson designs Summer 2001
Breakthroughs--Lesson designs Spring 2001
Insights--Lesson designs Fall 2000
MATERIALS:  These links take you to materials for reading teachers, especially those enrolled in CTRD 3710 at Auburn University.
Tongue ticklers for practicing phoneme awareness
4-, 5-, or 6-phoneme example words for your letterbox lesson 
Phoneme pictures for short vowels
Creative phoneme chants with posters 
Phoneme-letter pictures--phoneme pictures with embedded letters
More phon-let pictures: Professional illustrations for short vowels
Phoneme pictures: Consonants and other vowels
Images from Byrne and Fielding Barnsley study for teaching phoneme awareness
What are coverup critters and letterboxes?  
 Hand gestures for phonemes

TUTORING IDEAS:  These links take you to ideas for teaching students how to read, especially by tutoring.

  List of phonemes, spellings, and meaningful representations
  Glossary of key terms used in decoding instruction
  Bibliography of tongue twister books
  Ways to describe the mouth moves for phonemes
  Catalog of the most frequent spellings for each phoneme 
  My Test of Phoneme Identities. Find out if your child is ready to learn to read.
  Tips From Tutors--insights from successful tutors on effective teaching strategies
  Basic components of effective phoneme awareness lessons 
  I taught phoneme awareness:  Why didn't my students catch on? 
RESOURCES:  These links take you to other interesting information about reading on the web.
Information about commercial phoneme awareness programs
Information about the Plains Reading Council
Information about the Alabama Reading Initiative
Information about me
Kristina Sauerwein's article, "Do Rewards for Reading Really Work?"
Open Court Resources site

Click below for entertaining decodable text online.

Starfall Learn to Read

RESEARCH:  These links take you to state-of-the-art research about reading.

ADOPTING A READING SERIES?  First, read these analyses of the 2001 editions of five contemporary basal readers.  This is my "consumer reports" article on the leading reading series competing to teach elementary students how to read.

CRITICAL READING: Nothing But the Truth.  Everywhere we look, but especially on the web, we find emotionally charged language and opinion masquerading as fact, often written by people with little knowledge of their topics but with a strong desire to persuade.  We hope readers will learn to strip away emotional language, sort facts from opinions, examine the qualifications and motives of writers, and finally consider whether the evidence warrants believing a claim as "nothing but the truth."

Start here by reading excerpts from Avi's Nothing But the Truth.
Go here to learn how to translate emotionally loaded words into neutral language.
Go here to learn how to separate fact from opinion--and from false claims and untested claims.
Go here to learn how to weigh the motives and qualifications of a writer.
Go here to learn how to evaluate a claim and to recognize faulty arguments.