Graphic by Mike Wittmer
The Reading Genie is moving! Please click over to the new site and add a bookmark:
This page will be disappearing in the near future.

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


                    GENIE BOOKS:  Help us find a publisher for our new decodable book series.

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.   
           bulletHorizons--Lesson designs Fall 2017 New
Cultivations--Lesson designs Summer 2017

Entries--Lesson designs Fall 2016 
Connections--Lesson designs Spring 2016

Travels--Lesson designs Fall 2015
Handoffs--Lesson designs Spring 2015
Edifications--Lesson designs Fall 2014

Metamorphoses--Lesson designs Summer 2014
Partnerships--Lesson designs Spring 2014
Expeditions--Lesson designs Fall 2013       
Transformations--Lesson designs Summer 2013       
Rendezvous--Lesson designs Spring 2013
Epiphanies--Lesson designs Fall 2012
Awakenings--Lesson designs Spring 2012      

Doorways--Lesson designs Fall 2011

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

:  These links take you to materials for reading teachers, especially those enrolled in CTRD 3000 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

Animations for letter formation new

Sound analogy wall cards for the early childhood classroom new

TEACHING IDEAS:  These links take you to ideas for teaching students how to read, especially by tutoring.
  List of phonemes, spellings, and sound analogies
  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 
 Tell Me About Fred's Fat Foot Again: How Tickler Tales Help Beginning Readers Detect Phonemes 
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.

  Click for "Gaining Alphabetic Insight," from the Journal of Educational Psychology

  Here is the National Reading Panel's synthesis of research on teaching children to read    

     Order page here.

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.

                How I evaluated the reading series
                Summary and ranking
                SRA Reading Mastery
                Houghton-Mifflin 2003 vs. Open Court 2002  

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.