Collaborative Circle Blog

Best Practices for Teaching SIPPS Remotely

Teachers are always prepared for the unexpected; we never know what a school day will hold for us. Yet, all our years of preparing, planning, and teaching did not prepare us for this!

So, here we are, grappling with how to teach SIPPS remotely during this unprecedented time. In this blog, we will share our best practices for teaching SIPPS remotely (live or recorded).

Before we delve into SIPPS, I encourage you to read the blog, Ready, Set, Go…Remote Learning- Focusing on What’s Important + Reasonable, as well as consider the ways you are helping your students to feel a sense of connectedness and community, which we believe to be most essential during this new phase of schooling.


SIPPS via a Live Virtual Platform

A live virtual platform is best for the review of previously learned instruction and new instruction.

Best Practices:

  • Use a “gallery view” so that you are able to see all your students at once as you would sitting at a small-group table.
  • Teach (reteach) your students how to engage in the SIPPS lesson in the new virtual setting. Students may not transfer the in-person procedures they know to the new environment. For example, you may need to reteach the visual cues that are essential for ensuring choral responses.
  • Adhere to the elements of an effective SIPPS routine as if you were sitting at a small-group table. As usual, focus on being clear, concise, and consistent. Tip: Avoid overtalking!
  • Consider how to provide corrective feedback in an authentic way. Tip: Know that you might not “catch” every student move or error as you would sitting at a small-group table.
  • Set-up 1:1 sessions with students, daily if possible. These sessions will give you an opportunity to connect with the student by listening to them read, conferring about their reading, and providing any support necessary. Tip: These 1:1 sessions are going to be your verification of instruction.
  • Set-up 1:1 sessions with students to administer Mastery Tests as necessary. Tip: These 1:1 sessions will provide you Mastery Test data, whereas the 1:1 sessions in which you listen to the students read and confer with them will provide comprehensive information about mastery and application.
  • Provide the Sight Word Dictionary and Spelling-Sound Wall Cards PDF to the students to support them across the day.

Read about two interventionists’ experience teaching SIPPS remotely.  Click here to learn from Valerie Michaels and click here to learn from Kelly Shortal.


Key to all SIPPS instruction is our responsiveness to the students and the instructional decisions we make within and between lessons.

  • Use the Instructional Self-checks
  • Use the Mastery Test Interpretation: “To Consider” and “Analysis of Errors”
  • Consider the information shared in this blog, Help!, My Students Are Struggling in SIPPS


SIPPS via a Recorded Virtual Platform

A recorded virtual platform can be used to review previously learned instruction, if necessary. We do not recommend using the recorded format for new learning.

Best Practices:

  • Provide students with guidance to review spelling-sounds and sight words. Tip: The sight word routine (read-spell-read) is perfect for sharing with a sibling or parent/caregiver.
  • Provide students with guidance on how to engage in rereading previously read text. Tip: Ask students to write about their reading.
  • Set-up 1:1 sessions with students, if possible. These sessions will give you an opportunity to connect with the student by listening to them read, conferring about their reading, and providing any support necessary. Tip: These 1:1 sessions will be your opportunity to ensure that students retain previously learned instruction.
  • Provide students with resources to support them across the day:
    • Beginning, Extension and Plus: Sight Word Dictionary and Spelling-Sound Wall Card PDF
    • Challenge: Vowel Generalizations PDF, Irregular Sight Syllables PDF, Spelling-Sound Chart PDF.

Learn more about how Sioux Falls (SD) School District is supporting remote learning. Sioux Falls created a public “Remote Learning” page of their website for parents/caregivers to access. The “Remote Learning” page is organized by school and each school is organized by grade. A weekly board is posted for each grade level to support parents/caregivers in engaging their children in learning for that week.

In addition to the weekly board learning activities, Sioux Falls School District created short videos for students receiving SIPPS instruction to review previously learned instruction. Go to the Teacher Resource webpage and click SIPPS to access the Sioux Falls School District video. Consider how you might intentionally select video for students to focus on sounds, word reading, and sight word review. Go to the SIPPS section of the Remote Learning webpage for more extensive guidance. (Video selection updated 4.23.2020)

Learn more about how Virginia Beach Public Schools is supporting remote learning for their PALS identified students who are receiving SIPPS as an intervention. Virginia Beach created parent letters to help parents/caregivers reinforce previously learned instruction and reinforce crucial concepts. Go to the Teacher Resource webpage and click Additional Resources to access the Virginia Beach Public Schools parent letters for grades 1, 2, and 3. Consider how you might intentionally create a resource to support parents/caregivers in reinforcing previous learning.


SIPPS Resources

All of the materials listed below are available to share and use with families. Feel free to share as needed (both print and digital delivery).

  • Via the Learning Hub or Learning Portal:
    • Sight Word Dictionary (Beginning, Extension, and Plus)
    • Story PDFs
      • Beginning Reproducible Stories
      • Extension StoryBook
      • Plus Dreams on Wheels
    • Beginning Trace and Write PDFs
    • Extension Trace and Write PDFs
    • Plus Trace and Write PDFs
    • Challenge Trace and Write PDFs
  • Via the Teacher Resource webpage:
    • Beginning, Extension and Plus Spelling-Sound Cards PDFs and Sight Word Cards PDFs grouped by Mastery Test
    • Challenge Spelling-Sound Cards PDF and Sight Syllable Cards PDFs
    • Intensive Multisensory Instruction for SIPPS Handbook
    • SIPPS Beginning Stories via Seesaw

Extending your SIPPS knowledge: You might be interested in catching up on our SIPPS blogs or watching the level-specific archived webinars in the Instructional Decision-Making in SIPPS and Intensive SIPPS webinar series.

Extending your virtual facilitation knowledge: Read the blog series, “What I Have Learned Facilitating Learning Online.” Part 1 focuses on the five best practices for facilitating live sessions. Part 2 focuses on building community and navigating a virtual platform. Part 3 focuses on the five best practices for recorded sessions.

Center for the Collaborative Classroom would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Valerie Michaels, Instructional Coach, Newark Central School District, NY; Abby Doss and Sara Hutchinson, Elementary Literacy TOSAs, Sioux Falls School District, SD; and Monica Bennett, Elementary Language Arts and PALS Instructional Specialist, Virginia Beach Public Schools, VA