Collaborative Circle Blog

Preparing for SIPPS: Instructional Considerations

Reflect on Practice

Take a moment to reflect on your own practice with regard to teaching the SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) program and consider your own learning goals.

Think about your SIPPS instruction:

  • What worked well?
  • What would you like to do differently to increase your effectiveness?

Prepare for Instruction

Reconnect with your SIPPS program materials before starting instruction.

Introduction of your SIPPS Teacher’s Manual:

  1. Read the summary of the SIPPSlevel you are teaching.
  2. Review the Distinctive Features: Content, Instruction, Materials.
  3. Review the Daily Lesson Components: Rational and Descriptions.

Appendices of your SIPPS Teacher’s Manual:

  1. Read Appendix A: Routines.
  2. Read Appendix B: Fluency Practice.

Explore the Learning Portal

Get familiar with navigating the Learning Portal to support your instruction.

  1. Explore the SIPPS program materials located in the Resources Tab, which provides access to the digital resources for our programs including the digital Teacher’s Manuals. (If you used the Learning Hub, this should be familiar to you!)
  2. Explore the SIPPS remote learning guidance and program materials, located in the Remote Learning Guidance chicklet (Professional Learning/Implementation tab), which provides access to resources that support teaching our programs remotely.

Engage with the Teacher Learning System (TLS)

The TLS (Professional Learning/Implementation tab) provides just-in-time, ongoing professional learning opportunities directly to teachers of SIPPS.

  1. Explore the SIPPS TLS offerings.
  2. Consider your learning goals.
  3. Make a plan for engaging in the various learning opportunities.
  4. When preparing for a new school year, we recommend the following learning opportunities: “Prepare to Administer the SIPPS Placement Assessment” and “Instructional Routines in the SIPPS

A notification will alert you when a new learning opportunity posts in the TLS.

Considerations Across Levels

The following is guidance across the SIPPS levels to support your preparation for instruction.

Beginning Level

Continuous Blending for Phonological Awareness and Decodable Words. In continuous blending, words are “sounded out” with no stopping or pausing between sounds. For example, in sounding out the word am, hold the sound /a/ for 2 seconds because it is continuous, and then say the sound /m/ without any break between the two sounds.

To learn more, see Lesson 1A on page 7 of the Beginning Level Teacher’s Manual and read the blog, “What is continuous blending, and why is it important?

Beginning Level Story Poster. The purpose of the Beginning Level story poster is to allow you to guide the students in choral reading, which provides necessary practice.

For more information, see Appendix A: Routines on pages 490–494 of the Beginning Level Teacher’s Manual and read the blog, “SIPPS Beginning Level Reading: The Story Poster.” 

Extension Level

Extension Level Review Lessons. The 15 review lessons are a valuable beginning-of-year resource to help solidify short vowels and consonant digraphs. 

Plus Level

For Older Students! Plus Level is strategically designed to support our older students in grades 4-12 who require intervention at the decoding level. The structure of Plus Level was designed to respectfully consider the older reader through the scope and sequence (accelerative combination of Beginning and Extension) and the materials, including Dreams on Wheels.

Challenge Level

Basic Concepts Lessons. Lessons 1–4 in the Challenge Level develop or strengthen the basic concepts students need to apply syllabication strategies. Consider your pacing of these lessons at the beginning of the school year and tab the lessons to easily locate them if you need to reteach later in the school year.

To learn more, read the blog “SIPPS Tip #12: Basic Concepts to Support Challenge Level Instruction.”

Reading a Story

Beginning, Extension, and Plus. Reading the texts associated with Beginning, Extension, and Plus provides the opportunity for students to apply their foundational skills and for teachers to verify their instruction.

To learn more, read the blog “SIPPS Verification of Instruction: Are My Students Learning?

Being a Reader and SIPPS

In Collaborative Literacy, Tier 1 foundational skills instruction is provided during Being a Reader Small-group Reading Sets 1–5 and grade 2 Word Study. Tier 2 foundational skills intervention instruction is provided through SIPPS.

To learn more about the connectivity across tiers, read the document, “RTI/MTSS Guidance for Reading Instruction in Collaborative Literacy” (Professional Learning/Implementation tab).

SIPPS with Intensive Multisensory Instruction for SIPPS

Intensive Multisensory Instruction for SIPPS is an additional component of the SIPPS program that includes expanded routines for phonological awareness, phonics, and sight words, and guided spelling. The handbook suggests enhancements to the standard SIPPS routines that can be used with students with dyslexia or other significant challenges in learning to read. In the handbook, teachers will find ideas to strengthen the connections among the students’ visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile learning modes.

To learn more about this component, read the blog, “Introducing Intensive Multisensory Instruction for SIPPS.