Collaborative Circle Blog

Preparing for SIPPS: Placement and Grouping 2019-2020

SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) is a systematic, differentiated, foundational-skills program that develops the word-recognition strategies and skills that enable students to become fluent and confident readers and writers. The goal of the program is to develop independent, fluent readers who read with accuracy and automaticity.

Provided in a small-group format, SIPPS allows us to determine the instructional needs of the students, and group those students by like needs for instruction.

Students New to SIPPS: Placement and Grouping

The Assessment and Placement Test (specific for grades K–3 and 4–12) quickly and efficiently assesses what your students know and guides you in placing them at the appropriate level and lesson in the SIPPS program.

Wait three to six weeks to administer the placement assessment. Many students need a few weeks back in school to reactivate learning, and testing them too soon may not provide you with accurate placement information. If you assess too soon, you may end up reteaching content that the student mastered the previous year but does not consistently demonstrate during the first weeks of school. 

Placement and Grouping: 

For grades K–3:

In your Beginning, Extension, or Challenge Teacher’s Manuals, go to Appendix C: SIPPS Assessment and Placement, K-3.

  1. Read the “Administering the SIPPSAssessment,” “Interpreting the Assessment Results,” and “Placement Considerations” sections.
  2. Scan the placement assessment.
  3. Read the assessment and note the “If the student…”suggestions after each section of the placement assessment.
  4. Group for instruction using the “Placement Considerations” section and the “If the student…” suggestions at the end of each section of the placement assessment.
For grades 4–12:

In your Plus Teacher’s Manual go to Appendix C: SIPPS Assessment and Placement, 4-12. In your Challenge Teacher’s Manual, go to Appendix D: SIPPS Assessment and Placement, 4-12.

  1. Read the “Preparation,” “Administering the SIPPSAssessment,” and “Interpreting the Assessment Results” sections.
  2. Scan the placement assessment.
  3. Read the assessment and note the “If the student…”suggestions after each section of the placement assessment.
  4. Group for instruction using the placement guidance in the “If the student…” suggestions at the end of each section of the placement assessment.
Students Continuing in SIPPS: Placement and Grouping

Students who are returning from summer break are not “starting over” with the SIPPS program. A few weeks of intentional review and practice will allow them to recover and reactivate prior knowledge. 

Do not re-administer the placement assessment to students who are continuing SIPPS instruction; the data from the previous year are enough to place them in the program.

If most of your students are continuing from the previous year, we recommend that you start instruction two to three weeks into this new school year.

To correctly place students who had SIPPS instruction during the previous school year and did not complete all the lessons in a level:

  1. Look up the last-passed mastery test (or, for Challenge Level, the progress assessment) of the previous school year to determine Level and lesson.
  2. Begin instruction five to ten lessons before the last lesson taught in the previous school year. This review will give the students time to remember the routines and prepare them for new content.

After you start instruction, you may notice students who struggle after the first mastery test. These students may not have had strong instruction or sufficient reading practice in the previous year. If you suspect that this is the case, you may wish to administer the placement assessment to confirm whether the students have mastered previously taught material.

In our next SIPPS blog, we will focus on instructional considerations for SIPPS.

Stay Connected!

We regularly publish blog posts that address specific questions or topics of interest to teachers implementing SIPPS. Review Being a Reader blogs here and here.

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Consider joining our Facebook Collaborative Classroom community group, here and following our SIPPS Facebook page.