SIPPS: Now What?

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What do I do now that my students have completed a given SIPPS level?

This is one of the most common questions we get at this time of the school year.

As you are wrapping up instruction in a SIPPS level, consider what next steps will best support the students’ continued progress toward fluent, independent reading and text comprehension. Remember that the intended goal of SIPPS instruction is to develop students who are accurate, automatic, and independent readers. Continued practice with skills students have not quite mastered and plenty of individualized reading practice will support your readers as they continue to grow.

To determine next steps, consider:

What do the mastery tests tell you about your readers?

  • Are there sounds and sight words that your students could use more practice with?

Where might the students have struggled?

  • What were the most challenging aspects of the lessons for your students? Students often struggle with the following skills: Beginning-blending and segmenting; Extension-phonological manipulation; Challenge-word study through morphemic transformations.

Where did individual students require extra support?

  • Might continued practice with a small group of similar readers give them an added boost?

What did you notice about reading behaviors as you listened to students read?

  • Do some students need coaching or modeling of fluent reading or checking comprehension?

Key consideration: As you support students with specific skills (for example, sight words, phonological awareness, and so on), keep in mind that all skill instruction should be applied to reading connected text, just as it is in all SIPPS lessons.

Ann Leon and Lindsey Ammons started the conversation about next steps with their recent blog post, “My First-graders Have Completed the Extension Level in SIPPS-Now What?

A few more suggestions for planning ongoing instruction for your students:

  • Engage students in independent reading of self-selected books for up to 30 minutes and use the time to confer with individual students. The combination of reading and conferring builds stamina and fluency and further develops students’ comprehension strategies.
  • Encourage students who need the support to reread the Beginning Little Books or the Extension Storybooks.
  • Provide small-group comprehension and vocabulary instruction using leveled text.
  • Reinforce sight-word learning using the card review routine.
  • Continue to provide word study using supplementary materials. Word sorting activities reinforce spelling patterns and solidify learning. Words Their Way (by Donald Bear et al.) is a helpful resource for word lists.
  • Develop comprehension, fluency, and engagement using AfterSchool KidzLit (also available from the Center for the Collaborative Classroom).

What might you add to the list?