SIPPS: Unique Process

Teachers work with students in small groups to build word recognition and spelling skills and to develop fluency. Here’s how the program works.

Four unique aspects of the program:

Systematic Instruction

Instruction is guided by a scope and sequence. Teachers use direct instruction and modeling to introduce critical content, to guide student practice, and to apply the lesson to reading and writing.

Mastery Learning

The program requires that students achieve 80 percent mastery before moving to the next lesson. In the first two levels, mastery tests are included in the lessons. More informal assessment is used in the Challenge Level. Each lesson includes extra content so teachers can review or reteach with fresh material.

Use of “Hybrid Text”

The beginning stories repeat sentence patterns and include lesson sight words. As students learn more phonics, the stories use a mix of decodable words and sight words.

Polysyllabic Strategies

The program provides both strategies for decoding longer words and help in applying those strategies to reading. It also provides extensive word lists as well as instruction on regular and irregular sight syllables and commonly used Latin prefixes, suffixes, and roots.

Six elements of the teaching process:

Placement on the Developmental Continuum

Teachers assess students’ knowledge to place them in the program and establish appropriate instructional groups. Instruction is developmentally appropriate for each group.

Consistent Daily Routines

In much of the instruction, teachers use routines consisting of verbal prompts and hand movements. Because these highly interactive routines are used throughout the program, they provide students with familiar structures in which to learn.

Choral Responding

Group choral practice and response keeps students engaged and enables teachers to evaluate progress.

Immediate Strategic Feedback

When students make mistakes, the teacher uses prompts to help them arrive at the correct response themselves. There is an emphasis on understanding rather than rote memorization.

Ongoing Assessments

Short tests for phonics and sight words are embedded in the lessons to help teachers determine lesson pace and delivery. The daily reading periods provide additional assessment opportunities.

Independent Daily Reading

Students develop fluency by reading 10–30 minutes a day, initially using controlled program readers, and ultimately reading trade books.