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The Evidence Base for SIPPS

Level 2 – Moderate Evidence

Level 3 – Promising Evidence

Level 4 – Demonstrates a Rationale


Evidence Base for the SIPPS Program

Recommended Instructional PracticesSIPPS Program FeaturesSources
Provide explicit instruction and connected, independent reading● Provide a great deal of time and opportunity for actual reading and discussion of text
● Ensure each student reads connected text every day to support reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension
● Give students reading choices
Beginning Level
● Reading a Story and Re-reading a Story Routines with Little Books
 
Extension Level
● Reading a Story and Re-reading a Story Routine with Story Book, Lessons 1–23
● Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) and Fluency Practice Routine with self-selected, easy-to-read trade books, Lessons 24–40
 
Plus
● Reading a Story and Re-reading a Story Routine with Dreams on Wheels
 
Challenge Level
● Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) and Fluency Practice Routine with self-selected trade books
IES Practice Guide(s):
Foundational Skills (2016)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)
Provide assessment and differentiation● Provide time for differentiated reading instruction for all students based on assessments of students’ current reading levels
● Adjust instruction or differentiate instruction based on assessments of student progress
Placement Assessments
● SIPPS K–3 Placement Assessment
● SIPPS 4–12 Placement Assessment
 
Ongoing Assessment
●   Mastery Tests (Beginning Level, Extension Level, and Plus)
●   Progress Monitoring (Challenge Level)
IES Practice Guides:
RtI (2009)
Adolescent Literacy (2008)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)
Reading Comprehension● Ensure students apply comprehension strategies
● Ensure students read connected text everyday to support comprehension
● In the Reading a Story Routine, students discuss comprehension questions after reading.
● During IDR/Fluency Practice Routine, students retell trade books they have read.
IES Practice Guide(s):
Foundational Skills (2016)
 
National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)
Establish Early Reading Foundational Skills
Recommended Instructional PracticesSIPPS Program FeaturesSources
Phonological Awareness● Develop awareness of segments of sounds in speech and how they link to letters
● Teach students to manipulate phonemes
Beginning Level, Extension Level, and Plus include phonological awareness routines: 
● Oral blending and segmenting of words and syllables
● Blending onsets and rimes
● Identifying beginning, middle, and ending sounds
● Oral blending and segmenting of phonemes
● Recognizing and producing rhyming words
● Segmentation of onsets and rimes
● Adding and substituting phonemes
IES Practice Guide(s):
Foundational Skills (2016)
RTI (2009)
 
National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)
 
National Early Literacy Panel:
Developing Early Literacy (2008)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)
Phonics and Decoding● Teach students to decode words, analyze word parts, recognize sound-spelling patterns, and write and recognize words
● Provide systematic phonics instruction
● Support detecting or manipulating small units of sounds in words and alphabetic knowledge
Beginning Level – Alphabetic Phase
● Single consonants
● Short vowels/CVC patterns
● Consonant digraphs
● Spelling-sound relationships
● Sight words
 
Extension Level – Spelling-pattern Phase
● Review lessons include single consonants, short vowels/CVC patterns, and consonant digraphs
● Consonant blends
● Long vowels/CVCE patterns
● Inflectional endings
● Complex vowels
● Two-syllable decoding
● Spelling-sound relationships
● High-frequency words
 
Plus
Specifically designed to provide intervention for students in grades 4–12 who need decoding support in the simple alphabetic and spelling-pattern phases and sight word instruction.
 
Challenge Level – Polysyllabic/Morphemic Phase
● Sight syllables
● Polysyllabic words
● Syllabic transformations
● Schwa
● Morphemic transformations
● Syllabication Strategies: open and closed syllables, VC/CV splits, V/CV and VC/V splits, V/V splits
● Spelling-sound relationships
IES Practice Guide(s):
Foundational Skills (2016)
RTI (2009)
 
National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)
Fluency and Accuracy● Students need to be able to read fluently and accurately
● Students should read connected text every day to support fluency
Beginning Level
● Students read quietly aloud at the end of each lesson initially for 5 minutes and increase to 15 minutes. Accuracy checks occur weekly.
 
Extension Level
● Students read quietly aloud initially for 10 minutes and eventually read silently for 30 minutes. When a student becomes automatic they then begin to read silently. In Lessons 24–40, students read silently from “easy reader” trade books for 30 minutes. Accuracy checks occur weekly.
 
Plus
● Students read from the Plus reader initially for 5 minutes and increase to 20 and then 30 minutes. When a student becomes automatic, they then begin to read silently (IDR). Accuracy checks occur weekly.
 
Challenge Level
●   Students read from trade books for at least 30 minutes each day. Accuracy checks occur weekly.
IES Practice Guide(s):
Foundational Skills (2016)
RTI (2009)
 
National Reading Panel:
Teaching Children to Read (2000)
 
ILA Literacy Leadership Brief
Early Literacy Phonics Instruction (2019)

Connecting SIPPS to Hattie’s High Yield Practices

Guided by the work of Fisher, Frey, and Hattie (2016), the table below identifies the most prominent influences that occur in the SIPPS program and their corresponding effect sizes. To keep the table concise, effect sizes greater than .40 are listed with a brief explanation.

High Yield Practices Embedded in the SIPPS Program
ES + InfluenceExplanation
1.07 Response to Intervention● Tier 2 or 3 intervention for foundational skills
● Appropriate for students in grades K–12
● Assessment drives the instruction
.75 Feedback● Embedded corrective feedback routines are provided
.72 Teacher-Student Relationships● Consistent, clear instruction builds trust
.65 Prior Achievement● A Placement Assessment is used to determine entry point
● Mastery Tests allow teachers to track what students know compared to the content that has been taught
.59 Direct Instruction● Instructional routines provide consistent instruction
● New skills are explicitly introduced, modeled, and practiced
.57 Mastery Learning● Mastery Tests occur every 5–10 lessons
● Reteach options are included
.54 Student Centered Teaching● Opportunities to reteach are provided and guidance on when to reteach is based on student performance
● Student engagement and response to each routine determines the instructional next step (i.e. to insert a correction routine, to slow the pace, to increase practice, or to reteach)
.54 Phonics Instruction● The program is built upon a systematic scope and sequence
.52 Classroom Management● Instructional routines offer consistent structure
.49 Small Group Learning● A small-group setting is recommended; the smaller the group the more intense the instruction
.48 Questioning● As students progress along the phonics continuum, they are encouraged to ask questions about spelling-sounds in words that lead them to correct spelling
.45 Mnemonics● Mnemonic devices are used to introduce, practice, and encode spelling-sound correspondences
Reference: Fisher, D., Frey, N, & Hattie, J (2016). Visible learning for literacy, grades K–12: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Case Studies

Bonita Unified School District, California (2021–22)
Bonita Unified School District began a district-wide implementation of SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words)® in 2018. This research brief reports on data from the 2021–22 school year.

Sarasota County, Florida and Charlotte County, Florida (2019)
A grant-funded program in two Florida school districts showed huge gains in reading fluency and comprehension after implementing the SIPPS program. The program, YMCA Reads!, is an out-of-school, intensive reading program that targets at-risk and low-income kids in kindergarten through grade 3 that are referred to the program by their teachers. On average, students exit the program with 1.5 years of improvement. At the Englewood Elementary YMCA Reads! program, 98% of students showed an increase in i-Ready scores, and all grade levels gained an average of 1.5 academic years of growth. At Myakka River Elementary, 100% of kids in the program had increased reading scores. 

Sioux Falls School District, South Dakota (2018–19)
Students in the Sioux Falls School District received Tier 1 instruction from the Being a Reader program. Students in grade 1 that were identified as needing Tier 2 support received instruction in Being a Reader’s aligned intervention, the SIPPS program. The district piloted the SIPPS program in four schools. The pilot experimented with two different models: in the first model, two schools used a dedicated SIPPS teacher. In the second model, classroom teachers taught the program to students identified as below grade level by NWEA MAP.  While the district found that having a teacher dedicated to the instruction was the more successful model, results were overwhelmingly in support of SIPPS. The district reported that almost all grade 1 students that received instruction in Being a Reader and SIPPS made one to two years’ worth of growth.  

Pajaro Valley Unified School District, California (2017–2018)
In an effort to reduce the percentage of students that required Tier 3 instruction, leaders in Pajaro Valley Unified School District partnered with CORE (Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education) to improve the implementation of the SIPPS program. CORE worked hands-on with classroom teachers and instructional coaches at pilot schools to provide training within the context of SIPPS. Results indicated a 20 percent increase in achievement among first-grade students in the SIPPS program, as measured by Fountas & Pinnell scores (74% proficiency in coding and comprehension to 94% proficiency).