Phonics Boost is a set of 80 lessons for students in grades 4–12 who have more significant decoding weaknesses than students placed in Phonics Blitz™, and for students in grades 2–3 who have mild or moderate phonics difficulties. The lessons teach phonemic awareness, phonics concepts, word attack skills, and basic vocabulary and comprehension skills. Students’ accuracy, fluency, and comprehension improve when they acquire the skills taught and practiced in Phonics Boost. Students placed in Phonics Boost need a slower pace and more practice to improve accuracy and fluency than students who are placed in Phonics Blitz.
Phonics Boost lessons are most effective with small-group instruction. The maximum recommended group size for students in Phonics Boost is 6 for students in grades 4–12. For grades 2–3, the recommended maximum group size is 12 for students with moderate decoding difficulties, and 8 for students with mild difficulties.
The Grouping Matrix™ will identify the level of decoding difficulty for students, the recommended set of lessons from Phonics Suite™, and the maximum group size. See the Assessment section below for more information about the Grouping Matrix.
Each Phonics Boost lesson lasts approximately one hour. The specific time needed to teach each lesson varies based on the group size, the teacher’s experience with the lessons, and the amount of practice required for students to master the concepts.
A complete lesson does not need to be taught in one class period. If a lesson is not complete when the class period ends, the next class begins where the lesson stopped during the previous class period. This variable pacing for lessons provides you with the flexibility to move through lessons at a pace that meets the needs of your students.
If Phonics Boost classes are taught for 50–60 minutes, 5 days a week, all 80 lessons can be completed in approximately 20 weeks. It is possible to have Phonics Boost class periods as short as 30 minutes a day, or to hold classes as few as three days a week. With these adjustments, it will take longer than 20 weeks to complete the lessons.
Teachers need the following materials:
We now offer Phonics Boost Plus™ for students that have severe decoding difficulties and require additional practice to master skills in Phonics Boost. This supplement systematically reviews and reinforces concepts taught in Phonics Boost.
Students need the following materials:
The Phonics Boost scope and sequence is systematic and cumulative. Click here to view the Phonics Boost scope and sequence. All students start with Lesson 1 and complete all 80 lessons.
Each Phonics Boost lesson has four parts:
1. Oral Reading, with students charting accuracy and rate
2. Phonemic Awareness in Lessons 1–40
Comprehension in Lessons 41–80
3. Phonics Concepts, with manipulatives
4. Reading Words and Sentences, with immediate supportive feedback.
To view a sample Phonics Boost lesson, click here.
Phonics Boost lessons include the five essential components of reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
The major focus is on explicitly teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency. The phonemic awareness portions of the lessons focus on segmenting phonemes in words, identifying the vowel sound, and naming the vowel sound. The phonics portions of the lessons emphasize accurate reading and focus on teaching the specific relationships between sounds and letters. Students measure their fluency and accuracy at the beginning of each lesson, when they read aloud from a passage for one minute.
Basic vocabulary and comprehension are also taught in the lessons. Vocabulary words likely to be encountered in content area classes are introduced before the students read the passage at the beginning of each lesson. The students are exposed to many unfamiliar vocabulary words as they practice reading decodable sentences. Basic comprehension skills are taught and practiced in Lessons 41–80 during the passage reading.
Click here for complete information about how to assess students and use the free online Grouping Matrix™ to place students in the appropriate set of Phonics Suite lessons.
The three basic steps are:
1. Screen students using a one-minute oral reading fluency (ORF) measure.
2. Administer the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys to students who do not meet the ORF words correct per minute (WCPM) and accuracy benchmarks.
3. Enter the ORF and Diagnostic Decoding Survey scores into Really Great Reading’s free, online Grouping Matrix.
Click here to request a free set of the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys.
Click here to request a user name and password for the Grouping Matrix.
To measure a student’s progress while in Phonics Suite Instruction, use the Phonics Boost Skills Assessments.
Really Great Reading offers trainings on how to use Phonics Blitz and Phonics Boost. Click here for more information about workshops.