Simple SoR Classroom Shifts

Change is constant in education but can often feel intimidating. One positive change impacting education is how we are teaching kids to read. You may be wondering where to begin as you align your teaching with the Science of Reading research. Keep reading for three simple SoR classroom shifts that will boost your confidence and bring big results for your students. Make sure to grab your free printables to help get started!

Check out these related posts:



Shift 1 – Research-Based Reading Strategies

The BEST and first shift to make is to teach your students reading strategies that align with the Science of Reading research. The three-cueing system (look at the picture, look at the first letter, skip the word, and figure out by context) is proven NOT to work and encourages students to guess at words. This leads to reading struggles and does not encourage fluent reading.

Instead, teach your students how to decode words. Start by teaching them to tap sounds and slide them together continuously. Word mapping and graphing are great ways to support decoding. Introduce more strategies to students as you progress in explicitly taught phonics skills. Check out the reading strategies below that ALL students need to become successful readers.

  • Point and say each sound
  • Slide the sounds together continuously
  • Does it sound right? Does it Make Sense?
  • Try a different sound (short vowel/long vowel)
  • Think about what you know (phonics rules and generalizations)
  • Break into syllables (6 types of syllables)
  • Separate word parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots, bases)

Check out Science of Reading Super Smiley Reading Strategies HERE at Simply Kinder + Printable Membership. This FREE resource includes strategy posters and bookmarks and is Science of Reading aligned.

We love to use the posters during whole-group and small-group instruction. The bookmarks make a great tool for students when reading independently.

Tip: Send a bookmark home with students to support parents and students as they read together at home.

Shift 2 -Use A Sound Wall

It’s time to replace the word wall with a sound wall. Gone are the days of teaching kids to memorize words and order them alphabetically. We want to teach students the sounds (phonemes) and spelling patterns of those sounds (graphemes) so they can confidently decode and encode words.

Your sound wall goes hand in hand with explicit phonics instruction. You will unlock sounds and spelling patterns as you progress through phonics skills. The sound wall should be reviewed and referenced daily as repetition is key. Use the sound wall during phonics instruction, writing, and reading groups.

Display your sound wall in a place that is easy for students to see and reference. We also suggest printing each child their personal sound wall as a tool for the classroom and home. Read more about setting up a sound wall HERE.

Simply Kinder’s Science of Reading Activity Bundle can be found HERE and includes many instructional resources that complement your sound wall. 

Shift 3 – Decodable Readers and Passages

Goodbye to leveled book bins; hello to decodable readers. No more stress about leveling books and organizing books into bins by level.

Decodable readers and passages will give your students the relevant practice they need when learning new phonics skills. Students will put their reading strategies to use while reading decodables. Decodable readers target specific phonics skills and build on previous phonics skills that students have learned.

Decodable readers allow you to incorporate word work to strengthen phonics skills. They allow you to focus on reading strategies as students are reading with you in a small group setting. Using decodable readers will build reading fluency and confidence in your young readers.

Decodable readers will become a vital part of your small reading group routine. But don’t stop there. Give students decodable readers to use during independent reading time and incorporate them into your classroom library. Send decodables home with students so they can show off their reading progress to families.

Simply Kinder has a great decodable selection. Check out the fiction bundle HERE and the nonfiction bundle HERE. Decodables include word work, printables, and comprehension sheets.

You won’t regret making these easy shifts in your classroom. When you know better; you do better! We’d love to hear what simple SoR classroom shifts you are making. Please tag us on Instagram here or share inside the Simply Kinder Teacher Facebook Group here.

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

With Unmatched Printables & Engaging Classroom Ideas, Simply Kinder is your TRUSTED TEAMMATE.


Get our emails loaded with free resources, teaching ideas, and so much more! 



You might also like...

HEre's your freebie!

Here's a coupon code for your next purchase!

CODE: 123456

You might also like: