Progressive Phonics

What it is: Progressive Phonics is a fantastic, free all-in-one reading program that I learned about from @rmbyrne on his blog Free Tech for Teachers (honestly, some days I wonder why I bother with a resource sharing blog…he is amazing!)  This site is totally FREE, as in every single download is available for $0, all that is required is registration.  Progressive Phonics provides books that can be read on-screen or printed out.  Books include alphabet books, beginner phonics, intermediate phonics, advanced phonics, and handwriting.  In addition to phonics rules, Progressive Phonics teaches essential sight-words (phonics rule-breakers).  Each book includes a PDF version of the book, and accompanying activity sheets such as handwriting worksheets, a word search puzzle, flash cards, and a five-minute memory game.  If you have access to iPads or iPod’s for your classroom, these FREE phonics books can be downloaded and put into the iBook bookshelf for reading.

How to integrate Progressive Phonics into your curriculum: Phonics is one of those things that a reading program either excels at, or falls flat with.  Using the Treasures reading curriculum, I was always disappointed by the lack of real phonics work and often supplemented with sites like Starfall.  Progressive Phonics is another resource that would make a fantastic supplement.  If you use a standard reading curriculum, take a look at the Progressive Phonics books and align them with your current curriculum.  For example if your current curriculum has students practicing short vowel “a”, find the corresponding phonics rule in Progressive Phonics.  Because these books are free to download, they are excellent for printing out and sending home with students for extra reading practice.  The accompanying printable games, flashcards, and puzzles will keep your students practicing that skill in and out of the classroom.  Books can be printed out and assembled as a traditional book, read on the classroom or lab computers, or transferred onto a mobile device such as the iPad or iPod Touch.  This collection of phonics resources is a must see!

Tips: One thing I really appreciate about this site is that each book comes with a page count and an approximate time to print.  I remember spending hours printing Starfall books on an old school printer, wondering if I would ever finish.  The approximate printing time lets you know what you are in for before you hit print.  Each book is offered in two formats, one is a print friendly version that has been designed to use as little ink as possible.  So smart!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Progressive Phonics in your classroom!

Friday Recap

Happy Friday everyone! In case you missed it, here is what I was up to this week outside of iLearn Technology.  Have a perfectly wonderful weekend 🙂

  • Redefining Cheating– this post created a lot of discussion and controversy this week on my Dreams of Education Blog.
  • Why I Love Worksheets– this was a follow-up post I wrote to the Redefining Cheating post on Dreams of Education.
  • Flipboard– a review of how to use the Flipboard app in the classroom on my iPad Curriculum blog.
  • ARIS– a review of an Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling application…probably the best application I have seen for education to date!  Check out the review on my iPad Curriculum blog.
  • This week I created an Edublogger Alliance social network.  Join us if you are a blogging educator!
  • On Blogging– a blog post I wrote on the Edublogger Alliance social network about blogging.
  • Still no word on funding for my iPad project.  I would still appreciate your votes in the Kohls Cares $500,000 give away.  Click this link and vote for Cherry Hills Christian.

Thank you all for your comments, tweets, retweets, and support this week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!

What it is: This week (May 4-8) is teacher appreciation week.  To show their appreciation, Learning A-Z is holding an open house to their fantastic collection of learning resources.  This means that for one week you can access all online resources for free from Raz-Kids, Reading a-z, Science a-z, Writing a-z, Vocabulary a-z, and Reading Tutors.  Raz Kids is a student centered website where students can listen to and read books online independently.  Reading a-z is filled with thousands of printable and projectable resources including books, activity sheets, and assessments.  Science a-z includes multilevel books, activity sheets, process activities and more.  All are categorized by grade and topic.  Writing a-z is a collection of resources to help teach basic writing skills.  Vocabulary a-z is a website with a word bank of more than 8,000 words.  The words are categorized by content area, functional, and resource.  With this site teachers can build vocabulary lessons with activities for multiple exposures to words that leads to word mastery.   Reading Tutors provides online resource packets for those tutoring kids in reading.  It covers key reading areas from phonics to comprehension.

How to integrate Learning a-z into the classroom:    The collection of resources accessible in Learning a-z is incredible. Take advantage of this teacher appreciation week freebie and start using Learning a-z materials in your classroom.


Tips:  Sign up for a free pass during this open house week.  Enjoy!


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Learning a-z  in your classroom.

Grammar Games


What it is:  The British Council has created an A-Z website of 69 Grammar
to help students learn and practice English grammar rules.  I wouldn’t characterize many of the activities “games” but instead interactive practice.  The Grammar Game website provides students with a quality explanation of each grammar rule and then gives them an activity where they can practice applying those rules.  I think you will be hard pressed to find a grammar rule that was left off this site.  As I was browsing through the Grammar Games site, I found many rules that I don’t recall being taught but knowing them would have been (is) helpful!


How to integrate Grammar Games into the classroom:   Use the Grammar Game website as a place for your students to practice grammar rules they are learning in the classroom.  You could also assign each student in your class a different grammar rule.  Students can use Grammar Games to learn about the rule, practice the rule, and then teach the rule to other students.  This is a great place for students to explore and interact with.  Use a projector to introduce a new grammar rule to your students each day or at the beginning of each week.  Students can practice the grammar rule with the activity that accompanies that rule on the classroom computers throughout the week.  


Tips: Bookmark this page on your classroom and library computers so students can use it as reference during writing.


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Grammar Games  in your classroom.

Bite Size Reading

What it is: Bite Size Reading is part of BBC Schools. Bite Size Reading includes online deduction, dictionary, non-fiction, and poetry activities and quizzes.

How to integrate Bite Size Reading into your reading curriculum: Use the corresponding online lessons and worksheets during your reading time. Set up the Bite Size Reading site as a center that students visit as part of their reading lesson.

Tips: You can embed activities right on your website or blog with the code provided!