Unit 4 of Pathway to Fluency is here, and it’s filled with effective and fun activities to teach reading! (I’ll admit, this blog post is coming a bit late, but that’s besides the point. Unit 4 continues the systematic approach of reading instruction. In Units 1 to 3, students learned letter identification and the sounds they typically make, CVC words, plural CVC words, simple double-consonants, silent e, blends and digraphs. Continuing on, Unit 4 teaches students about how to decode r-controlled vowels and gives a soft introduction to vowel teams. As your students begin to learn more and more phonics skills, the door opens for a broader range of literary materials, which makes reading more fun!
If you are unfamiliar with this reading program, I’ll break it down for you. Pathway to Fluency is a complete and comprehensive Science of Reading (SoR) Aligned Curriculum! Simply stated, it has everything you need for your whole-group, small-group and one-on-one reading instruction. Furthermore, Pathway to Fluency has been developed to teach everything from phonological awareness to fluency and spelling in a systematic way using methods that have been proven to be effective.
In the blog post for Pathway to Fluency Unit 1, I offered an explanation of what Science of Reading is and why it is vitally important when teaching children how to read. The Unit 1 blog post also includes an outline of the scope and sequence of the Pathway to Fluency Curriculum. To read the Unit 1 blog post, Click Here. To read about Unit 2, Click Here. For the Unit 3 blog post, Click Here.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN PATHWAY TO FLUENCY UNIT 4?
START HERE FILE
I have included the Start Here file to give you an introduction to Pathway to Fluency Unit 4. It also provides a brief overview of what the term science of reading means and how to implement best practices in your classroom using the Pathway to Fluency Curriculum. I encourage you to refer to this file as you teach through Unit 4 for helpful reminders.
FOLDER #1: LESSON PLANS AND ASSESSMENTS
Unit 4 includes 9 weeks of instruction with lesson plans for whole group lessons and small group center practice. These easy-to-follow lesson plans provide a structured approach to help you introduce, practice and apply the Pathway to Fluency materials and concepts in your classroom. More specifically, each lesson is broken down into 4 categories: Oral Phonological & Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, High Frequency Words, and Application & Independent Practice. The first three categories are done in a whole-group setting, while the Application & Independent Practice is done in small-group centers.
Each unit also includes a mid-assessment and post-assessment to help you gauge your students’ progress and to help drive instruction. The Unit 4 Assessments check for understanding in phonological and phonemic awareness, letter name and sound identification, and reading high frequency words (heart words). These assessments are quick and easy to administer one-on-one.
FOLDER #2: WHOLE GROUP RESOURCES
This folder has all of the cards and posters that you will need to support the whole-group instruction. More specifically, the files include sound wall cards, letter formation and letter sound posters, and high frequency word posters. These visual aids can be displayed on a classroom wall for easy reference as students are working on the centers.
SOUND WALL CARDS
The sound wall cards can be used to form the Vowel Valley and Consonant Sounds charts. There are a total of 44 sound (phoneme) cards to help introduce each phoneme. Each card shows proper mouth formation, an example of the sound within a word, whether the sound is unvoiced or voiced, and the possible spelling combinations (graphemes) that can create the sound. You can choose use the locks to cover the graphemes that have not been introduced.
WORD-BUILDING LETTER CARDS
These cards can be used to review letter sounds and build to sound-out and read words. They can also be used for word chaining during a whole-group lesson. Below is an example of how word chaining works. Switch out one letter at a time to form a new word.
HIGH FREQUENCY WORD POSTERS
These posters show the word, letter groupings, and hearts to represent irregularly pronounced letters within the word. In addition, the cues at the bottom should be said as you introduce the irregular letter groups.
These posters offer a simple visual aid as you introduce the new phonics skills. Each week has a unique poster that you can leave up on a wall for students to refer to as they are practicing the newly learned skills.
FOLDER #3: CENTER ACTIVITIES
Each week includes 4 centers for small group practice. These no-prep centers provide a hands-on way for students to take what they have learned in the whole-group instruction and practice those skills in a smaller group. This practice helps them become more fluent readers.
There are a total of four centers each week. You may want to consider dividing your class in one of two ways depending on your classroom size and schedule:
- Five groups- Four groups will each be at one of the four centers. The fifth group will be meeting for small group instruction at the Teacher Table. Each group would meet with the teacher once a week.
- Four groups- Each group will be at one of the four centers. The teacher will pull one group at a time for small group instruction at the Teacher Table. This option allows for each group to meet with the teacher daily, but requires slightly larger group sizes.
Each center includes a phonics and a high frequency word activity, with additional practice pages that correspond to the activities. Also, each center activity comes with multiple versions of each for repeated practice. For consistency, the activities are the same from week to week.
WEEKS 1-3 & 5-8: INTRODUCTION TO NEW PHONICS PATTERN & HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS
CENTER 1 PHONICS ACTIVITY: Map It and Graph It
Students say the word, map each sound in the word and graph the sounds in each box.
Each center has an independent practice page that students can take home to continue this skill.
CENTER 1 HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS ACTIVITY: ROLL, READ & TRACE!
Students roll a die, read a word and trace it.
CENTER 2 PHONICS ACTIVITY: READ AND COVER
Students read the word and cover the picture that matches the word.
As a follow-up activity, students can create a color code to read the words and color the pictures.
CENTER 2 HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS ACTIVITY: READ AND CLIP
Students will read, tap and map the high frequency word. Then they will clip the word along the edge.
For the independent practice page, students color the word by code.
CENTER 3 PHONICS ACTIVITY: READ IT, FIND IT, WRITE IT, WRITE IT
Students read the word, find the picture that matches the word and write the graphemes that make up each sound in the word.
The independent practice page follows a similar structure.
CENTER 3 HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS ACTIVITY: SPIN, MAP AND WRITE
Students spin the spinner, map the word and write it in the correct column.
CENTER 4 PHONICS ACTIVITY: WRITE IT WORD WHEELS
Students say each word around the wheel and write them in the boxes.
The independent practice page is similar in that students write each word around the word wheel.
CENTER 4 HIGH FREQUENCY WORDS ACTIVITY: SPIN AND COVER
Students spin the spinner and cover a word to match.
WEEKS 4 & 9: REVIEW
Weeks 4 and 9 in each unit will offer students the opportunity to review the skills they have learned. These weeks also offer you the opportunity to administer the mid- and post-assessments in order to guide your teaching.
CENTER 1: SPIN AND COVER RACE
Students take turns with a partner spinning the spinner and covering the word that matches.
CENTER 2: I SPY HIDDEN WORDS
Students say a word and find the hidden word in the picture.
CENTER 3: Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe
Students take turns reading and covering a word on the tic-tac-toe board.
CENTER 4: ROLL, SPELL AND COVER
Students roll a die, spell the word and cover the picture.
FOLDER #4: PATHWAY TO FLUENCY UNIT 4 TEACHER TABLE TOOLS
The teacher table is where you can differentiate your reading instruction based on your students’ individual needs. The “TTT” folder has all the resources that you will need for small-group instruction for the concepts introduced in Unit 4. These materials are organized by type, and then by week. Therefore, you can easily pull activities from previous weeks for review as needed. Use the Teacher Table Tools throughout the unit to offer scaffolding for struggling students, additional practice for on-track students and extension activities for students who are ready for more challenging work.
ORAL PHONOLOGICAL & PHONEMIC AWARENESS PRACTICE
To start, additional phonological and phonemic awareness activities are provided. These coincide with the whole-group lesson exercises. Use them as a warm-up at the beginning of small group instruction.
LETTER CHAINING ACTIVITY
Students can use the given letters to build a word, listen for the prompt for the letter change in the word, and read the new word.
WEEKLY WORD LISTS AND MAPPING CARDS
Each week includes a word list of all decodable words. Students can map and encode the words.
Blending Train Mat
Use this mat to have students break down each sound within a word and write it on the lines.
GRAPH, BLEND AND READ MATS
Next up, use these mats for more encoding practice and for reading phonics skills with a fun race at the bottom.
READ AND MATCH CARDS
In this activity, students read a word and draw a line to the picture that matches.
SAY IT, TAP IT, WRITE IT MATS
In this activity, students say the word, tap each sound and write the word.
PHONICS WORD STRIPS
Students can practice reading the phonics words to build fluency.
HIGH FREQUENCY WORD CARDS & SAY IT, MAP IT, GRAPH IT CARDS
Use these as a warm-up at the beginning of small group instruction and as a scaffold for struggling students.
APPLICATION STRIPS: PHRASES & SENTENCES
Use these in one of 3 ways:
1.Students find phonics words
2.Students find Heart Words
3.Students read full phrase or sentence.
FLUENCY RACERS (WEEKS 4 & 9 FOR MIXED REVIEW)
Use these to build fluency by saying the letter sounds or heart words quickly and with accuracy.
LISTEN & WRITE DICTATION SENTENCES:
Use for students who are ready to encode 3- to 5-word sentences.
READ AND SEEK PASSAGES
These are one of my favorite additions to Pathway to Fluency. They are decodable passages for students of all levels, and they include prompts for scaffolds, on-target and extension questions.
This is one of my favorite parts of this unit! Weeks 1-3 and 5-8 each have one 7-page book and one 8-page book (three pages printed front and back) to re-enforce the phonics skills and high frequency words learned for each. Weeks 4 and 9 have three 7- or 8-page books for review.
PATHWAY TO FLUENCY UNIT 4 MY HANDWRITING BOOK
This book offers students an opportunity to practice proper letter formation while also practicing phonics skills. You can choose to use these books at the Teacher Table to monitor mastery or as extra practice for students who have finished the center work. Each week includes 4 pages that progress to provide spiral review throughout the weeks.
Here is a link the entire Level 1 of Pathway to Fluency!
I hope that you find this resource helpful! If you’d like to read about Unit 1, Click Here.
To read about Unit 2, Click Here.
For the Unit 3 blog post, Click Here.