Welcome, Wheeler the Whale!

We are excited to welcome Wheeler the Whale to our Mega Mouth 2 Decoder series in Level 2. The Mega Mouth Decoders teach English phonics, and Wheeler is our new character for the “wh” digraph. As always, we dug into the research to determine the best way to pronounce Wheeler’s phoneme.

 

While English speakers often pronounce “wh” the same as “w” (listen for your own pronunciation of which and witch), speech pathologists and reading specialists recommend associating the “wh” digraph with the /hw/ sound.

The /hw/ sound is unvoiced like /h/, but the lips are pursed to direct air forward in the shape of /w/.  You might have children explore their mouth position by pretending they are blowing out a candle. To emphasize the position of the mouth, have the children try to “blow out a candle” by making the /h/ sound or the /w/ sound alone. Neither sound is effective for directing air to the candle. Then have children combine the sounds to make /hw/.

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Transform the Summer Slide into the Summer Climb

Summer is right around the corner and we are so proud to have contributed to student achievement this school year. Did you know that Footsteps2Brilliance can also be part of your strategy to combat the "Summer Slide?" Whether you are organizing summer school, or creating take-home packets for your parents, or even planning a school-wide reading challenge, we have resources to help you make summer a time to climb. Here are a few strategies to help students soar this summer:

  1. Use the 4 weeks of intensive reading lessons in  Summer ClimbTM for your summer school
  2. Send home Reading Race progress charts and set a class, school, or district-wide reading challenge
  3. Announce a lofty reading goal and prepare to celebrate success

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Even More Support for Spanish Literacy Development

The English-Spanish toggle button has always been a highlight of the Footsteps2Brilliance experience. Parents and teachers often praise this unique feature that allows children to seamlessly toggle between identical learning in both languages. For these learners and anyone in a bilingual classroom, we are thrilled to announce even more support for Spanish literacy development.

Hundreds of Spanish Phonics Games in Footsteps2Brilliance

It's a Spanish Phonics Fiesta!

In the last few weeks, you may have noticed update buttons on games in the Footsteps2Brilliance School App. These updates are offering even more Spanish phonics practice, including:

  • Interactive syllable tiles that help children hear and manipulate Spanish syllables
  • Interactive phoneme tiles that help children hear and build words from Spanish sounds
  • New letter and digraph games that help children associate Spanish letters with sounds

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May Day Basket Fun

From our Teaching Tips, enjoy an engaging hands-on May Day activity with 2D and 3D shapes. As May Day is quickly approaching, learn more about the holiday by reading Holidays Around the World K-O (Level 2, Holidays Around the World eBook series, Footsteps2Brilliance School App).

Extend your fun by creating May Day baskets filled with spheres, cones, cylinders, circles, triangles, and more... And best of all, after completing your May Day basket you can deliver it to a friend in the traditional May Day fashion.

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Inkblot Art as an Early Literacy Extension

From our Teaching Tips, here's a brilliant hands-on exploration of symmetry, shapes and design to extend learning after you read Penny the Penguin or Penny la pingüino (Level 2, Alphabet Animals eBook series, Footsteps2Brilliance School app). We think you'll love how this activity gives hands-on experience creating symmetry and shapes. And best of all, it's easy to prepare, and you will have all of the materials right on hand!

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