Sunday, September 15, 2013

SIPPS Program

General education teachers ask me a lot of questions about what kind of intervention programs I use in my classroom, specifically in the area of language arts. One program that I am particularly found of and use on a daily basis is Dr. John Shefelbine’s program, Systematic Instruction in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Sight Words (SIPPS). It is distributed and sold by The Developmental Studies Center here.

SIPPS is a program that targets both new and struggling readers and is used with students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The program offers a systemic approach to decoding that helps students gain reading fluency and comprehension. For younger students, the program provides structure and systemic lessons that beginning readers need. These structured and sequential lessons are particularly helpful for students with special needs. 

There are three levels to the  program - Beginning, Extension, and Challenge. I've used the Beginning level in my kindergarten SDC classroom for the last two years and just began using the Extension level with my 2nd/3rd grade SDC class this year. Even without prior use of this particular book, I was able to pick up the manual and start teaching the lessons on the first day. 
The thing I like most about the program is that each lesson is highly scripted. The teacher’s manual tells you exactly what the teacher should be saying and doing, as well as what the students’ response should be. This is great for when I have a substitute in my classroom. Even if they are unfamiliar with the SIPPS program, the sub could easily pick up the manual and teach the lesson with my students. This ensures that our daily routines are followed and that they continue with their expected lesson (this consistency is key in a special education classroom!)
I’ve been given the opportunity to attend a SIPPS refresher training this Monday, which I am very excited about. I will also be traveling to Sacramento later on this week for a SIPPS conference with Dr. John Shefelbine himself, which is amazing! I am a firm believer of this program and I’m excited to learn more. 
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