The start of the 2022-2023 school year is here! 

One wonderful thing about being an educator is the gift of fresh beginnings that a new school year brings! If only we could bottle the special mix of emotions that accompanies the back-to-school season–excitement, anticipation, optimism, clarity!  

And at the same time, we know that feelings of excitement and clarity can quickly shift to a sense of urgency, as the important work of giving each student just what they need comes into focus.

Getting equipped to start the essential work of strategic instruction requires putting lots of different pieces together!

In this 6-part blog series, we’ll offer you a path into phonics instruction that is explicit, systematic, and cumulative, using our Explicit Phonics Lesson Template. This lesson format is designed to make teaching students to read easier.


The Phonics Lesson Planning Template includes:

  • A three-day format that can be modified to be shorter (1-2 days) or longer (4-5 days) based on the needs of your students.

  • Evidence-based and multi-sensory routines to make learning more brain-friendly. Support for phonics instruction that is explicit, cumulative, and mastery-focused.
    (See Chapter 3 of Shifting the Balance for more on all that!)

  • A daily phonemic awareness warm-up.

  • Daily practice with blending, writing, and reading.  

  • Guidance for harnessing the power of the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing.

  • Explicit instruction of new phonics skills.

  • Review of previously taught skills.

Best of all, this template can be utilized with any phonics concept or sequence.  And it is designed with both whole-group and small-group instruction in mind.

Next week, we will start a step-by-step walkthrough of the Explicit Phonics Lesson Template, providing insights to help you grow your skills and confidence in using this tool to make teaching reading easier for your students! 

So go ahead and grab a copy, and we’ll meet you back here next week!