Important Red Word Steps

Estimated reading: 3 minutes

We want to remind you about some of the Red Word steps you’ll never want to leave out!

  • Phonemic Awareness: Incorporate a phonemic awareness warm-up before introducing your new Red Word. This will help your students identify what makes the word irregular. For example, let’s say you are teaching the Red Word “said.” Here are your steps: 
    • Today we will learn the Red Word “said.” How many sounds do you hear in “said”? (3) 
    • What sounds do you hear? (/s/ /ĕ/ /d/)
    • How would you expect to spell the first sound? (s) (T) writes “s” on the Red Word paper. 
    • How would you expect to spell the /ĕ/ sound? (e) (T) yes, but in this word, we spell it with “ai.” That is unexpected. We would expect to spell it with “e”, but it’s spelled “ai.” (T) writes “ai” on the Red Word paper. 
    • How would you expect to spell the /d/ sound? (d) (T) writes “d” on the Red Word paper. 
    • What is unexpected or irregular about this word? (ai) Yes, “ai” is what makes this word unexpected. 
    • Optional: Can you think of any other words that are spelled that way? Again. (T) could also teach this Red Word since it has the same irregular pattern. 
  • Etymology: With lexical words (words that hold meaning), another important step would be to explore why the word is spelled that way. Using as a resource is very beneficial. 
  • Chunking: Remember to chunk words that have more than 4 letters to help with visualization. 
  • Armtapping: Always armtap left to right using the dominant hand. 
    • Right-handed students start with their right hand on their left shoulder. 
    • Left-handed students start with their left hand on their right wrist. 
    • Students should have a slightly bent arm with the Red Word in their off hand so their eyes are looking at the letters while they verbalize. 
    • Steps go from gross motor to fine motor movement. 

Remember that we want to encourage orthographic mapping in the brain. Orthographic mapping will enable students to read a word with instant recognition. Understanding why a word is spelled a certain way can help with this. 

One more reminder…do you know the correct definition of a sight word? 

Sight Words: Sight words are words that an individual can read instantly and automatically without having to think about it. Sight words can be regular or irregular.