Frequently Asked Questions

Curriculum

Does the curriculum include an assessment?

Assessments are not included in the curriculum manuals.  We have assessments available in both English and Spanish on our website under Downloads.  We offer BOY, MOY and EOY assessments for Kindergarten and 1st grade, as well as BOY and EOY PreK assessments.  Please note that these are not norm-referenced assessments.  They are created by the company to align with our curriculum.  These assessments should also not be given to all students in your classroom, but rather to those students who are on track to receiving more targeted instruction or support in a Tier 2 or 3 setting.  

A Screener assessment is also available for students in 2nd grade and above to determine if Phonemic Awareness should be part of an intervention.  Strand assessments for Phoneme Manipulation (Adding, Deleting and Substituting) are also available.

Additional assessments that align with our intervention curriculum Bridge the Gap are available in the curriculum manual.

Can the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness lessons replace Phonics instruction?

No. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes. In a Heggerty Phonemic Awareness lesson, students isolate sounds, blend sounds, segment a word into sounds and manipulate sounds in words. The lessons are oral and auditory.

Phonics instruction matches the phonemes or sounds to print, so it is both auditory and visual, as students read and write words and map sounds to print.

In phonemic awareness, students are being taught to hear and manipulate the sounds of language. In phonics, students are being taught which letters are associated with the sounds of the language. Both skills are crucial to reading mastery and are foundational reading skills.  Both phonemic awareness and phonics should be part of classroom reading instruction. 

Does a digital version of the curriculum come with the purchase of the print curriculum?

No, the digital version of the curriculum is an additional subscription purchase.

Does the curriculum include the letter cards used for the Letter Names & Sounds activity?

No, but they can be purchased separately on our website in both English and Spanish, or you can download a free set of printable English ABC flashcards here.  You can also use any pack of cards for this activity. 

You want the cards to be large enough for the whole class to be able to see at the same time.  It is important to read the Alphabet Knowledge section of the curriculum weekly to see if you should be practicing the cards in alphabetical order, out of alphabetical order, as well as when to introduce multiple sounds for letters, blends, digraphs, trigraphs and vowel combinations.  It is also important that you expose students to all the letters of the alphabet during this activity, so that students can master all of the letter names and sounds. 

We also recommend that cards be created for letters who appearance varies with different fonts (ɑ, a, g, g). When you show each letter card, the students respond chorally, as a whole group, saying “The letter is __, the sound is __.” All possible sounds should be included for each given letter, when appropriate.

In Spanish, we also use the syllable flip chart to support learners in reading and recognizing syllables with automaticity.  Letter cards and the syllable flip chart can be purchased on our website.

Is the program intended for use with Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 students?

The phonemic awareness program written by Dr. Michael Heggerty is a Tier 1 core program for phonemic awareness for PreK, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. However, it can also be used to provide Tier 2 add Tier 3 support through small group or individual instruction for students in grades K-8.  The Primary curriculum or our intervention curriculum, Bridge the Gap, can be used to provide intervention for students in 2nd grade and above.

When providing Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention, you would not re-teach a full lesson.  Instead, you would target specific  phonemic awareness skills. Intervention lessons can use the curriculum that matches the student’s grade level (i.e. lessons from the Kindergarten curriculum can be used to provide Kindergarten intervention), and teachers would not use the previous level of the curriculum. We recommend providing 5-7 minutes of phonemic awareness instruction on targeted/specific phonemic awareness skills. You would then bridge into phonics instruction to help students see the reciprocal relationship between phonemic awareness and phonics.

You may use assessments your school or district already has available; such as DIBELS, Acadience or PAST. We also offer PA assessments under the Downloads section of our website to monitor student progress with the PA skills.

Is word study a part of the program?

Word study and phonics would be a separate piece of the literacy block, but we do want to see a transfer from phonemic awareness to phonics.

Is the curriculum aligned to State Standards?

Yes. The Primary Curriculum (yellow book) is aligned with the first grade Phonological Awareness Standards of the Common Core Standards, as well as LAFS and TEKS. Click here for a summary of the first grade alignment and an alignment guide for your state can be requested by emailing pd@heggerty.org.  

The Kindergarten Curriculum (blue book) is aligned with the Kindergarten Phonological Awareness Standards of the Common Core Standards, as well as LAFS and TEKS. Click here for a summary of the kindergarten alignment and an alignment guide for your state can be requested by emailing pd@heggerty.org

An alignment to the Spanish CCSS standards for Kindergarten and 1st grade is also available.  

Are the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curricula cost effective?

Each classroom teacher needs a copy of the curriculum manual for their grade level. The lessons are oral and auditory, so there are no student materials needed to teach the lessons. The curriculum manual can be purchased once and then used each school year.

Learn More

What separates Heggerty Phonemic Awareness from other literacy curricula?

Our lessons are designed to provide daily instruction in 8 phonological and phonemic awareness skills. We have created an explicit and systematic approach in which students are practicing blending, segmenting, isolating and manipulating words, syllables, onset-rime and/or phonemes each day. Most literacy curriculum currently available places minimal focus on phonemic awareness, only practicing 1-2 skills each day.

“The two best predictors of early reading success are alphabet recognition and phonemic awareness.” (Adams, 1990) With our curriculum, students receive daily practice in both alphabet recognition and 8 phonological awareness skills. This explicit instruction scaffolds support for students to work with early, basic and advanced phonemic awareness skills. Phonemic awareness instruction, along with phonics, provides students with the foundational skills they need to become automatic decoders of print.

Implementation

If my students did not finish the curriculum during the previous school year, where should I begin?

We recommend that teachers use the curriculum that matches the grade level.  Even if a student did not complete all 35-weeks of lessons the previous year, the teacher can begin instruction at Week 1 of their grade level when the new school year begins.

What is the cost of professional development?

The price varies depending on the topic, the length of the presentation and the number of participants. Please complete the Consulting Inquiry Form and we will contact you to discuss your needs.

Is training necessary to successfully implement the curriculum?

It is not necessary, but the professional development offerings provide support for successful implementation of the lessons. The curricula were all written to be very user friendly, and our YouTube channel includes hand motion videos and lesson demonstration videos.  We offer an online PD option with our On Demand PD option for individual teachers or small groups, and our PD Team can be contacted about scheduling a PD for groups of teachers at pd@heggerty.org.

What Professional Development is offered?

We currently offer several professional development options and they can be found on the Training page on our website, and PD is an additional cost to a curriculum purchase.  Our most popular PD is the live webinar that is provided by one of our literacy specialists on a date and time that you choose.  A PD can be scheduled by contacting our literacy specialists at pd@heggerty.org.

Is there any help available for what the hand motions should look like?

YES! In this helpful Hand Motion Video Playlist, Alisa Van Hekken explains and demonstrates how the hand motions are intended to be used with the daily phonemic awareness lessons. You may also find a Hand Motions Guide PDF on our Downloads page under the Resources section.

How should a 2nd grade classroom implement the curriculum (yellow book or green book)?

There is not a separate manual for 2nd grade, and most states do not have Phonological Awareness Standards for 2nd grade. We recommend that teachers begin the 2nd grade school year around weeks 12-15, and use the curriculum with the whole class for the first 20-23 weeks of school. After completing lesson 35, the teacher can then use the curriculum as a Tier 2 intervention with students who still need the additional support.

In the Spanish curriculum we suggest beginning between weeks 7-9.  At this point in the curriculum, students will be working not only with syllables, but at the phoneme level as well.  Just like in English, most states do not have standards for 2nd grade, so we want to close any gaps as quickly as possible.  As you are teaching through the curriculum, you may have students who need additional support.  You can then use the first few weeks to support those students at strictly the syllable level.

If you teach 2nd grade and your students have never had explicit and systematic phonemic awareness instruction before, refer to the 2nd Grade Guide for how to best implement the curriculum with your students.

Where should I start the lessons if implementing during a school year?

If you are implementing the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum after the start of the school year, including after the first quarter or trimester of instruction has been completed, we recommend the sequence of lessons included in these guides:

Late Start Implementation Guide (English)

Late Start Implementation Guide (Spanish)

How does the curriculum fit into your reading instruction?

We suggest that phonemic awareness is 10-12 minutes (no more than 15 minutes) of your literacy instruction within the school day. It can be used to complement any reading series or phonics curriculum. In each Heggerty PA lesson students work with phoneme isolation with initial, final, and medial sounds, blending, segmenting, adding, deleting, and substituting phonemes, along with 2 Early Literacy Skills: Alphabet Knowledge and Language Awareness.   7-8 phonological and phonemic awareness skills are taught in every lesson, everyday.

The lessons are engaging and fast-paced, and provide students with the phonemic awareness skills they need to succeed as readers.  Phonemic awareness is a great way to warm up our brains to prepare us for phonics instruction, therefore if possible, we suggest doing phonemic awareness before your phonics lessons.

What materials are needed to teach the lessons?

Each classroom teacher needs a copy of the curriculum manual for their grade level. The lessons are oral and auditory, so there are no student materials needed to teach the lessons. The curriculum manual can be purchased once and then used each school year.

Learn More

General

Do you have an email address to submit orders with a PO?

Purchase orders may be sent to orders@heggerty.org

I purchased one book thinking our team could share it. I don’t want to break copyright law by copying it… is it permissible to copy lessons to share with a grade-level team?

All of our curriculum is fully copryright protected, and therefore copying any part of the books is a violation of federal copyright laws.

How do I get a copy of your W9 so I can place an order?

Click here to download our W9.

Can I pick up my books at the Heggerty office if I’m in the area?

No. All orders are shipped directly from our printer and we do not stock the books here in our office.

Can books be shipped outside of the US?

We currently are working with two sellers within AUSTRALIA. For more information you may contact:

Mila@qassp.org.au
Queensland Association of State School Principals (QASSP)
Fortitude Valley, QLD

Or:

seeyousoon@seelect.com.au
Seelect Educational Supplies
Glenelg, SA

For all other countries, please email us at hello@heggerty.org and include the following information: Name, School District or Organization, exact shipping address, is shipping address residential or commercial (UPS charges a premium for delivery to residential addresses so we encourage delivery to a school/office address), and exact items and quantities you are interested in ordering. Once we have that information we will reply with the exact shipping cost. If you then wish to order, you can call with the credit card payment information.

How are orders shipped?

All orders shipped within the US and Canada are shipped via UPS ground service, and originate from the Chicago area. UPS estimates delivery time to be between 1-5 business days for continental US orders, depending on the distance from Chicago. UPS does not guarantee delivery time for ground service, however. Due to COVID-19 and an increase in order volume, it’s currently taking us 5-6 business days to process orders for shipment.

Is sales tax added to book purchases?

We are only required to charge sales tax for orders shipped within Illinois. Sales tax is not added to Illinois orders if we have your organization’s Illinois Sates Tax Exemption certificate on file. For online orders, we will notify you by email if we require a copy of the tax-exempt certificate, and we cannot process your order until the certificate is received. The IL tax-exempt number alone is not sufficient—we must have a copy of the certificate. Customers providing a tax-exempt certificate assume all responsibility for proper and correct usage of their organization’s tax exempt status. Organizations outside of Illinois that are not tax exempt are responsible for paying any sales tax directly to their state.

What are your shipping rates?

In the 48 Continental United States, shipping is charged at a flat 8% of the order total, with a minimum shipping charge of $8. If your order subtotal includes $8,000 or more of physical goods, freight shipping rates will apply at a rate of 2.5% of the order total.

For orders to Alaska, Hawaii, and International orders, please email hello@heggerty.org to obtain a quote for shipping. Please include which version(s) of the curriculum you are interested in ordering, the quantity, and the exact shipping address. Please note that for international orders, we can only ship to commercial addresses (your school or district).