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Hi educators! In this post, I’ll be sharing five tried and true tips for implementing Heggerty in your classroom. As a first-grade teacher, I have witnessed the incredible impact of Heggerty’s phonemic awareness lessons in my own classroom, and they have become an integral part of our daily routine. Strong phonemic awareness is one of the most significant predictors of reading success, and Heggerty has proven to be a powerful tool for addressing phonemic awareness gaps.

5 Tips for Implementing the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum

Teacher-Friendly Tips for Implementing the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum

It’s no secret many popular reading programs lack explicit phonemic awareness practice and leave students without this necessary foundational skill. However, by adding Heggerty’s phonemic awareness lessons into your routine, you can address those shortcomings and ensure that your students develop strong phonemic awareness. 

As we all know, instruction is only effective if students are actively engaged. Young minds have a natural tendency to wander off task, making capturing their attention challenging once they’ve gone off course. But no need to stress! These five tips that I’m about to share will help you energize your Heggerty phonemic awareness lessons, turning your classroom into a vibrant hub of interactive learning. Let’s unlock the secrets to fostering meaningful engagement and cultivating a love for literacy in our young learners.

📥 Download Free Lesson Plans: Our new foundational skills curriculum brings together explicit phonics instruction with Heggerty phonemic awareness lessons for a comprehensive approach to early literacy instruction that’s easy to implement (and easy to love!)

💡 Tip 1: Practice and Prepare

A well-informed teacher is an invaluable classroom resource. The effectiveness of any program relies on the teacher’s expertise in delivering the lessons. To help set your class up for a successful Heggerty experience, familiarize yourself with the lessons and hand motions before attempting them with your students. Head over to the MyHeggerty portal, to access sample lessons that provide valuable insights. To better understand how to model the hand motions for each skill, explore Heggerty’s YouTube channel. Remember, the more confident and at ease you are with the material, the greater the impact your lessons will have!

💻 Experience a comprehensive phonemic awareness lesson firsthand by checking out our YouTube channel! On the Heggerty YouTube page, you’ll find a range of daily lesson videos featuring each level of our phonemic awareness curriculum, starting from Early Pre-K all the way to our Primary manual.

💡 Tip 2: Set the Stage

Before beginning your first day of Heggerty instruction, take some time to set the stage for a successful lesson. Explicitly teach your students the procedures and expectations for Heggerty lessons. In my classroom, I like having students practice coming to the carpet, sitting in their own personal space, and making their bodies comfortable before we start. I also set my expectations for participation. I love using the acronym STAR for carpet expectations. You can download my STAR poster freebie here!

  • S- Sit up and listen
  • T- track the speaker
  • A- actively participate
  • R- respect those around you

After we practice and discuss these procedures and expectations, the students are ready to participate in their first Heggerty lesson!

Want a look into my classroom? Watch the video below to observe me implementing the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum. This lesson is from the Primary 2022 manual, week 21, day 2.

💡 Tip 3: Energize and Engage

Have you ever sat through a long meeting where the presenter read bullet points off of a PowerPoint in a monotone voice? I know that I have, and I was absolutely bored to tears and found it very hard to engage with the material. Sometimes with explicit curriculums, we might find ourselves drifting into that same monotone, robot-like tone of voice.

As teachers, we need to be mindful of our tone of voice and excitement level to keep our students actively engaged in lessons! I’ve found that using a sing-song voice when leading a Heggerty lesson really helps the students stay interested. There is actually a fair amount of research to support the use of melodic intonation with young children. We see this type of speech pattern in popular kids’ shows (think Bluey, Ms. Rachel, Blippi, etc.), and it can do wonders for student engagement. Simple things like making an excited facial expression or adding a bit of flair to the way you speak to your class can go a long way!

💻 Heggerty Skill Tutorial Videos: Watch a full phonemic awareness lesson and follow along with our literacy specialist as they provide a model for pacing, articulation, and model Heggerty hand motions!

💡 Tip 4: Incentivize and Reinforce

Something extra that I use during Heggerty lessons to incentivize my students is designating a “Heggerty Hero” at the end of each lesson! The “Heggerty Hero” is a student actively participating and engaging in the lesson. This student gets a “heggerty Hero” certificate to take home, and they get to wear a superhero cape the next day during Heggerty time! Providing this incentive not only boosts student engagement but also adds an extra layer of fun to each lesson. The kids absolutely love getting to take home a little certificate, and they work very hard for the chance to be that day’s Heggerty Hero.

🦸‍♀️ FREE DOWNLOAD: Spark joy in your students as they become Heggerty heroes! Download your FREE Heggerty Hero coloring certificate for a fun and rewarding way to acknowledge their engagement!

💡 Tip 5: Assess and Adapt

We all know that assessment and differentiation are huge parts of effective instruction. Make sure that you are scanning the room during your Heggerty lessons so that you can take note of which students are struggling. If a handful of students are struggling consistently, I like to pull them during small group time and repeat a lesson from a previous week or teach a lesson from Heggerty’s Bridge the Gap curriculum. That extra small group time really helps the kids grow their phonemic awareness!

📥 Free phonemic awareness assessments: The Heggerty phonemic awareness assessments allow teachers to gain information about a student’s progress with phoneme isolation, blending, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes. 

Elevate Phonemic Awareness with Heggerty

Heggerty is a great addition to any ELA routine, providing students with valuable phonemic awareness practice. I have loved using Heggerty to warm up my students before our daily phonics lessons. It gets their brains thinking and their bodies ready to learn! I hope these tips help you with implementing Heggerty time in your classrooms!  

📚 Ready to dive into more learning? Take a peek at some of our popular resources:

⭐️ FREE DOWNLOAD- ABC Chart in English or Spanish: This downloadable alphabet chart PDF displays unique illustrations for each letter and sound, including the multiple sounds letters can make.

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