Archive for August, 2019

FREE Phonics Assessments

FREE RtI Phonics Assessments

FREE Phonics Assessments

My free vowel sounds

and consonant blends phonics assessments are comprehensive (not random samples, for example all 6 most common long e sounds-spellings are assessed as separate test items), nonsense syllables/words (to exclude sight word knowledge), and teachable (corresponds to most phonics programs, including Open Court and my own. The 52 vowel and 50 consonant blend test items correspond to most instructional sound-spelling cards). Includes both teacher and student test versions.

Plus, get the audio files (10:42 and 12:07), which include the admin instructions, and recording matrix. I developed this test with the input of dozens of fellow reading specialists years ago in a large Northern California district. We field-tested and revised over the years to ensure reliability. These are assessments that produce teachable data… not assessments that merely indicate “problem areas” for students. In 23 minutes, you will have all the needed data to screen for RtI placement and teach.

Why do I offer these quality assessments as freebies? I know they’ll help your students. Plus, I know you’ll check out my reading intervention program ūüôā


Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive assessment-based reading intervention curriculum, the Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books BUNDLE. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, tiered response to intervention programs, ESL, ELL, ELD, and special education students. Simple directions, YouTube training videos, and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program. Phonological awareness, phonics, syllabication, sight words, fluency (with 128 YouTube modeled readings), spelling, vocabulary and comprehension. The 54 accompanying guided reading phonics books each have comprehension questions, a focus sound-spelling pattern, controlled sight words, a 30-second word fluency, a running record, and cleverly illustrated cartoons by David Rickert to match each entertaining story. These resources provide the best reading intervention program at a price every teacher can afford.

Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books BUNDLE

The print copies of the Animal Fluency Articles include challenge words in the upper right corner for the teacher to pre-teach. Word counts are provided in the left margin for fluency timings. The YouTube videos of each article include a picture of the animal and a modeled reading, but do not include the challenge words or word counts.

Additionally, the Animal Fluency Articles are available as YouTube videos for individualized fluency instruction. Each article has been recorded at three different reading speeds (Level A at 95-115 words per minute; Level B at 115-135 words per minute; and Level C at 135-155 words per minute) to provide modeled readings at each of your students’ challenge levels. A total of 129 videos!

Get the Pets Fluency Assessment FREE Resource:

Grammar/Mechanics , , , , ,

Grammar in the Writing Context

Teachers know the power of connected learning. When one strand of rope is twisted with another (or several), the rope is less likely to break.

Now some things need to be taught in isolation, but when teachers take the time to show students the connections to other learning, students grasp the big picture and are more likely to retain the information. This finding has been integral to learning theory for years. Indeed, association and linking are powerful memory tools.

With this educational assumption, let’s take a look at one specific educational maxim:¬†Grammar must be taught in the writing context. ¬†

For most teachers, taught usually implies introduce. In other words, to have shared some new content, concept, or skill (or standard) that students had not yet learned. This presents problems for developing student writers, because teachers have been taught that grammar should only be taught in the writing context. This chiefly means that grammar has not be taught at all. The pipe dream of some is that targeted mini-lessons, say one on commas or pronoun antecedents, will be used in the editing stage of the writing process for those students who need them. It just does not get done on a regular basis and the students do not get enough practice to master these skills.

The mini-lesson only approach is akin to assigning your own child the task of building an outdoor play structure (think writing process assignment) in which you provide excellent directions, but hand over the toolbox without prior instruction.

The directions begin with the following: “Use only a ball peen hammer to nail and countersink all 16 penny galvanized.”

One the student has completed building the structure (the draft or revised draft), the teacher determines that the entire class needs a mini-lesson to address the obvious construction short-comings. How inefficient and frustrating.

Clearly, it makes so much more sense to teach every component of the directions before using or mis-using the tools. How you teach (connect to prior learning, identity, define terminology, provide examples, use mentor modeling, provide guided practice, independent practice with feedback, give formative assessment, and remediate with individualized practice) matters. Obviously, each of these steps would be critically important in teaching this direction.

If you would agree that this instructional approach would also make sense with grammar instruction, let me attempt to convince you of one other key instructional point.

Students who did not demonstrate mastery in their first or revised attempts (think first or revised writing drafts) must be re-taught. Yes, mini-lessons in this context would make sense. But, in terms of writing feedback…

Wouldn’t it make sense to use the same language of instruction in both¬†teaching¬†and writing feedback?¬†That would be powerful, memorable instruction: truly¬†teaching grammar in the writing context.

Grammar in the Writing Context

Writing Context

You can do this with the author’s¬†e-Comments¬†Chrome Extension.¬†This app includes hundreds of canned writing comments with the same language of instruction as the author’s¬†Teaching Grammar and Mechanics¬†and the companion program,¬†TEACHING ESSAYS BUNDLE.¬†Use the same terminology and definitions in your teaching and annotations in Google docs (and slides) comments. Now, that’s a seamless connection to teach and practice grammar and mechanics in the writing context!

Save time grading and provide better writing feedback!

The e-Comments program includes four insertable comment banks (Grades 3‒6, Grades 6‒9, Grades 9‒12, and College/Workplace) feature writing format and citations, essay and story structure, essay and story content analysis, sentence formation and writing style, word choice, grammar, and mechanics.

When you open a student’s doc or slide, the e-Comments menu pops-up in the right margin. Simply highlight a writing issue in the student’s text and click on a comment button. The comment automatically appears in the margin next to the student’s text.


  • Would all my students need this program?¬†No, just the teacher. The e-Comments program syncs to multiple devices and saves to the cloud.
  • Can I¬†edit¬†these e-comments?¬†Yes, they are customizable.
  • Can I add, format, and save my own¬†custom¬†writing comments to the e-Comment menu?¬†Yes.
  • Can I record¬†audio¬†comments?¬†Yes.
  • Can I record¬†video¬†comments?¬†Yes, just make sure your hair isn‚Äôt out of place.
  • Can I use speech to text?¬†Yes, save time typing personalized comment additions.

I’m not tech proficient. Is e-Comments easy to use?¬†Yes.¬†The one-page Quick Start User Guide and video tutorial will get you grading or editing in just minutes. No time-consuming and complicated multiple clicks, dropdown menus, or comment codes.¬†This program is intuitive and user-friendly.

Check out the author’s Teaching Grammar and Mechanics¬†and¬†TEACHING ESSAYS BUNDLE¬†programs, and purchase or add the free trial of the¬†e-Comments¬†Chrome Extension.

Teaching Grammar and Mechanics Programs

Teaching Grammar and Mechanics

Pennington Publishing's TEACHING ESSAYS BUNDLE


Grammar/Mechanics , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Syllable Blending and Worksheets

Consonant Sounds Phonics Assessment

Vowel Sounds Phonics Assessment

Nonsense Word Phonics Assessments

Schwa Reading and Spelling Practice

Preview Grade 8

Preview Grade 7

Preview Grade 6

Grade 4 Canadian PreviewDifferentiated Spelling Instruction the Canadian Version Grade 4


Preview of TEACHING ESSAYS BUNDLEPreview Grade 5

Preview of Eight Writing Process Essays

Preview of Essay Skills Worksheets

Word Part Monsters

How to Teach Essays Preview

Reading Comprehension Strategies

FREE Diagnostic Spelling Assessment

Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics

Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics High School

Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics

Diagnostic Spelling Assessment Mastery Matrix

Diagnostic Spelling Assessment

Grade 4 Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview Grade 5 Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview Grade 6 Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview Grade 7 Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview Grade 8 Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview High School Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Preview Parts of Speech Unit Preview

Interactive Notebook Preview

Instructional Scope and Sequence with CCSS Alignment


AdjectivesParts of Speech WorksheetsF

AdverbsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

CommonNounsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

Coordinating ConjunctionsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

Coorelative ConjunctionsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

PrepositionsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

PronounsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

Proper NounsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

Subordinating ConjunctionsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

VerbsParts of Speech WorksheetsF

Common NounsA

AdjectivesA (1)

Adjectives.pdf _ DocHub

GUM Only Fillable1

Word Making

Grade-4-Vocabulary-Worksheets Grade-5-Vocabulary-Worksheets Grade-6-Vocabulary-Worksheets Grade-7-Vocabulary-Worksheets Grade-8-Vocabulary-Worksheets



Eight Conventional Spelling Rules with Examples and Songs

Grades 4-8 Spelling Sequence of Instruction

Instructional Programs

Quick Start User Guide

Quick Start User Guide 1

SamandFriendsGuidedReadingPhonicsBookswithRunningRecords3FreeAlarm Clock Revised