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By Brittany McLaughlin

This summer, a small group of our Little Reading Warriors used ScribbleUp’s iPad apps to support their reading learning, with the help of our Reading Warrior tutors.  Over 8 weeks, they practiced short and long vowels, the silent-e rule, vowel teams, consonant clusters, and many other tricky patterns in early reading.  Each day, they practiced these new skills by reading and talking about authentic books. We are so proud of our Little Reading Warriors and the Reading Warriors working with them for working and playing hard during reading time, and learning so many new reading strategies!


Here are just a few ways that our Little and big Reading Warriors targeted specific reading strategies while keeping reading time varied, research-based, and fun.




Our readers explore and discover patterns in letters, sounds, and words.  Here, with the help of a Reading Warrior, one of our Little Reading Warriors finds the tricky part of this app – that “ea” can make two sounds!


Finding patterns is one thing – talking about them is even harder!  Here, a Little Reading Warrior uses an app to support his thinking and independently describe a tricky sound-spelling pattern.


Kids get to decide – is it a silly word, or a real word? – and rack of the points in the app PuzzleBot!  Sounding out silly words helps readers when they’re reading unfamiliar words, to really decode it instead of guessing a word with they already know.


During independent learning time, readers go on a scavenger hunt for words inside the app!  The app is personalized and interactive, and enables them to explore word combinations and sounds at their own pace. When they have questions or finish, they check in with tutors or teachers to show their thinking and get feedback.



Learning about vowel teams (like “ai” making an “A” sound) for the first time!  This app helps support readers’ phonemic awareness, scaffolding them to split words up into separate chunks.  Here, a young reader explores all the sounds that she can build with.


Next, she works on combining these chunks into words.  This is her first time working on chunking, so you can see the gears turning as she explores what to do next.


Sounding out silly words in PuzzleBot, with her Reading Warrior helping her self-correct.



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Keeping it moving! One way we keep reading time active is to play a game we made up, “Whack-a-Word.” Readers and Warriors take turns sounding out a word while the others try to find it and whack it as quickly as possible! This helps us practice skills like reading fluently.


Reading for fun – a reading group takes turn reading for different characters in a high-interest, leveled comic book.


Practicing phonemic awareness by listening to short vs. long vowels.


Writing words with the new strategies she’s been working on!


Playing a board game with dice to sound out new words.


Verbalizing reading strategies: talking through different ways to sound out tricky combinations.

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Sounding out words with the iPad; checking if a letter is a “b” or a “d” by using a new reading strategy – “making a bed” with her hands; and writing out the words she’s been working on to reinforce her learning.

Playing a rhyming game to reinforce phonemic awareness.

The same sound can be spelled in multiple ways! Sometimes this makes silly words instead of real words, but we’re great at sounding out silly words, too!