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2005 February Newsletter

by Dr. Cindy Cupp

Dear Educators and Parents,

During January, I visited many classrooms using our reading material.
I was thrilled to see the students having great success in learning to read and write.  In this February Online Newsletter, I will include many of the suggestions I have made to teachers during these school visits.  See Section one for these ideas. 


This newsletter will also provide Power Point programs designed by Rebecca Brewer  from L.K. Moss Elementary School in Buena Vista, Georgia.  If you would like to download these programs, see Section two.


In Section three, I provide a list of suggested beginning reading novels for those students finishing Reader 60 before the end of first grade.  As you write your budgets for next year, you might consider allotting funds for multi-copies of some of these books.


If your school sends me a monthly Update, please remember to do a consistency check for the February Update.  Update information can provide good diagnostic information, but it is only accurate if the information reported to me is accurate.


Wishing you a great February,


Cindy Cupp
Currently, President, Cupp Publishers, Inc.
Retired, Director of Curriculum and Reading, Georgia Department of Education
Always, A Reading Teacher



Summary of Sections


Section one           Suggestions for teachers

Section two           Power Point Presentations

Section three        Suggested titles for beginning novels




Section one:
Suggestions for Teachers

When I was visiting in schools, a few teachers asked me for suggestions for helping students who seem to be ‘stuck’ in a Reader.  The following ideas have helped give these students a ‘turbo boost.’


  1. Go back to a lower Reader.  Catching Hop’n Pop should be very easy for students in this Reader.  Students should also be very fluent when they read the text on pages one, two and three in the Reader.  When students experience success in this easy Reader, begin moving them up to the next Reader. 
  2. Reduce the Goal Time for Hop’n Pop in the easy Readers.
  3. When students catch Hop’n Pop, let them come to the front of the room with pom poms and do the Hop'n Pop cheer.  This cheer is found in the Part 1 Teacher’s Manual on page 102.
  4. Consider reducing the number of students in the group.  Example:  If the group has six students and they meet in the reading group for thirty minutes, divide the group so there are two groups of three students and have them each meet for fifteen minutes.  Put the top three students in one group and the slower students in the second group. 
  5. Move the top student in the group up to the next highest group regardless of the Reader number (I’m not sure what you mean here, but maybe that’s because I’m not familiar with how the Reader numbers and the groups are related).  Let this student meet with both groups.  This might 'electrify' the student and you will see a BIG jump.


Be sure to remember: 



  1. Students are not required to remain in the same Reader for sight words and phonics.  Students may move at one pace for sight words and another pace for phonics.  When students ‘Catch Hop’n Pop’ and read with fluency and comprehension, these students are ready to move to the next Reader even if they are not ready to move in phonics.
  2. If students are ready to move in phonics, but they are not ready to move in sight words, go to the next phonics lesson on pages 6 and 7 in the next Reader, but use only pages 6 and 7 in the new Reader.  Stay in the old Reader until students ‘Catch Hop’n Pop’ and read with fluency and comprehension.




Section two:

Power Point Presentations

From Rebecca M. Brewer, NBCT, L. K. Moss Primary School, Buena Vista, GA

In our school, we are up and going with our first year of the Dr. Cupp Program.  We have not been able to get enough adult supervision in some of our classes for Three Group Reading Rotation, and I have found that the three groups that I had at the beginning of the year have turned into five!   Therefore, as teachers always do, I have learned to adapt and it is going well!!!  I have created some Power Point presentations that enable my students to independently practice the sight words and sounding out words by blending the onset and rime. 

Following are some details about using my Power Points:

I have the time on each already can adjust it if you want. 

I have it set to loop continuously...I often send students over to it when they finish work.

You can mix up the order....In the "outline view," simply drag the slides to a new location to mix it up, or you can do it in the "slide sorter view."  Simply drag the slides to a new location.  I wish I knew an easier way.  You will see that I have already mixed up some sight words calling it "sight words through ride random."  The sight word lists are named by referring to the words included, and I gave them numbers 1-3 for quick reference. 

The onset and rime thru ak are the first ones (the short a words).  You will see that I already mixed them up, calling it "Onset/rime thru ak - random.”

Of course, with time I could create many more lists and mix these up so many times.  This is just a start.  I am definitely not a technology expert, so please be patient with me as we work out the kinks.  Let me us know if you have any suggestions…we all learn so much from each other.  I hope that they will be as helpful to you as they have been to meJ 

Following is the way that my students practice in the ThinkerBox books independently:

I tape myself reading, with good fluency, all of the ThinkerBox Readers so that each group can practice reading in the ThinkerBox book independently.  I use an individual tape for each story  -  I found 3 tapes for $1.00 at The Dollar Tree.  I also labeled the Readers within in each ThinkerBox book with self adhesive index tabs that I got from the office supply store, ensuring that each child easily finds the correct Reader.  This gives my two upper level groups a chance to practice reading and do the Hop’n Pop everyday, leaving me more time to work with my three lower level groups…the ones that need it. 

Let me know if I can help you!

Rebecca M. Brewer, NBCT
Kindergarten Teacher
L. K. Moss Primary School
Buena Vista, GA


Click on the link and give it a few minutes to download. The PowerPoint presentation will load in this window once it has downloaded and begins playing.

Onset rime short e

Onset rime short i

Onset rime short o

Onset rime short u

Onset rime thru ak - random

Onset rime thru ak


Sight words laugh - many

Sight words look - yes

Sight words thru ride

Sight words thru ride random












The following pictures show teachers and students at L.K. Moss Elementary School using the Power Point Programs.




Mrs. Ann Howell and her kindergarten students using the sight word Power Point presentation.






Mrs. Becky Rodgers and her first grade students are practicing blending words using the Power Point presentation with onsets and rimes.





Mrs. Becky Brewer and her kindergarten students are practicing sound blending using onsets and rimes.





Mrs. Donna Morris and her students practice reading using the Power Point programs.







Section three:

Suggested titles for beginning novels


I visited in Barnes and Nobles this weekend and found some great beginning novels for first graders finishing Reader 60.  These beginning novels are published by Harper Trophy in a series called Beginning Reading 1.  The list below is a partial list of titles.  The complete list is found in the back of these novels.


Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears Play T-Ball


Syd Hoff                            

Danny and the Dinosaur                             

Sammy The Seal


Else Holmelund Minarik

A Kiss For Little Bear

Little Bear


Alvin Schwartz

There is a Carrot in My Ear and Other Noodle Tales


Gene Zion

Harry and the Lady Next Door