“This is different from last year.”

Trinity Lutheran School is in the midst of a three-year curriculum study, with the express aim to strengthen literacy skills of all students.  Following last year’s extensive work with the Writing Process and a focus on assessing Informational Writing, teacher attention is currently directed at Phonics Instruction.  The comments of the students above reflect their experiences this year with their grapheme kits which develop phonemic skills to result in really great reading.  Indeed, Really Great Reading© is the title of our phonics program, and the name of the training for teachers this past week at our Teachers Conferences.

Really Great Reading© (and truly all reading) is composed of the phonemes and graphemes Trinity students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 are learning, as expressed below:

  • All words are made up of speech sounds.
  • We call these speech sounds “phonemes.”
  • Each phoneme is related to a letter (or a letter combination) that spells a sound.
  • Each letter or letter combination that spells a sound is called a “grapheme.”
  • The word chip has three phonemes and three graphemes.
  • The first phoneme in chip is /ch/.
  • We spell /ch/ with the grapheme
  • The grapheme ch is a digraph

Not so simple as you thought?  Indeed, but with regular phonics instruction, words take on meaning with phonetic understanding!  And this is exactly why Trinity students practice and practice and practice with our RGR kits.

“It’s fun to build words from sounds!”

All this important because recent research reports dismal US student reading performance on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2013, Grade 4 results).  We aim to keep our students well above these surprising percentages:

Percent of Grade 4 US students below PROFICIENT reading skills
Race/Ethnicity All Students Low-income students High-income students
Total 67 80 55
Black 84 89 74
Hispanic 83 87 72
White 58 76 52


“Our kits are cool!”

Trinity teachers will continue in the quest for developing superb reading skills, and lead students to love to read, and possess a sense of ease with all genres of literature:


Literacy Curriculum Study at Trinity Lutheran School
2016-2017 Informational Writing
2017-2018 Phonics, Narrative Writing, and Persuasive Argument
2018-2019 Reading and Literature