Phonics Impact Study

  • Throughout the 2018-19 school year, Lindbergh Schools studied the impact of multiple phonics programs on reading instruction in kindergarten and first grades. The five phonics programs that were studied included:

    • Wilson Fundations
    • Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study in Phonics
    • Fountas & Pinnell’s Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study System
    • Winsor Learning’s Sonday System Essentials
    • Pearson’s Words Their Way

    After piloting these programs in Kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms across the district, Lindbergh is adopting Winsor Learning’s Sonday System Essentials as its early elementary phonics program starting in the 2019-20 school year. The selection of the Sonday System is a result of extensive work and leadership by Lindbergh’s district literacy coordinator, and kindergarten and first grade teachers in all six elementary schools who were willing to try diverse programs and take risks to help improve student instruction. In addition, phonics instruction will be expanded into second grade to ensure continuity of learning.

    The next step in this process will be to provide teachers in grades K-2 with support and training, and correlate phonics instruction into writing and grammar as well.

    Family Resources

    Families of students in grades K-3 recently received spring FastBridge results that measure reading abilities in a variety of areas. Below is a guide to understanding those results, in addition to summer resources that families can use to support young learners.

    More Information About Our Research

    The decision to implement Sonday System Essentials across the district was based on:

    • The results from surveys of Lindbergh teachers and students on the piloted phonics programs
    • Analysis of student achievement data during the 2018-19 school year
    • Review of research on the effectiveness of the piloted phonics programs and their underlying philosophies

    Hanover Research, an independent research organization based in Arlington, Va., supported the district’s evaluation of the five piloted phonics programs by designing, administering and analyzing the teacher survey, reviewing the research base supporting each phonics program, and synthesizing the collective findings from the evaluation.