Welcome to Sound Principles for Literacy

    A career-long collection of “best practices” for educators and thought-provoking wisdom needed a collective entity and a place to be. A moment of inspiration yielded the collective entity – Sound Principles for Literacy, and the “best place to be” was the internet. Sound Principles is a play on words. “Sound” is a critical part of literacy – it brings life to oral language when we speak, read, and write. Knowing the sounds that letters represent and being able to make sense of the print “code” of English is essential to being literate. “Sound” also means “having a firm basis . . . valid . . . worthy of confidence”.  While there is information on this site is about See the Sound/Visual Phonics, a “sound” strategy for literacy and speech skills, “sound” instruction also takes into account the melding of science & education relative to the brain, the movement-learning connection, and attitudes of both teachers and students. This web site is a snap shot of who I am, my interests and what I love. There are many things I enjoy  – writing, reading, music, fitness, photography, and “wisdoms” to name a few. I also love the challenge of “connecting the dots” [...]

Visual Phonics

The Challenge of the Squiggly Lines

The Challenge of the Squiggly Lines Providing staff development offers many opportunities to interact with educators. Some are willing to share ...

Sorting Things Out – An Update

Organizing is hard-wired into our brains – our brains love patterns and repetition.  The concept of similarity, or sameness, is ...

Utility Is the Key

Utility directly impacts the lasting recall of Visual Phonics hand shape cues and written symbols. Thoughtful and purposeful use of ...

Get Contagious!!

One of the joys I experience in teaching children and their teachers about Visual Phonics is to witness the “ahas” ...

Preservice Reading Teachers in the Differentiated Classroom: A Rationale for Visual Phonics – by Marta J. Abele, Ph.D.

Editor’s Note: The author teaches reading courses at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. After becoming an enthusiastic supporter of ...

The Value of Visual Phonics Training for Pre-Service Teachers

Visual Phonics has been an added strength to our Elementary Education program reading endorsement at the University of Dubuque. Today's ...

We’re Lost But We’re Making Good Time

By Dave Krupke The title is one of the many famous quotes from Yogi Berra. I remember watching Yogi play for the storied Yankees of the 50s. Baseball was different then, as were many things. Life was simpler in the 50s, education was pretty basic, and many of us did OK. At least where I grew up in rural America, I would say most of us did OK . . .  because I do remember a few kids in my school who really had trouble learning and there didn’t seem to be any extra help for them. My, how things have changed today. We have Title One, Learning Strategists, Literacy Coaches, Resource Teachers, Reading Specialists, Interventionists, RTI Consultants . . . just to name a few. Education has endured – or should I say that students have managed to survive – numerous shifts in educational philosophy in the 50 years since I was a student in school. I was lucky enough to learn to read easily and have many fond memories of riding my bike to the library and going up what seemed to be an endless and steep staircase to the library – it was above the fire station [...]

How to Facilitate Children’s Learning

By Dave Krupke and Jeff Knox Education is generally a series of adults asking questions – this has been so since the time of Socrates. Questions are asked with the hope or even expectation that the children will respond with answers that adults have pre-conceived, either by their own thoughts or based on what a subject-area curriculum tells them the answer should be. It can also be said that adults don’t ask questions for which they don’t know the answers. For adults, “sameness” is important – we want children to have the same answers as we do. Some educators feel it is important for children  to be able to explore their world and come up with their own reality. For this to happen, in the home or in a classroom, there must be a sense of shared learning – a perception on the part of both adult and child that curiosity and discovery are fun and have utility for making sense of the world. Shared learning, especially with young children, occurs when adults limit the number of direct questions they ask, such as “what’s this called . . . or what color is that?” When adults ask pointed questions, there [...]

There’s More To Learning the Alphabet Than Letter Names

By Dave Krupke During four decades of service as a public-school speech-language pathologist in the mid-west, I have been in many preschool program settings – both regular education and special education. I have seen many focused attempts to teach letter names to 3, 4 and 5 year old children, ranging from making letters in sand tables, in shaving cream, with Elmer’s glue, with chalk, with large crayons, with markers, and by tracing a letter made from sandpaper. There were many teacher attempts to associate these letters with student names in the class and with common objects, but it dawned on me just a few years ago that there was one thing missing – there was little or no purposeful attempt to associate the letter sound with the letter name! As a result, I began asking teachers about why they did not specifically facilitate letter-sound knowledge and the typical response was that they thought that letter names needed to be taught first and the children would learn the sounds later. It struck me that this was a stark example of an unintentional instructional mismatch – the adult concept that letter names should be taught first in a systematic, linear way in [...]