Functional Sight Words: Reading in Real Life

I am passionate about creating meaningful reading experiences in my student's lives. I teach middle school and it can be hard to find reading material that is age-appropriate for my emergent readers.

What is Reading in Real Life?

As a solution, I've worked many, many hours to create Reading in Real Life. Reading in Real Life is a functional sight words reading program that uses evidence-based instructional practices to teach students the functional words that they see in everyday life. This program is excellent for students with significant disabilities, such as Autism or Down syndrome, or students who are learning English as a second language. RIRL was designed for middle and high school classrooms but can be used with upper elementary students too.

What is included in each Reading in Real Life unit?

Each RIRL unit includes 20-40 themed sight words, broken up into sections in which 5 new words are introduced at a time. As students master the new words, they are added to their maintenance list. Once students master the included words, they can practice reading the words in a variety of different activities. Ideally, students should also have exposure to the words in the natural setting whenever possible. RIRL is unique because the focus isn't just on the student's ability to recognize the word, but there is a large focus on comprehension as well. What good is it to be able to read a word if we don't know what it means? I love that my students are able to read and understand words that they see all the time!

Each Reading in Real Life unit includes a detailed lesson plan, weekly outline, and data sheets. 

Each word/phrase that is taught includes a mini book that explains the sign, its meaning, and where you might see it. These mini books are my favorite part of the Signs Edition bundle! Each unit introduces 5 signs at a time. I like to introduce one a day for the week by reading the mini book that goes along with it and completing the Find It! worksheet. When you've introduced the 5 signs, there are several review worksheets.

How do I use Reading in Real Life in the classroom?

I like to use Reading in Real Life in small groups or one on one to target IEP goals and to supplement my main reading curriculum.

There are several RIRL products available for purchase at this time. You can click on each one to see a detailed description, word list, and preview.

Reading in Real Life: Signs Edition

Reading in Real Life: Signs edition teaches 101 of the most common environmental signs. This bundle is broken up into 4 units.
1) Warning & Safety Signs
2) Community Signs
3) Indoor & Lobby Signs
4) Directional Signs

Warning & Safety Sign Mini Books

Find It! Worksheet and Matching Worksheet

Warning & Safety Sign Word List

  ►Reading in Real Life: Colors Edition

  ►Reading in Real Life: Grocery Edition
Grocery Mini Books

  ►Reading in Real Life: Cooking Edition

Matching Worksheet


Cooking Word List

Writing Worksheet

  ►Reading in Real Life: Restaurant Edition
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