about the advanced codes

advanced Codes

School version

The Advanced Codes Curriculum is based on the Science of Reading and is aligned with Structured Literacy, just as was the Secret Codes. The Secret Codes prevents children from experiencing reading failure by teaching the students that the English Writing System is a code and how to use that code to read, write, and spell.

The Advanced Codes provides further instruction for first-grade students who have been taught with the Secret Codes as kindergarten students. Since students who have previously been taught with the Secret Codes curriculum are quite knowledgeable of phonemes, the next phase involves teaching them to analyze morphological units; units of meaning.

Students can become competent readers if the appropriate curriculum or intervention is provided. The Advanced Codes is that curriculum!

The Advanced Codes curriculum is based on the Science of Reading and is aligned with Structured Literacy. The Advanced Codes is the next step in the Secret Codes series provides more advanced training in grapheme-phoneme relationships and focuses on morphemes. Students learn more advanced aspects of literacy. All students will benefit from using the Advanced Codes. Students who are at risk for reading failure will become competent readers.

A detective ant helping young dyslexic children to read

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Students continue to learn and develop advanced relationships between sounds and symbols.

Students will continue to practice decoding and synthesizing (blending) these new sound-symbol relationships.


Students will learn to read words that are more difficult to decode.

Students will learn how to gain understanding of unfamiliar words by using the dictionary and by using context.

Students will learn about probability and hypothesis testing and how those concepts can be used to read unfamiliar words.

The English Writing System has different pronunciations and alternative spellings, using probability in combination with hypothesis testing will help them to read unfamiliar words.

Students will learn about l-controlled vowels (they already learned about r-controlled vowels with the Secret Codes.)

Students will learn about open and hyphenated compound words.

Students will learn about words that are homophones and homographs.


Students will continue to develop their vocabularies.

Students will learn about the dictionary and how it can be used to determine the pronunciations and meanings of words, particularly unfamiliar words.

Students will learn about macrons and breves and how this information can help them to read more advanced material.

Students will learn about syllables and syllable types.


Students will learn about morphology, the meaning of words (prefixes, roots, and suffixes) and will use this information to read words.

Students will learn about the meaning of vowels and consonants.


Students will learn more about spelling and how to determine how to decide to use specific letter combinations and when.

Students will be engaged in a considerable amount of writing.


Students will add to their use of punctuation by learning about quotation marks and apostrophes.

Parent Involvement

Newsletters are sent home to parents so that they know what their child is learning.

Advanced Codes provides additional learning for the child.


The introduction provides background knowledge regarding the English Writing System and several aspects of language and literacy. The introduction presents information regarding the Secret Codes curriculum so that the teacher has a context for what his or her incoming students know. The introduction also provides specific information concerning how the Advanced Codes works.

Manipulative Supply List

The Secret Codes has a large number of manipulatives for the students to help them acquire reading skills. First-grade students will have fewer manipulatives but will work with a dry and erase board, marker, and eraser. The curriculum is built around fewer manipulatives.

Students will create and use a dictionary. There are instructions for when a student is required to enter a word and a definition or picture of the word.

Homework Newsletters (Optional)

Homework Newsletters are provided that explain what students are learning for each chapter with an explanation of each activity’s homework assignment.

The units provide specific instructions regarding how to proceed with each activity. This information contains the materials needed for that lesson, how the sounds are to be pronounced (if there are new sounds), and details regarding the activity.

The activities are scripted, which is ideal for new teachers or teachers who are not familiar with the Science of Reading. However, the activities are repetitive by design so teachers become accustomed to the nature of the script quickly. Once the teacher has mastered the gist of the curriculum and each activity within it, a strict adherence to the script, word by word, is not necessary.

Unit 1 is a review of the sounds taught in the Secret Codes curriculum.

Teacher Whiteboards

Teachers will use individualized whiteboards, mounted wall whiteboards or other means to project the material for the whole class to see. Teachers will be writing letters, words and sentences on their whiteboards.

Teacher Paragraph Cards

Beginning in Unit 3, Activity 42 Teacher Paragraph Cards will be used. Until that activity, no paragraphs are presented in class. Teachers will write letters, words, and sentences on their respective whiteboards. However, the paragraphs are long enough that they are presented on laminated cards to reduce the time needed to write the paragraphs. The Unit and Activity numbers are located on the bottom right of each Paragraph Card.

Teacher Dictionary Entry Card

The concept of a dictionary is presented in Unit 2 Activity 21. A teacher-dictionary-entry card is used for this activity and is the only Teacher Dictionary Entry Card used.

Teacher Vowel Matrix (Long Vowels) Card

The teacher vowel matrix for long vowel sounds provides the long vowel sounds and how they are spelled for the long vowels that are presented in the Advanced Codes.

Homework Newsletters

Homework is optional as noted above, but if homework is selected as an option, there is a homework newsletter to be sent home each evening explaining the content of the homework and how it is to be executed.

Student Whiteboards

Students will be assigned their own personal whiteboards on which they will write letters, words, and sentences throughout the school year. They will also be assigned their own personal eraser and dry-erase pen. They will need to keep their whiteboards clean. At the end of each week, they will need to clean their whiteboards.

Student Dictionary Entries

Students will also receive their own blank dictionaries. From Activity 21 onward students will write dictionary entries each day. The words for each activity will be used as the students’ dictionary entries. The dictionary entries are used to help students become familiar with dictionaries which will help to develop their vocabularies. They will write the two words on the front of the dictionary page with a pronunciation key and then write the definition or a picture of the word on the back of the page.

Students will be writing words that they are learning to spell on their whiteboard several times per day. Students will also write the definitions of the words they are using in their dictionaries. Students will write sentences that are dictated to them on their whiteboards.

The Advanced Codes is used as a first-grade reading curriculum and as an intervention for older students who have struggled to learn to read.

The pricing for the Advanced Codes materials is presented below for an intervention (class size of 1) and various sizes of classrooms. To calculate pricing for different-sized classrooms multiply $18.78 by the number of students and add that amount to $775.15. For 15 students the cost would be $281.63 ($18.78 x 15) + $775.15 = $1,056.78 + shipping ($105.68) for a total of $1,162.46.