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morpheme attached to the beginning or end of a base word to change meaning or pronunciation.


the repetition of letter sounds at the beginning of words in a sentence

Alphabetic principle

The relationship between letters or combinations of letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes).

basal reader

A collection of stories that match the instructional level of children

big book

Large student friendly books that help students learn concepts of print and enjoy positive reading experience.


Combining the sounds represented by letters to pronounce a word. Example /c/ /a/ /t/= cat

choral reading/chanting

two or more individuals reading aloud from the same text in unison to enhance oral reading fluency.

cloze test

A "fill-in-the-blank" assessment tool often used to test reading comprehension

common sound

Sound that a letter most frequently makes in a word.

concepts of print

print represents spoken language; print is directional from left to right and top to bottom; books are read from front to back; the strings of letters separated by spaces in text are words, and individual letters are different from words; sentences begin with capital letters and end with periods, etc.....

consonent cluster

A combination of two or three consonant letters in the same syllable that can be heard when pronounced. ex. st in star; str in strap

consonant diagraph

a pair of consonants that makes a single sound that is different from the speech sound that each individual letter represents. example: sh, ph, th

Context / Context Cues

Surrounding Information that helps understand the meaning of a word

Continuous Sound

The sound certain consonants make when the sound doesn't stop: /f/ /m/ /n/ /s/ /r/ /l/ /v/

Cumulative Story or Pattern Story

a story that has many elements or language patterns repeated until the climax; a predictable text.

Decodable Texts

Coherent texts in which most of the words are comprised of an accumulating sequence of letter-sound correspondences that students have learned and are learning.


To Convert printed words into their spoken forms by using knowledge of letter-sound relationships and word structure


removal of an initial or final sound or phoneme in a word


a speech sound that consists of two vowels pronounced in a word. ex. oi in toil


The left to right and top to bottom word progression while reading

Emergent Literacy

Knowledge and skills relating to reading that children usually develop from experience with books and other print media before the beginning of formal reading instruction in school.

Emergent Reader

A reader who is developing an association of print with meaning. The early stages of learning ot read.


To convert spoken words into written forms


study of an origin of a word

Frustrational Level

students read below 89% accuracy at which the student cannot accurately recognize or understand the text


type or category of literary work (e.g., poetry, essay, short story, novel, drama)


letter or letters that represent one phoneme (CAT, c-a-t, contains 3 graphemes)

graphophonemic knowledge

Knowledge that written words are made up of systematic letter patterns that represent sounds in pronounced words

high frequency words

The words most commonly used in reading and writing. Examples: Can, See


words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. wind-wind


words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Ex. whether and weather


words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings (sale/sail)

Independent level

The level of reading material that a student can read independently with high comprehension and an accuracy level of 95-100%

invented spelling

An attempt to spell a word based on a student's knowledge of the spelling system and how it works (e.g., kt for cat).

KWL chart

large chart where students first write "what
they Know", "what they want to Learn" and
then "what I learned"

Language Experience approach

a reading strategy where students dictate stories to the teacher who records them, using students' own vocabulary, grammar, and experiences to develop reading, writing, and speaking abilities.

Language structure

The organization of words (both spoken and written) into meaningful segments (phrases or sentences) using conventions of grammar and syntax.

Letter / Sound Association

making a connection between individual letters and the sounds they represent (graphophonics).

Linguistic Approach

a reading approach based on highly regular spelling patterns. Such as: Nat the cat sat on the mat.

Literacy Genres

A type of writing that has a particular form, style, or content. ex. Realistic fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, mysteries

Logographic awareness

The first stage children experience when learning about words. Words learned as whole units are sometimes embedded in a logo such as a stop sign or the McDonald's arches


thinking about thinking


comparison between two unlike things WITHOUT using like or as


Words read differently than how they are written.

Miscue analysis

A way of acquiring insight into children's reading strategies by studying the mistakes they make when reading aloud.


in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix or suffix).


the study of the structure of words; the creation of compound words


memory aids; like visual imagery. Ex. HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior)

Onsets and Rimes

Onsets are the consonants that come at the beginning of syllables in words (the "bl" in blend). Rimes are the vowels and consonants at the end of a syllable (end in blend)


Writing system of language, correct spelling


the smallest unit of sound in written or oral language

Phonemic awareness

The ability to hear, identify,and manipulate the individual sounds, phonemes, in oral language.


the sounds that letters make and the letters that are used to represent sounds

Phonics approach

teaching reading by first teaching the sounds of each letter and of various letter combinations


the study of speech sounds in language

Picture Cues

use of images that accompany and reflect the content of a text to help readers figure out words and understand the meaning of text


A collection of student generated products that shows student achievement, growth, progress, or improvement over a period of time


Rhythm of speech including phrasing, appropriate breathing, voice intonation, tone and attention to all punctuation marks.

Reader's Theater

Oral presentation of drama by two or more readers using a printed script; normally used to create motivation and oral fluency

Running record

Informal assessment which measures a child' fluency during oral reading and behavior


Support for a learner as he or she enters a phrase of readiness for a new skill


The ability to identify and separate sounds in words ( for purposes of blending)


The study of meaning in language (words, phrases, and sentences)

Sight words

words children identify quickly, accurately, and effortlessly.


comparison of things that have something in common using "like" or "as"

Sounding out

Using phonics to figure out words.


A unit of speech heard as a single sound; Ex. ee in sheep


sentence structure

Trade Book

A book published and made available, for sale, to the general public.

Vowel Diagraph

Two vowel next next to each other in a syllable that make a single sound. Ex: seat, seed

Word Analysis/ Word Attack Strategies

the process readers use to figure out unfamiliar words based on written patterns

Word Families

groups of words that have the same ending soudn (rime) but a different beginning sound (onset), such as can, man, fan.

Word sorts

Cards with words that can be sorted into two categories

Word wall

An alphabetized chart posted in the classroom listing words students are learning.

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