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All knowledge, skills and experience that come before conventional literacy. Students gain oral vocabulary, learn sentence structure, develop phonological awareness

Running record

An assessment which measures a child' fluency during oral reading

Balanced Literacy Models

strategies teachers use to allow for different learning styles

Phonological awareness

an awareness of an the ability to manipulate the sounds of spoken words; it is a broad term that includes identifying and making rhymes, recognizing alliteration, identifying and working with syllables in spoken words, identifying and working with onsets and rhymes in spoken syllables.


in a spoken language, the smallest distinctive sound unit

Phonemic Awareness

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

5 Major Types of Tasks to develop Phonemic Awareness

1. Recognize sets of works have similar sounds (identifying rhyming words in a sentence) 2. Learn to examine a set of words to determine which is not like the others, oddity task) 3. Learn how to blend sounds to create words 4. Divide words into their phonemes (segmenting words) and count the number of sounds in a word 5. Learn how to manipulate the sounds in a word by substituting or deleting one or many phonemes

Print Concept

Understanding how text works to communicate a message. Includes handing of books and orientation of text.

Ways to facilitate print concepts

Combining movement activities to convey bottom, top side. Teach the parts of a book. Experiences with different fonts and text sizes and the different meanings they have. Spacing. Writing exercises. Use of meta-language to descibe books.

Track Print

student understands the direction of the text

Alphabet Recognition

being able to identify the letters of the alphabet both capital and lowercase when asked to do so

Alphabetic principle

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

Letter-sound correspondence

refers to the identification of sounds associated with individual letters and letter combination.

Short Vowel sounds

every vowel has two sounds, the vocal cords are more relaxed when producing the short vowel sound because of this the sounds are often referred to as lax. They can be heard at the beginning of these words: apple, Ed, igloo, octopus, and umbrella.


n. A union of two characters representing a single sound.


n. The sound produced by combining two vowels in to a single syllable or running together the sounds.


consonant-vowel-consonant pattern which produces a short vowel sound or a closed syllable.

Consonant Clusters

- also called blends
- Consonants that occur side by side within the same
-No intervening vowel sound


teaching reading by training beginners to associate letters with their sound values


Often called word families, these end in high frequency rimes that vary only in the beginning consonant sound to make a word. For example, back, sack, black and track.


the part of a syllable (or the one-syllable word) that comes before the vowel (e.g., str in string)


The vowel and the ending consonants after the onset

Semantic Cues

Use of knowledge about the subject of the text and words associated with that subject to identify an unknown word within a text: meaning cues from each sentence and the evolving whole.
Children use their prior knowledge, sense of the story, and pictures to support their predicting and confirming the meaning of the text.

Syntactic Cues

hints that rely on language structure or rules (sometimes called grammatical cues) Grammatical information in a text that readers process to construct meaning.

Content clues

surrounding words that help you figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words


the ability to conceptualize and separate words into their basic pronunciation components.

word structure

The way in which the parts of a word are arranged together-used to determine a word's meaning

syllabication rules

rules for forming/dividing words into syllables

syllabication rules

. To find the number of syllables:Count the number of vowels (a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y) Subtract any silent vowels (vowel, consonant, -e) Subtract one vowel from every diphthong.(when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking)Divide between two double consonants. Never split between digraphs.Usually divide before a single middle consonant.Divide before the consonant before -le syllable.Divide off any compound words, prefixes, suffixes and root which have vowel sounds.
ALL syllables have a vowel

compound words

Two or more words combined to create a new word.


a syllable or word that comes before a root word to change its meaning


a group of letters placed at the end of a word to change its meaning

Inflectional suffixes

Indicate possession, gender, number in nouns, tense, voice, person & number & mood in verbs, and comparison in adjectives; do not change the part of speech of the base. (-ed, -ing)

Sight-word recognition

1. a word that is immediately recognized as a whole and does not require word analysis for identification. 2. a word taught as a whole. Note: Words that are phonically irregular or are important to learn before students have the skills to decode them are often taught as sight words.

Dolch List

A list of frequently used words compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD, a major proponent of the "whole-word" method of beginning reading instruction. Goes up to 3rd grade

Reading Fluency

ability to decode words quickly and accurately in order to read text with appropriate word stress, pitch, and intonation pattern (prosody)..
This skill requires automacity of word recognition and reading with prosody to facilitate comprehension.


a language user's knowledge of words. Important in Prereading activities. Use graphic organizers and word webs to introduce and review

domain-Specific vocabulary words

Teacher discusses these when reading nonfiction in order to develop content clues

Visual Clues

helps students construct meaning from unfamiliar text

Context clues

Clues in surrounding text that help the reader determine the meaning of an unknown word.

Picture walk

A visual clues strategy. Before reading a picture book, teacher invites students to look at the pictures and try to form an idea about the story. After text is read, discuss the predictions and how they compared to the actual text

Cloze exercise

A context clues strategy. An activity in which students replace words that have been deleted from a text.

Prior Knowledge

learner's preexisting attitudes, experiences, and knowledge:


an internal representation of the world. Needs to be activated before learning something new. K-W-L charts are examples. Field trips and hands-on experiences help to increase prior knowledge.


A modeling activity in which the teacher verbalizes the teacher's thoughts while reading; used to model ways in which skilled readers make predictions, use visualization, related prior knowledge, and monitor and self-correct their comprehensions.

Literal comprehension

refers to the understanding of information that is explicitly stated in a written passage. (main idea, sequence of events, knowledge of vocabulary, details and cause-effect patterns)

Identifying the sequence of events

When a student can recognize the order that actions or ideas occurred in a text and then recall them in chronological order. Words such as now, before, first, following and since are important.

Story walk

teacher walks through story, pointing out order of events as they happened

Story map

A graphic organizer of major events and ideas from a story to help guide students' thinking and heighten their awareness of the structure of stories. The teacher can model this process by filling out a chart on an overhead while reading. Or students can complete a chart individually or in groups after a story is read, illustrating or noting characters, setting, compare/contrast, problem/solution, climax, conflict, and so forth.

identifying the main idea

Finding the topic or subject of a text (what the text is mostly about)
Look at the details that the author uses to clarify his or her topic

Topic Sentence

states the main idea of the text; what the paper will be about. In nonfiction, it is often stated directly in the text. To find the central idea in a story requires higher-level thinking skills


pieces of information that support or tell more about the main idea. Uses words like who, what, where, when , how and why to identify main ideas. News articles are good for practicing.


determining the reason something happens as well as the result of that cause; the cause happens first and the event happens after; events in a plot are often connected by cause and effect. Teachers can elicit information from students by asking questions such as "what made the character do what he did?"

Inferential Comprehension Skills

skills that assist students to make connections to new info in texts by drawing conclusions, determining relationships, conceptualizing implied ideas. Reading in between the lines. Making inferences requires several reading behaviors: recognizing a pronoun's antecedent, learning unknown words from context clues, identifying bias, etc...


Drawing together the main ideas of something and restating them in a succinct way.


about a characters beliefs, motivations and relationships. , Draw or state a general conclusion from a number or items or instances, making a statement about what several people or things have in common, finding and extending patterns.


conclusions that a reader draws based on clues in the story and his/her own knowledge

Ways to model making inferences

think-alouds, referents, asking questions that are often "Think and Search". Write down a sequence of events from the story line and ask students to script the missing pieces using what they know about characters, setting and other related clues. Students can read their own sentences and look for referents, context clues and details of events


the objects, events, ideas, or relationships referred to by the words


Something that can be proven


something that is believed to be true. When used to support an argument, position is weakened. Also revelatory of writer's bias and perspective.

Faulty reasoning

an argument based on stereotypes, generalizations, loaded words or opinions.

Loaded word

Word used to evoke very strong positive or negative attitudes toward a person, group, or idea by using connotation


generalized beliefs about what members of an identifiable group are like that operate as schemas when perceiving members of those groups


a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation

How to uncover writer's bias

By asking questions about sources writer uses, use of fact or opinions to support claim, what was left out, how they address contrary evidence or opinions. Prevents students being easily manipulated or controlled by what they read

Schema theory

Students make meaning by using their previous experiences to understand new ones. For students to comprehend and interpret their readings, teachers must help students activate prior knowledge to help them make sense of the new information. Helps retention and comprehension


KWL ("Know", "Want to Know", "Learned") charts encourage students to use prior knowledge and personal curiosity while researching a subject or a topic. This strategy is especially useful in reading classes, but is also useful in plenty of other subjects, like science and social studies.

Anticipation Guides

comprehension strategy that is used before reading to activate students' prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic. They help students make connections between new information and prior knowledge. Used to motivate reluctant readers by stimulating their information

word sorts

A word-study activity in which words on cards are grouped according to designated categories, as by spelling or vowel patterns, or meanings, etc. Helps students make sense of new vocabulary

closed word sort

The teacher defines the process for categorizing the words. This requires students to engage in critical thinking as they examine sight vocabulary, corresponding concepts, or word structure.

open word sort

Students determine how to categorize the words, thereby becoming involved in an active manipulation of words.

double-entry journal

A note taking strategy to improve comprehension. This is a double entry record in which a student takes notes and adds reflections while reading any text. A two column format is used. Typically, the left column is used to record specific statements from a test that are important to the reader in understanding the text. The right column is used to record responses and reactions to those statements

personal connections

How and why we enjoy and appreciate what we read. Help you use your prior knowledge to understand characters, draw conclusions, make generalizations, inferences and understand cause and effect relationships.


Text-Self. Part of a code students use to highlight passages they personally relate to


notes made on the reading that highlight passages that "speak" to them personally


Guided reading-thinking activities that offer support by engaging students in the reading and improving comprehension of narrative text. They teach how to make predictions, focus their reading on confirming or disproving, adjustments in thinking. A cycle. A form of scaffolding that will be removed once the process is internalized


a study method incorporating five steps: survey, question, read, rehearse, review


a brief first look at the text to look for clues to its organization. Bold and italic words, titles and subtitles are noted and used to organize students notes as they read


Students turn titles found during survey into 5wh questions


As students read, they use the text to answer their questions


Students review their notes until they are familiar with the information


When students can recall the information they have learned from what they have read

Cornel Notes Method

Left side is for recording main idea, Right side is for details about the main ideas, bottom = summary


After reading, students should be encouraged to to discuss the reading. Three ways a teacher can help include literature circles, Socratic seminars and fishbowls

Literature Circles

small groups who read and discuss same materials together (facilitator, connector, summarizer, vocabulary master, illustrator) Teachers provide role sheets but do not direct discussion

Paideia Seminars

Works best with older students. Conversations about text rick in ideas meant to improve abstract thinking and problem-solving skills. Collaborative work using many different skills. Works with open ended questions

Think-aloud benefits

Students who understand their own reading behavior are more likely to recognize when they do not understand what they are reading and to adjust using various reading comprehension strategies. Can be done with partner who takes notes, can be done alone with sheet filled out after, can be used by teacher to assess students reading habits.

Say Something

A during reading activity that helps students monitor their reading comprehension. In small groups students take turns reading and commenting on text. Shared observations help students get meaning from text

Bloom's taxonomy of questions

hierarchy of 6 levels of thinking/complexity, ordering of questions ensures each step of inquiry learning is properly scaffolded (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation)


Question-answer relationship; readers learn how to answer questions, delineate between explicit and implicit information, and draw on background knowledge: "right there," "think and search," "author and you," and "on your own" questions.

written or oral retelling

helps teachers assess a student's reading comprehension level by checking for literal and inferential understanding. Focus with recall question, clarifying, extending, raising the level of questioning


if student have trouble summarizing the test, it usually means lack of comprehension

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