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Aesthetic reading

Reading for pleasure


A syllable added to the beginning (prefix) or end (suffix) of a word to change the word's meaning

Alphabetic Principle

The assumption underlying alphabetical language systems that each sound has a corresponding graphic representation (or letter).


The 5th stage of the reading process, in which readers go beyond the text to use what they have learned in another literacy experience, often by making a project or reading another book.


Activities and materials related to real-world reading and writing


Identifying words accurately and quickly.

Background knowledge

A student's knowledge or previous experiences about a topic.

Basal readers

Reading textbooks that are leveled according to grade.

Basal reading program

A collection of student textbooks, workbooks, teacher's manuals, and other materials and resources for reading instruction used in kindergarten through 6th grade.

Big books

Enlarged versions of picture books that teachers read with children, usually in the primary grades.


To combine the sounds represented by letters to pronounce a word.

Bound morpheme

A morpheme that is not a word and cannot stand alone.

Closed syllable

A syllable ending in a consonant with a short vowel sound.

Cloze Exercise

An activity in which students replace words that have been deleted from a text.


A spider-like diagram used to collect and organize ideas after reading or before writing; also called a map or a web.


The process of constructing meaning using both the author's text and the reader's background knowledge for a specific purpose.

Concepts about print

Basic understanding about the way print works, including the direction of print, spacing, punctuation, letters and words.


Speech sound characterized by friction or stoppage of the airflow as it passes through the vocal tract; usually any letter except a,e, i, o, and u.

Consonant digraph

Two adjacent consonants that represent a sound not represented by either consonant alone (th, ch, sh, ph)

Content Area Reading

Reading in Social Studies, Science and Math, etc.

Context Clue

Information from the words or sentences surrounding a word that helps to clarify an unknown word's meaning.

Cueing systems

The phonological, semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic info that students rely on as they read.


Using word-ID strategies to pronounce and attach meaning to an unfamiliar word.


Determining specific problems readers are having, generally using a test.

Differentiated Instruction

Procedures for assisting students in learning, providing options, challenging students, and matching books to students to maximize their learning.


A sound produced when the tongue glides from one sound to another ( 2 vowels oy, oi, ow, ou)


The second stage of the writing process, in which writers pour out ideas in a rough draft.

Echo Reading

The teacher or other reader reads a sentence and group of students reread or echo what was read


the 4th stage of the writing process in which writers proofread to ID and correct spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar errors.

Efferent reading

Reading for information

Elkonin boxes

A strategy for segmenting sounds in a word that involves drawing a box to represent each sound.

Emergent literacy

Children's early reading and writing development before conventrional reading and writing.

Environmental print

Signs, labels, and other print found in the community.


The origin and history of words; the etymological information is enclosed in brackets in dictionary entries.

Explicit instruction

Systemic instruction of concepts, strategies, and skills that builds from simple to complex.


The 4th stage of the reading process, in which readers reread the text, student vocabulary words, and learn strategies and skills.

Family Literacy

Home-school partnerships to enhance students' literacy development


Reading smoothly, quickly, and with expression.

Free morpheme

A morpheme that can stand alone as a word.

Frustration Level

The level of reading material that is too difficult for a student to read successfully.


A category of literature such as folklore, science fiction, biography, or historical fiction, or a writing form.

Goldilocks Principle

A strategy for choosing "just-right" books.

Grand Conversation

A small-group or whole-class discussion.


A written representation of a sound using one or more letters.

Graphic Organizers

Diagrams that provide organized visual representations of information from texts.


Referring to sound-symbol relationships

Guided Reading

Students work in small groups to read independently as possible a text selected and introduced by the teacher.

High Frequency Words

A common English word, usually amount the 100 or 300 most common words.


Words that sound alike and are spelled alike but have different meanings (baseball bat and the animal bat).


Words that are spelled alike but are pronounced differently.


Words that sound alike but are spelled differently - also called homophones.


A stylistic device involving obvious exaggerations.


The use of words and figurative language to create an visual impression.

Independent reading level

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

Inflectional endings

Suffixes that express plurality or possession when added to a noun, tense when added to a verb or comparison when added to an adjective (girls, girl's, girls'), (early, earlier, earliest), (skates, skated, skating)

Informal reading inventory (IRI)

An individually administered reading test composed of word lists and graded passages that are used to determine students' independent, instructional, and frustration levels and listening capacity levels

Instructional Reading Level

The level of reading material that a student can read with teacher support with 90-94% accuracy.

Interactive Writing

A writing activity in which students and the teacher write a text together, with the students taking turns to do most of the writing themselves.


Intense, individualized instruction for struggling readers to solve reading problems and accelerate their growth.

Invented Spelling

Students' attempts to spell words that reflect their developing knowledge about the spelling system.


An activity to activate background knowledge and set purposes for reading an informational text and to bring closure after reading. The letters stand for What I/We Know, What I/We Wonder, and What I/We Learned.

Language Experience Approach

A student's dictated composition is written by the teacher and used as a text for reading instruction, it is generally used with beginning readers.

Leveling books

A method of estimating the difficulty level of a text.

Lexile Scores

A number indicating the reading level of a text.

Listening Capacity Level

The highest level of graded passage that can be comprehended well when read aloud to the student.


The ability to read and write.

Literal Comprehension

The understanding of what is explicitly stated in a text.

Literature Circle

An instructional approach in which students meet in small groups to read and respond to a book.

Literature Focus Unit

An approach to reading instruction in which the whole class reads and responds to a piece of literature.

Long vowels

The vowel sounds that are also names of the ABCs (a as in make, e as in he, i as in ice, o as in hope and u as in cute and rule)

Lowercase letters

The letters that are smaller and different from uppercase letters.


Students' awareness of their own thought and learning processes.


A comparison expressed directly, without using like or as.

Mini Lesson

Explicit instruction about literacy procedures, concepts, strategies, and skills that are taught to individual students, small groups, or the whole class, depending on students' needs.

Miscue Analysis

A strategy for categorizing and analyzing a student's oral reading errors.


The tone of a story or poem.


The smallest meaningful part of a word; sometimes it is a word (e.g. cup, hope), and sometimes it is not a whole word (e.g. - ly, bi-)


A story

New literacies

The ability to use digital and multimodal technologies to communicate and learn effectively.


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

Open syllable

A syllable ending in a vowel sound (pa per)


The spelling system


Figurative language in which objects and animals are represented as having human qualities.


A sound; it is represented in print with slashes (e.g. /s/ and /th/)

Phoneme-grapheme correspondence

The relationship between a sound and the letter that represents it.

Phonemic awareness

The ability to manipulate the sounds in words orally


Predictable relationships between phonemes and graphemes.

Phonics instruction

Teaching the relationships between letters and sounds and how to use them to read and spell words.

Phonological awareness

The ability to identify and manipulate phonemes, onsets and rimes, and syllables; it includes phonemic awareness.


The sound system of language


Containing more than one syllable


The social use system of language


The strategy in which students predict what will happen in a story and then read to varify their guesses.


A syllable added to the beginning of a word to change the word's meaning (e.g. pre-, re-, bi-)


The first stage of the reading process, in which readers activate background knowledge, set purposes, and make plans for reading.


Identifying potentially struggling readers and providing appropriate instruction so that failure is avoided.


The 1st step in the writing process, in which writers gather and organize ideas for writing.


Reading a composition to identify and correct spelling and other mechanical errors.


The ability to orally read sentences expressively, with appropriate phrasing and intonation.


The 5th stage of the writing process, in which writers make the final copy of their writing and share with an audience.


An activity in which students explore a topic through writing.

Readability formula

A method of estimating the difficulty level of a text.


The second stage of the reading process, in which readers read the text for the first time using independent reading, shared reading, or guided reading, or by listening to it read aloud.

Reading rate

Reading speed, usually reported as the average number of words read correctly in 1 minute.

Reading workshop

An approach in which students read self-selected texts independently.

Reciprocal teaching

An activity in which the teacher and students take turns modeling the use of strategies


The third stage of the reading process, in which readers respond to the text, often through grand conversations and by writing in reading logs.


The third stage of the writing process, in which writers clarify meaning in the writing.


Words with the same rime sound (white, bright)


The part of a syllable (or one-syllable word) that begins with the vowel (ing or string)


The support a teacher provides to students as they read and write.


To pronounce a word slowly, saying each sound distinctly.


The meaning system of language

Shared reading

The teacher reads a book aloud with a group of children as they follow along in the text, often using a big book.

Short vowels

The vowel sounds represented by /a/ as in cat, /e/ as in bet, etc.


A comparison expressed using like or as (quick as a cricket)


A problem-solving behavior that students use in reading and writing, such as predicting, monitoring, visualizing, and summarizing.


An automatic processing behavior that students use in reading and writing, such as sounding out words, recognizing antonyms, and capitalizing proper nouns.

Struggling reader or writer

A student who isn;'t meeting grade-level expectatings in reading or writing.


A syllable added to the end of a word to change the word's meaning (-y in hairy and -ful in careful)

Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)

Independent reading practice in which all adults and students in the class or in the school stop what they are doing and spend time (20-30 minutes) reading a self-selected book.


An uninterrupted segment of speech that includes a vowel sound (get, a-bout, but-ter-fly)


The author's use of an object to represent something else.


The structural system of language or grammar.


Words appearing in print.

Trade book

A published book that is not a textbook; the type of books in bookstores and libraries.

Uppercase letters

The letters that are larger and are used as first letters in a name or at the beginning of a sentence; also called capital letters.


A voiced speech sound made without friction or stoppage of the airflow as it passes through the vocal tract; a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y and w.

Vowel digraph

Two or more adjacent vowels in a syllable that represent a single sound (e.g. bread, eight, pain, saw)

Word families

Groups of words that rhyme (e.g. ball, call, fall, hall, mall, tall and wall)

Word identification

Strategies that students use to decode words, such as phonics analysis, analogies, syllabic analysis and morphemic analysis.

Word sort

A word-study activitiy in which students group words into categories.

Word wall

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

Writing genres

Forms of writing, such as stories, friendly letters, essays, and poems.

Writing process

The process in which students use prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing to develop and refine a composition.

Writing Workshop

An approach in which students use the writing process to write books and their compositions on self-selected topics.

Zone of Proximal Development - Vygotsky

The distance between a child's actual developmental level and his or her potential developmental level that can be reached with scaffolding by the teacher or classmates.


Words that sound the same, but are spelled differently - also called homonyms.

Advanced Organizer

A method for preparing students to read by providing prereading activities or information


Using a known word, letter or chunk to problem solve an unknown word in text. ex. A student who knows how to write "cat" and the letter "b" can use those to write "bat"

Anticipation Guide

These guides allow individuals to reflect on and express their opinions in relation to written statements about what they are reading that challenge or confrim their beliefs. When a student gives an initial response they can disucss their response in small groups. Then those groups can meet together so that students can have the benefit of the collective background knowledge of the large group.

Author's Chair

this strategy provides a way to share with each other the excitement of a particular moment in relation to a book or to their own writing. A student reads aloud a selected piece of their own writing and peers have an opportunity to respond to what is read.

Auditory Discrimination

The ability to hear differences in sounds.


The ongoing gathering of information about students.


The strategy of checking one or more cue sources with another while reading to verify accuracy.

Dialogue Journal

journal kept by two people, usually student and adult

Direct Instruction

A teacher-led instructional procedure that provides students with specific instructions on a task, teacher-led practice, independent practice, and immediate corrective feedback. Also referred to as explicit instruction

Directed Listening Thinking Activity (DLTA)

An instructional and assessment strategy using listening, predicting and confirming


The left to right tracking of print while reading and the return sweep

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