Glossary of Terms


Alphabetic Principal – The concept that there is a relationship between the spoken sounds in oral language and the graphic forms in written language.

Alphabet Linking Chart – A chart containing the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet paired with pictures representing words beginning with each letter.

Assessment – A means for gathering information or data that reveals what learners control, partially control or do not yet control consistently

Blend – To combine sounds or word parts

Buddy Study – A five-day word study system for learning conventional spelling strategies, patterns and principles.

Choral Reading – To read aloud in unison with a group.

Connecting Strategies – Ways of solving words that use connections or analogies with similar known words. (Knowing the sh in she and the word out helps a student learn the word shout)

Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum – A comprehensive literacy model is research-based and designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively. There is a balance between reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical thinking. Assessments are given to guide the teacher's instructional decisions. Students work at a level that is not frustrating for them. In our child-centered classrooms, many opportunities are provided for strategy-based learning, critical thinking and real life reading and writing experiences.

Decoding – Using letter/sound relationships to translate a word from a series of symbols to a unit of meaning.

DIBELS - Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills is a literacy screening for students in grades K-3.

Directionality – The orientation of print (left to right).

Early Literacy Concepts – Very early understandings related to how written language or print is organized and used. How it “works.”

Fluency in Reading – Reading continuous text with good momentum, phrasing, appropriate pausing, intonation and stress.

Guided Reading – An instructional setting that enables the teacher to work with a small group of students to help them learn effective strategies for processing text with understanding. The purpose of guided reading is to meet the varying instructional needs of all students, enabling them to greatly expand their reading powers.

Guided Writing – An instructional setting designed to teach a specific skill or strategy to a small group of students and to give children practice in writing. Students are supported as needed by a teacher who provides instruction through mini-lessons and conferences. The goal of guided writing is to move students toward independent writing.

“Have a try” or “Have a go” – A space on which to write a word, notice that it doesn't look quite right, try it two or three other ways and decide which construction looks right; to make an attempt and correct ones self.

High Frequency Words – Words that occur often in the spoken and written language. They are often called “sight words.” (i.e. the, and, said, I)

Interactive Read Aloud – A teaching context in which students are actively listening and responding to an oral reading of a text.

Interactive Writing – A teaching context in which the teacher and students cooperatively plan, compose, and write a group text; both teacher and students act as scribe (“sharing the pen”).

Onset – In a syllable, the part that comes in the beginning, before the vowel. (cr-eam)

Just-Right Book – A high-interest book that a student can read with 90% accuracy or more with good understanding of meaning.

Leveled Books – A key component in a guided reading program. High interest books are given a level of difficulty so students can be matched to a just-right book.

LLI - Leveled Literacy Intervention is a small group intervention consisting of reading, writing, and phonics instruction provided in Kindergarten through grade 2.

Phonemic Awareness – The ability to hear individual sounds in words and to identify particular sounds.

Phonics – The knowledge of letter/sound relationships and how they are used in reading and writing. Teaching phonics refers to helping children acquire this body of knowledge about the oral and written language systems; additionally, teaching phonics helps children use phonics knowledge as a part of a reading and writing process.

Phonological Awareness – The awareness of words, rhyming words, onsets, and rimes, syllables, and individual sounds.

RR - Reading Recovery is a one-to-one intervention for first grade students consisting of a daily 30-minute lesson in reading, writing and phonics instruction.

Rime – The ending word part containing the vowel (dr-eam)

Strategic Action – Any one of many simultaneous, coordinated thinking activities that go on in a reader's head.

Word Family – A term often used to designate words that are connected by phonograms or rimes (i.e. hot, pot, shot). A word family can also be a series of words connected by a base word (base, baseball, basement)

Word Wall - A classroom tool used to display a collection of words that a child refers to for support of his/her reading and writing. The word wall includes high frequency words and exemplar words used in analogy based word work.
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