In this module, students shift to decoding two-syllable words. Students are introduced to new syllable types—first, closed syllable (VCCV), then open-syllable beginning with CV, and finally CVCe words with a long vowel sound in the middle and a silent “e” at the end. Students are slowly introduced to two-syllable words of a specific syllable type and, finally, pairing taught-syllable types in two-syllable words.
By the end of the modules, students should be able to decode and encode one-syllable words with the CVCe syllable type. Students will learn how to identify vowels and vowel sounds in words and use that knowledge to divide words into two syllables. Although students are not expected to master the identification of syllable types, they will develop a comfort with dividing words and begin to identify the types of syllables based on this skill. In addition, the act of dividing multisyllabic words will lead students to begin to decode and encode two-syllable words with a combination of CV, CVC, and CVCe syllable types.
- Cycle 12: Introduces the idea that every syllable has a vowel. Students learn how to break a word into syllables to decode efficiently (examples: “magnet,”“picnic”). Students receive direct instruction of syllable type VC/CV to teach the decoding (and encoding) of two-syllable words.
- Cycle 13: Continues work with two-syllable words and syllable type VC/CV, and will fold in compound words (examples: “pigpen,” “sunset”) to solidify students’ understanding of syllables (i.e., each syllable can be a word—as represented in compound words—or not).
- Cycle 14: Introduces long vowel sounds via the spelling pattern of an open syllable. The cycle begins with one-syllable words and then moves to two-syllable words by pairing an open syllable with a closed (examples: “mo-ment,” “o-pen”) or with another open syllable (example: “he-ro”). Instructing students on how to use vowels in two-syllable words to identify the syllable type and decode is begun in earnest. This opens up a large number of words that students can access in reading and writing. Suffixes “-s” as action and plural nouns and “-es” as action are continued.
- Cycle 15: Students are introduced to another spelling pattern for long vowel sounds: “silent e” (CVCe). Because this is the first of four cycles that works with this pattern, this cycle focuses on one-syllable words, introducing them with clusters later in the cycle. Most of the words used contain the /ā/ (“a_e” pattern), providing a strong model for students as they apply their knowledge to other vowel sounds (“i,” “o,” “u,” “e”). One-syllable words with easy suffixes (“-s”) that do not require dropping the “e” are used. The rule about adding a vowel suffix to a silent “-e” word (where the “e” must be dropped as in “bake” to “baking” or “baked”) is offered as an extension but is introduced explicitly later in the module. Two-syllable words are also offered as an extension, pairing an open or closed syllable with the new CVCe syllable type (examples: “be-came,” “cup-cake”). This, effectively, continues to gradually build students’ knowledge and skill in using vowels in two-syllable words to divide, identify syllable type, and decode.
- Cycle 16: Continues to focus on the CVCe spelling pattern. While this cycle is “i” and “e” heavy, it continues to work with that spelling pattern with all vowels (including “a_e,” “u_e,” and “e_e”). Similar to Cycle 14 this begins with one-syllable words with and without consonant clusters, and with inflectional ending “-s” (that does not require dropping the “e”). It also works with some two-syllable words by pairing an open or closed syllable with the “i_e” and “o_e” (examples: “sun-shine,”“be-side”). This guides students to continue to locate vowels in two-syllable words to divide, identify syllable type, and decode. The rule about dropping the “e” when adding a vowel suffix is offered as an extension but is introduced explicitly later in the module.
- Cycle 17: Continues to provide time to solidify the CVCe pattern to represent long vowel sounds focusing heavily on “u_e” and “e_e.” As with the previous two cycles, this begins with one-syllable words with and without clusters, uses the suffix “-s” (where dropping the “e” is not required), and then moves to two-syllable words by pairing an open or closed syllable with the new CVCe syllable type (examples: “cos-tume,” “in-clude”). This guides students to continue to locate vowels in two-syllable words to divide, identify syllable type, and decode. The rule about dropping the “e” when adding a vowel suffix continues to be offered here as an extension but is introduced explicitly later in the module.
- Cycle 18: Explicitly introduces the “vowel suffix” rule about dropping the “e” when adding an inflectional ending (suffix) that starts with a vowel (examples: “bake” to “baking” to “baked”). Students see that adding “-s” does not require dropping the “e” (that suffix does not start with a vowel). Practice with decoding and encoding two-syllable words with the combination of CVCe and open or closed-syllable continues as well.
Module Pacing Considerations
Flex Week: All modules in the K–2 Reading Foundations Skills Block include a Flex Week for teachers to use at their discretion. When determining how to use these days, consider scheduling challenges (examples: holidays or teacher work days) and students’ needs (example: re-teaching).
Module 3 introduces several new instructional practices: Vowel Sounds (Opening), Suffixes (Opening), Syllable Sleuth (Work Time), Suffix Sleuth (Work Time), and Magnanimous Magician (Work Time). Along with these new instructional practices come more challenging lessons, leading students to begin decoding and encoding words with long vowel patterns and two-syllable words. Consider using one or more Flex Days to reinforce the new instructional practices and/or the new, more challenging skills introduced.
Middle-of-the-Year Benchmark Assessments can be administered at the discretion of the teacher, school leader, and/or school district. If they are administered between Modules 2 and 3, consider using a few Flex Days from each module to make up for this time, if necessary.
There are two forms of assessment in the K–2 Reading Foundations Skills curriculum.
- Students complete Benchmark Assessments at the start of the year, mid-year, and at the end of the year (see Grade Assessment Overview and Resources).
- At the end of each cycle, students also are assessed on decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) of words made up of taught graphemes and phonemes as well as taught high-frequency words. It is suggested that the teacher scores the assessment and reviews the results with each individual student to facilitate a goal-setting conversation. If time is a concern, the teacher may consider only meeting with one or two groups for each cycle for a goal-setting conversation. Guidance is provided to differentiate the assessments based on each student’s Phase of Reading Development. Refer to the Review and Cycle Assessment lesson in each cycle for details.
Habits of Character / Social Emotional Learning Focus
Across EL Education’s curriculum, there is a specific focus on students building habits of character. See K–5 Curriculum Overview for details.
Within the K–2 Reading Foundations Skills Block, specifically, there is a strong focus on building students’ growth mindset: noticing their ability grows with their effort. This is addressed during a daily Closing routine where students reflect on how the content of the lesson and specific learning or actions they’ve taken contribute to helping them become more proficient readers.
Through daily reflections in lessons, students can see the relationship between the skills and knowledge they learn and the ability to read proficiently. Specific prompts, such as “How will our work today in finding the vowels in written words help us read longer words?” guide students to make those connections. Regular student analysis of their own work via feedback and goal setting continues, further developing their capacity as “leaders of their own learning.” Teachers support students to identify actions they can take during independent work time to work toward their goals and monitor progress. This, paired with prompts related to habits of character, such as “What did you do today that demonstrates perseverance? How will that help you become a more proficient reader?” Or “How did you collaborate with someone today to help you both become proficient readers?” further supports students’ understanding that they can take ownership over the process of learning.
Engagement Texts and Decodable Readers
No purchase necessary. Engagement texts and decodables are included in the module materials.
- “A Sunset Picnic” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 12)
- “Pat’s Backpack” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 13)
- “Pat’s Donut” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 14)
- “James and Sam Make a Flame” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 15)
- “James and Sam Take a Hike” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 16)
- “Cubes and Cones” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 17)
- “Baseball” (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 18)
CCS Standards Taught and Assessed
- RF.1.1: Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
A. Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
- RF.1.2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
A. Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
B. Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
C. Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
D. Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
- RF.1.3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
A. Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
B. Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
C. Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
D. Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.
E. Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
F. Read words with inflectional endings.
G. Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
- RF.1.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
A. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
B. Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
C. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
- L.1.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
A. Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
- L.1.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
D. Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
E. Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
Module at a Glance
Introduced: Syllable type CV/VC
High-Frequency Words: “was,” “you,” “they,” “why,” “said”
Introduced: Syllable type VC/CV and compound words
High-Frequency Words: “do,” “yes,” “much,” “put”
Introduced: Open syllable with long vowel sound
High-Frequency Words: “began,” “behind,” “man,” “thank,” “do”
Introduced: CVCe with an emphasis on /ā/
High-Frequency Words: “like,” “they,” “are,” “make”
Introduced: Continuation of CVCe, with a focus on /ō/ and /ī/
High-Frequency Words: “next,” “says,” “still,” “want,” “ways”
Introduced: Continuation of CVCe, with a focus on /ū/ and /ī/
High-Frequency Words: “kind,” “many,” “these,” “too,” “your,” “fly,” “take”
Introduced: Continuation of CVCe, with two-syllable words and suffixes
High-Frequency Words: “watch,” “ago,” “long,” “time”
See each Cycle Overview for more details, including information about what to prepare in advance, and extension opportunities.