Decoding and Spelling: Review and Cycle Assessment | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:S3:C13:L70

Decoding and Spelling: Review and Cycle Assessment

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can read silly, closed, two-syllable words. (RF.1.3)
    • I can decode (read) two-syllable words by thinking about the syllable type.
  • Opening B: I can spell closed, two-syllable, and high-frequency words. (L.1.2)
    • I can read first-grade words that "don't play fair" in isolation.
    • I can use what I know about common spelling patterns to spell words with that common pattern correctly.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Cycle 13 Assessment



1. Opening (10 minutes)

A. Reading Silly Words

B. Spelling with Style

2. Work Time (45 minutes)

A. Extended Differentiated Small Group Instruction: Cycle Assessment and Goal Setting

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher (40 minutes)

In Advance

  • Gather a list of regularly spelled two-syllable VCCV nonsense ("silly") words. For Spelling with Style, consider teaching the students some "styles" so they can choose one or more styles to use. Add to the collection of styles as the year progresses.
  • Prepare the Cycle 13 Assessment.


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • decode, goal, syllable, goal (L)


  • Whiteboards (one per student)
  • Whiteboard markers (one per student)
  • Whiteboard erasers (one per student)
  • Cycle 13 Assessment (one per student; see Assessment Overview and Resources)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Silly Words

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Gather round together, together, together. Gather round together to read silly words. They may sound a little strange, strange, strange. They may sound a little strange, 'cause that's how they're arranged."

  • Begin the Reading Silly Words instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: "We are going to practice reading words, but they aren't normal words; they are silly words, words that a Martian from outer space might use!"

2. Teacher writes a regularly spelled nonsense or "silly" closed two-syllable word on the board. Examples: "buffin," "dannot," "lunnel."

3. Teacher says: "Even though this is a silly Martian word and we don't know what it means, we can still read it because we know the sounds that each letter makes."

4. Teacher writes: "buffin" (or other silly word) on the board.

5. Teacher models or asks a student volunteer to decode the word.

6. Teacher writes another word on the board and asks students to turn and talk with an elbow partner about how they might decode this silly word.

7. Teacher circulates and listens in on partner conversations.

8. Based on student conversations, teacher chooses a student volunteer to articulate a strategy for decoding.

9. Student volunteer segments the phonemes of the word and blends them to say the word.

10. Student volunteer shares how he or she decoded the word. (Responses will vary. Examples: "I divided the word into two syllables and read each one first, then blended them together," or "I can pull out/segment each of the sounds and then blend them together.")

11. Teacher repeats steps 6-10 with four or five more words.

      • Note: If concerned about time, teacher may skip step 10 for the remaining words.
  • After this activity has been modeled and practiced, break the class into smaller phase groups (Pre-Alphabetic, Partial Alphabetic, etc.) or with partners (from different phases). Additional words may be written on Word Cards or in a list, differentiated in complexity according to phase. If students from different phases are paired, those students further along in their acquisition of letter-sound connections can provide support for their partner.

B. Spelling with Style

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Now let's all spell words, spell words, spell words. Now let's all spell words in ways that we know. It's time to be silly, to be silly, to be silly. It's time to show how silly we can be when we spell."

  • Distribute whiteboards, whiteboard markers, and whiteboard erasers.
  • Begin the Spelling with Style instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: "We just practiced reading words in a fun way. Now we will practice spelling words in a fun way!"

2. Teacher says: "If I want to spell the word 'attic,' I can do it in a normal voice like this: a-t-t-i-c" (using a normal, boring voice), "or I can spell it like an opera singer: a-t-t-i-c" (in an operatic voice) "or like a chicken: a-t-t-i-c" (saying each letter in a squawky chicken voice while flapping arms).

3. Teacher invites the class or an individual student to choose the first "style" the class will use to spell the word(s) aloud. (Consider using the same style for the entire activity or switching for each word.)

4. Once the style is chosen, teacher says aloud a word from this cycle. Examples: "ladder" or "himself."

5. Students spell the word together aloud "with style."

6. As they spell the word aloud, students write it on their whiteboards.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 with three or four more words from this cycle.

  • Consider supporting students with the spelling of the two-syllable words by having them quietly clap the two beats (using a two-finger clap) and then spell each syllable in the word (example: "at"-"tic," "a-t"-"t-i-c").

Work Time

Work Time

A. Extended Differentiated Small Group Instruction: Cycle Assessment and Goal Setting

  • (Cycle Assessment and Goal Setting transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"It's time to spell and decode to show what we're learning. It's time to spell and decode to show what we've learned."

  • Teacher helps students transition to their differentiated small groups and tells them they will complete the Cycle 13 Assessment during their rotation.

Closing & Assessments


A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that effective learners keep track of and reflect on their own learning. Point out to students that they are doing this each time they consider how what they did today helps them become more proficient readers.
  • Remind students that today they reviewed the skills they've been working on all week, including matching sounds and letters, blending and separating sounds to read and write words, and learning to get new words into their memories. They also took an assessment to see what they've learned and what they might still need to work on.
  • Explain that, in any work, people use information from assessments, advice from coworkers or friends, and help from experts to get better. Share examples (e.g., athletes reviewing videos of past games, getting advice from coaches and teammates). Part of being an effective learner is knowing what you need to work on so you can continue to grow and improve.
  • Ask for volunteers to share out:

"What goal did you set following the assessment?" (Responses will vary. Example: "I noticed that I am not clearly making the vowel sounds in words, so I sometimes mix them up. I need to remember to say each sound clearly.")

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: An extended differentiated small group instruction time today will allow the teacher to meet with each group. Begin by administering the cycle assessment to each group. If time allows, score the assessment right away and guide students to create goals based on assessment results. If time is a concern, teacher may only meet with one or two groups per cycle for goal setting. (Refer to Assessment Overview for more information.) Suggestions are provided for additional work with the Pre-Alphabetic group if time allows.


  • Assessment:
    • Use the Pre-Alphabetic phase blank Assessment Planning template (see supporting materials in Lesson 15) to create an assessment focused on the letters and sounds appropriate for individuals or the group.

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Follow directions for the Partial Alphabetic microphase.

Full Alphabetic:

  • Follow directions for the Full Alphabetic microphase.

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Follow directions for the Consolidated Alphabetic microphase. 

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