High-frequency words are words that occur most frequently in written material and do not follow phonetic rules or, as we say in the EL Education curriculum, "don't play fair." Due to this fact, it is important that students are able to navigate these words with ease to improve their reading fluency and comprehension. While high-frequency words on their own don't carry much meaning, they are essential to sentences and help students gather meaning. Below you will find five activities for each day of the week that teachers can do with students or parents can do with their children at home as high-frequency words are being introduced cycle by cycle.
- Read it, say it, write it, read it again
- Use high-frequency words in sentences (oral and written)
- Read a list of high-frequency words and time yourself on fluency (keep running list)
- Search for high frequency words in sentences / poems and underline them
- Fishing for high-frequency words (one person reads the word aloud, other students find the word in a stack of other high-frequency words)
The instructional practices listed below summarize the instruction that accompanies the skills that are being taught in this cycle for the respective grade level. Teachers should review these routines for guidance on how to teach the skills and patterns reflected in the microphase.
- Poem Launch: Students hear/read a poem that includes vowel sounds and spelling patterns introduced in the cycle. Students identify words with similar spelling patterns and vowel sounds both aloud with the teacher and independently.
- Words Rule (Identify and Match): Students apply their knowledge of open and closed syllables to identify syllable types and decode multisyllabic words.
- Engagement Text: Students use knowledge of phoneme segmentation to isolate and identify the initial, middle, and final sound in a word. As they identify each sound, they must connect it to its written representation (grapheme) and practice proper letter formation using a skywriting technique.
- Comprehension Conversation (optional): Students answer suggested (or similar) text-based comprehension questions about the engagement text.
- Snap or Trap: Students are introduced to the high-frequency words of the cycle. This practice explicitly teaches all high-frequency words students will see in the Decodable Reader. Students decode and analyze each word to determine if the word is a "snap" word because it is decodable (regularly spelled) or "trap" because it is irregularly spelled.
- Decodable Reader Partner Search and Read: Students read a short text that incorporates words using familiar phonemes (sounds) and high-frequency words from the cycle, which students search out in the text with a partner before reading the text. Students receive practice with concepts of print (e.g., one-to-one match and return sweep) and apply knowledge of taught graphemes and phonemes as they decode words.
- Word Parts: Students apply their knowledge of word parts to correctly identify and spell basewords, suffixes, and prefixes to help them easily decode and understand unknown words.
- Interactive Writing: Students work together to brainstorm a list of words with specific spelling patterns. Next, students construct a silly sentence using words with the same spelling pattern and review high-frequency words taught.
- Word Rule (Homophones): Students identify words that sound the same but are spelled differently (homophones) in a text and use context to determine the meaning of each word.
- Fluency: Students interact with an excerpt from the Decodable Reader by applying elements of fluency to decode (read) excerpt aloud. In Modules 1 and 2, teacher leads analysis of excerpt and students choose one or two elements of fluency to focus on (dependent of excerpt). In Modules 3 and 4, teacher introduces Fluency Rubric for students to provide specific feedback to their classmates in the elements of fluency.
- Word Workout (Sneaky Sounds): Students apply their knowledge of the schwa sound to read and spell words correctly.
- Word Workout (Exercise Practice): Students practice exercises learned in the opening to practice reading and spelling multisyllabic words with different syllable types and spelling patterns.
Engagement Text and Decodable Readers
Nighttime at my house is not normal, I bet.
My brother has a monkey, quite a lovely pet!
She plays with my kitten some days until night.
They even keep playing when I turn off the light.
My mother has chickens in black, white, and red,
And each little chicken has its own covered bed!
My sister has a garden in front of our house.
Among those who live there is a tiny grey mouse.
Each night she goes out when he's ready to sleep
And covers him warm with wool from some sheep.
When the moon is above us and all this is done,
We welcome tomorrow, and more of this fun.
A map is a picture or a chart that shows the features of an area on Earth. Maps are important because they help us understand where a place is and what it's called. Maps also show us what surrounds a place, such as oceans, mountains, or deserts. A book full of maps is called an atlas.
On a map of the United States of America, there are lines showing the boundaries between each state. There are also lines showing the boundaries between the countries above and below the United States (Canada and Mexico).
Different colors are used on a map. Each state on a US map is usually a different color. Bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, are blue. Usually, red lines show highways that run throughout the United States. If a reader is unsure of how to read a map, she or he can
use the map key or legend to find out what different lines or colors represent.
Each state in the United States has a state capital. These cities are usually represented on a map by a star. Other cities that are not the state capital are represented by a dot. Some cities or towns are too small to be shown on a big map of the United States, though.
Maps can help us identify the location and name of a place on Earth, but that's not all. By showing us where to find a place and what surrounds it, maps help us understand the weather, the beauty, the dangers, and other important facts about a place, too.