Phonemes Introduced in This Cycle
Review of short vowels, with particular focus on words with digraphs
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.
- Engagement Text: This text serves to pique students' interest in the Decodable Reader, introduced in Work Time B, by incorporating the topic and words from this cycle into an engaging read-aloud.
- Poem Launch: Students hear/read a poem that includes keywords for each letter introduced in the cycle. The verses incorporate new high-frequency word(s) and words that feature the cycle's new graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds). This poem is used throughout the cycle for different purposes.
- Mystery Word (Clues to the Mystery Word and Introducing the Mystery Word): Students explore the already introduced poem for a new purpose: searching for a "mystery" high-frequency word. Students are given clues about the number of letters in the word and then search for words with the same number of letters, encouraging student inquiry. They also listen for a word as the teacher reads the words of the poem, clapping when they hear it. This practice is a vehicle for introducing Kindergarten high-frequency words that students will later see in poems and Decodable Student Readers.
- Write the Letter to Match the Sound: 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.
- Interactive Writing: Students apply their growing knowledge of letter-sound connections to writing words by working on a shared sentence. Students apply their knowledge of high-frequency words and letter-sound knowledge to spell familiar words and also practice correct letter formation and punctuation.
- Phonemic Blending and Segmentation: Students segment and blend single-syllable words with three phonemes. This practice continues to refine students' ability to focus on and analyze the sounds within words.
- Chaining: Students begin by identifying each phoneme they hear in a CVC word and connect each of those sounds to the letter (grapheme) that matches it. Once they have encoded the word in this way, they then decode it by making each individual sound and blending them to pronounce the word.
- Assessment and Goal Setting (during cycle assessments): Students take on-demand assessments at the end of each cycle. Teachers score immediately to track students' progress and possibly revise their personal goals for the module accordingly.
Cycle Word List
In Modules 3 and 4, Kindergartners work on phonemic segmentation and blending and are introduced to decoding and encoding VC and CVC words. This cycle continues to focus on patterns introduced in Cycles 13-18. The following list provides examples of words that contain the patterns from this cycle. Note that words from this cycle include consonant digraphs. For the full cycle overview with word list, Cycle-at-a-Glance, and teaching notes, download the cycle overview.
Engagement Text and Decodable Readers
The text listed below can be utilized to reinforce the skills taught in the cycle. Teachers can use the text to have students apply their learning during small group work or teacher-led groups. By focusing on the skills/patterns being taught, students can apply their learning to text. A list of activities to consider with the text are listed in the activity section.
Every afternoon, Chip starts to yawn. When this happens, he knows it’s time for his cat nap. Lately, he has been sleeping in the alley behind the donut shop. He starts to curl up inside of the hat he uses as a bed when he hears a huge thud! and then a bash!
“What was that?” he thinks as he looks up to investigate.
It is the trash can. A worker from the donut shop had thrown a big, stinky bag of trash into the can and then slammed the top back on.
“Okay, now I can nap,” Chip thinks as he closes his eyes. But then he hears a horn honking. He gets up and looks around the corner into the street. A truck is blocking the street, so the taxicab and many other cars are honking their horns loudly.
“Ugh!” Chip says. “Will I ever get to take a nap?”
Chip is one cranky kitty when he does not get rest. He is so tired he can barely think, but then he has an idea. Sometimes the window of the donut shop delivery van is open. Maybe he can slip in and nap in the comfy back seat. He walks over to the van but is disappointed to see that all the windows are tightly shut.
“Will I ever get some peace and quiet so I can take my nap today?” Chip thinks. He is getting more cranky.
Then he has one more idea: Pat’s house! There is a little a girl in the neighborhood named Patricia, Pat for short. She lives with her brother, James, and their grandma. Pat sometimes leaves scraps of food out on the porch for Chip. If he goes over there, maybe he will get a nap and get a snack, too!
Chip hurries over to Pat’s house and quickly curls up in their small front yard. When he wakes up, there is a bowl of milk waiting for him on the front steps. Chip licks up every last drop of the milk! He’s not a cranky kitty anymore. Now he’s a happy kitty!