Note Cards for Literacy Models Class
The Six Steps of Vocabulary Instruction


Source: Vocabulary for the Common Core by Robert Marzano and Julia Simms

1. Provide a Description, Explanation, or Example of the New Term

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2.  Students Restate the Description, Explanation, or Example in Their Own Words

3. Students Construct a Picture or Symbol of the New Term

4.  Engage in Activities such as Comparing/Contrasting, Classifying, and Metaphors


5.  Students Discuss Terms with One Another

6.  Involve Students in Games

Phonological Skills



  1. Word Awareness (Tracking words in sentences)
  2. Responsiveness to Rhyme and Alliteration
  3. Syllable Awareness
  4. Onset and Rime Manipulation–Producing a Rhyme
  5. Phonemic Awareness–Initial, Medial, Final Sounds

Phonics Skills


  1. Introduce high-frequency sound spellings first
  2. Introduce a few short vowels
  3. Introduce letter sounds that relate to letter names first
  4. Separate letters/sounds that look or sound similar
  5. Provide ample time and explicit instruction for blending sounds
  6. Provide a logical sequence of skills from easier to more complex spellings
Phonics Assessment



  1. Letter Naming
  2. Nonsense Word Fluency
  3. Must analyze results to determine intervention
Effective Fluency Instruction

  1. Model fluent reading–read aloud to them with expression and from different genres
  2. Do repeated readings in class–(read aloud, discuss phrasing, echo read, choral read)
  3. Promote phrased reading in class (poems work well)
  4. Enlist tutors to help out
  5. Try a reader’s theater in class

Stages of Fluency Development



  1. Level 1:  Reads word-by-word with 2-3 word phrases at times.  Usually monotone.
  2. Level 2: Reads primarily in 2-3 word phrases.  May have some word-by-word reading at times.
  3. Level 3: Reads primarily in 3-4 word phrase groups.  Most phrasing is appropriate to the meaning of the text.
  4. Level 4: Reads primarily in large, meaningful phrase units.  Read with expression most of the time.
Teaching Reading Comprehension



  1. Monitoring Comprehension
  2. Using graphic and semantic organizers
  3. Answering questions
  4. Generating questions
  5. Recognize story structure
  6. Summarizing
Assessing Reading Comprehension


  1. Cloze passages: Passages are presented with blanks in sentences; students fill in missing word
  2. Question/Answer:  Students read a passage and answer questions about it
  3. Retellings: Student orally reads passage and tells examiner about the story (usually scored by a scoring system)

Best Practices for Struggling Readers


  1. Use multiple approaches to teach decoding skills
  2. Be sure that certified teachers are working with struggling readers, not too much time with paraprofessionals
  3. Struggling readers should spend more time reading than their peers
  4. Invest in teacher expertise, not solely on programs
Working with Students with Dyslexia



  1. Students can have working memory problems, which impacts comprehension.
  2. Provide repetitve practice to increase automaticity
  3. Provide meaningful contexts
  4. Use visual/graphic organizers
  5. Break a task into parts, teach them separately, then work on integration
  6. Work on phonological awareness
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