Evaluation for 4.3
Materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge and opportunities for students to practice both in and out of context (K-2).
Materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge and opportunities for students to practice both in and out of context. Materials include a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction and opportunities for sufficient student practice to achieve grade-level mastery. Materials systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns as addressed in the Kindergarten TEKS, with opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to connected texts and tasks. Materials provide explicit instruction in grade-level high-frequency words and opportunities for students to read high-frequency words both in and out of context. Materials include building spelling knowledge as identified in the TEKS.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials include a variety of research citations to support their phonics approach. According to the research, phonics instruction can and should begin as early as Kindergarten due to the significant and substantial effect on later reading ability. Additionally, the research supports the integration of two major components: systematic instruction and practice. The systematic instruction component entails direct and explicit teaching of the major sound-symbol relationships in a specific and clearly defined sequence. The sequence begins with single-letter sound-symbol relationships and then progresses toward more complex sound-symbol relationships.
The materials include a scope and sequence for foundational reading instruction. The “Phonics Snapshot” indicates when each phonics skill is taught and which specific skill is being introduced. For example, in Unit 6, students are introduced to all the VCe long-vowel sounds. Week 1 is VCe sound /a/, Week 2 is VCe /o/, Week 3 is VCe /i/, and Week 4 is VCe /u/. The skills found in the Phonics Snapshot are directly correlated with the Kindergarten TEKS. The materials also include instructional routines for practicing phonics skills. For example, as students trace and write letters, they say the sound related to that symbol (students would say /m/ while writing the uppercase and lowercase letter Mm).
In Unit 2, students learn about the short vowel /o/ and the consonant /d/ sounds. The teacher shows the sound-symbol card for Oo, reads the word ostrich, and points out that the letter o stands for the /o/ sound in ostrich. A volunteer goes up to the card to point to the letter in the word ostrich that stands for the short /o/ sound. The teacher shows cards for additional words with the short vowel /o/ sound (mop, pot, not, tot) and asks what all the words have in common. The teacher reinforces that all of the words have the short /o/ sound in the middle, demonstrates decoding them by sounding out the CVC words, and directs students to repeat the decoding. The teacher follows a similar process for the consonant /d/ sound, using the words dog, Don, Dan, dots, and dad.
In Unit 4, the teacher uses the text Nat’s Cat to teach the -at and -ap word families. Students first have the opportunity to make their own -at and -ap words using letter/word family cards, and then the teacher introduces the decodable text Nat’s Cat. The teacher previews the cover of the text to make predictions, reads the title to identify the -at words, and identifies tricky high-frequency words in the text. After reading part of the text aloud, students identify words from the -at or -ap word families. Students then read the rest of the text independently, circling all the words from the -at word family in red and all the words from the -ap word family in blue. There is also a separate phonics worksheet that asks students to identify and label pictures from a provided bank of words in the -at or -ap word families.
In Unit 6, students receive explicit instruction on the letter-sound correspondence for VCe long vowel /o/. The teacher introduces the long /o/ sound using VCe picture cards. Students then practice blending and reading words, such as cope, mode, rode and tone, using a workmat and letter cards. Next, students practice blending onset and rime using letter cards and the -oke and -ome word family cards. The teacher places the -oke word family card on the right side of a pocket chart and the j card on the left side and models how to blend the onset and rime to make the word joke. The class repeats this process using different word family cards, such as -ome, -ose, and -ove. Students also practice distinguishing between the long /o/ and short /o/ sound by sorting decodable word cards. Last, the teacher introduces the decodable book Rose’s Birthday, and students apply their phonetic knowledge to independently read the text.
High-frequency words are taught in a five-day sequence of instruction. On Day 1, the teacher uses flashcards to introduce the new high-frequency words for the week. The teacher says the word, students repeat the word, the teacher spells the word, and the students repeat the spelling one letter at a time. The teacher then says the word again, and the students repeat the word again. The teacher then puts the words on a “Word Wall.” On Days 2–5, the teacher reviews the new high-frequency words and their location on the Word Wall.
In Unit 7, the teacher uses the shared-reading text The Mighty Mississippi and flashcards to introduce the following high-frequency words: these, those, or, more, and make. The teacher posts the flashcards on the Word Wall on Day 1 and, throughout the rest of the week, directs students to echo read, choral read, and independently read the words. The teacher also points out the high-frequency words while reading texts throughout the week. Additional materials for differentiated instruction are also provided. For example, the teacher may use the high-frequency words in sentences and direct students to clap each time they hear one; then, students create sentences with the high-frequency words of their own. An example of a sentence included on the practice page is “I will get some…waffles.”
The materials build spelling knowledge throughout all eight units and focus on spelling VC, CVC, and CCVC words, spelling words with sound-spelling patterns, and spelling high-frequency words. For example, in Unit 4, students use the decodable text Bub and the Nut to work on the CVC spelling pattern. The teacher guides students in using sound boxes and letter tiles to build new words that include -ub and -ut spelling patterns. Students stretch out the sounds orally while spelling the word with letter tiles in the sound boxes.