Grades 3-8 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use/Foundational Skills Scope and Sequence
Philosophy of Grade 3-8 Instruction
There is an explicit and systematic approach to teaching spelling and word study. Explicit instruction is balanced with differentiated studies and word consciousness. Word consciousness refers to providing a print/word rich environment, fostering wordplay, integrating vocabulary in writing, and reading aloud.
As skills are introduced, students engage in activities for repeated practice. There is high exposure to words in context and within content. Vocabulary acquisition is connected to content areas such as math, social studies, and science as well as to the arts, kinetic wellness, and technology. Through explicit teaching and an integrated approach, students are exposed to a high volume of words each year.
Spelling includes the following:
- Spelling patterns
- Word families
- High-frequency words
Vocabulary acquisition includes the following:
- Phonics and word recognition
- Unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases
- Figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings
- General academic words and phrases
- Domain-specific words and phrases
This scope and sequence captures grade-specific skills from two strands of the CCSS, the Language Standards, and Reading Foundational Skills. Phonics and Word Recognition Skills (Reading Foundational Skills) for grades 3-5 are part of this specific progression. The standards for CCSS Reading Foundational Skills cover only Kindergarten through fifth grade, therefore this standard does not build into grades 6-8 on this progression. In addition, Language Standards that relate to Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (Language Standards 4, 5, and, 6) are articulated in this progression for grades K-8.
The Language Arts Committee compiled research on vocabulary acquisition and instructional practices and then developed criteria based on these research findings. The committee evaluated research-based programs with instructional and student materials. This process involved the examination of primary and secondary materials that would provide explicit instruction of skills at each grade level.
Full implementation of the Words their Way Program rolled out for grades 3-5 in 2018-2019.
During the 2018-2019 school year, teachers in grades 6-8th re-evaluated the updated version of Wordly Wise i3000.
The LA Committee and grade level ELA teachers decided to discontinue the use of the Wordly Wise platform and now utilize IXL with students in grades 5-8. Explicit vocabulary lessons introduce concepts and skills, and student independent practice on IXL reinforces these skills. Similar to grammar and mechanics, the Teachers College Units for Teaching Reading and Writing integrate Foundational Reading Skills and Language Standards into the teaching sessions.
To complement vocabulary instruction, grades 5-8 also utilize Classical Roots.