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Brief Definition

Glossary Definition

adages These express general truths or facts about life.  "Things are not always what they seem." An adage is a short, pithy and memorable statement based upon fact. Adages are considered to be true by great numbers of people and become widely accepted over time. "Slow and steady wins the race." "Appearances are often deceiving."
adjectives words that describe a noun An adjective is a word that describes a noun (or pronoun) to allow you to communicate more clearly.: a "stinky" dog, a "slender" child, a "rotten" apple.
adverbs words that describe, add to or change the meaning of a verb, adjective or other adverb...swiftly walk, very hot, almost ready Adverbs are words the describe, add to or change the meaning of a verb, adjective, or other adverb.  Many adverbs end in ly:  endlessly, lightly, delicately, firmly, truthfully, absolutely, only, & completely. Other examples are:  very, too, almost, rather, so, quite & enough.
accuracy reading the words correctly  Accuracy refers to the percentage at which the child can read the words correctly.  In text levels A through K, a student must be able to read 90% of the words in the text accurately. At text levels L and above the rate jumps to 95% .
affixes letters attached to either side of the baseword or rootword All letters that are added to basewords such as suffixes and prefixes.These additions can be beore the base word or after it.  Affixes can change the way that the word is used in a sentence.
one type of affix
letters attached to the beginning of the baseword or root word. Prefixes are letters attached to the beginning of the baseword or root word. (re…, un…, mis…, dis…, in...) review, unhinge, misspeak, disappear, inside
one type of affix
letters attached to the end of the baseword or root word Suffixes are letters attached to the end of the baseword or root word. (, ...ed, ...ful, ...s,, ...ment) sinking, picked, wonderful, balls, boxes, punishment 
alliteration words that begin with the same sound Alliteration occurs when words that start with the same sound are used close together in a phrase or sentence. The beginning sounds in alliteration are usually consonant sounds.  These phrases often make great tongue twisters! She sells seashells by the sea shore.
antonyms words with opposite meanings Antonyms are words which have oppposite meanings. ( hot, cold; fast, slow; up, down, wild, tame; win, lose)
author person who writes the story The person who writes the book, article, report or other piece of writing.
background knowledge personal knowledge the student brings to the task to help her/him succeed A student will bring her/his personal experiences and knowledge to the task in order to be a more effective writer and a more competent reader.  A child who has read about or visited the seashore is better able to understand an author's descripion of waves.  That student will be able to write more effectively about the seashore and the ocean.
base words root words, words to which endings or beginnings can be added (wax...waxing, do...redo) Base words or root words can stand alone in a sentence.  They are the core words to which you can add endings (suffixes) or beginnings (prefixes) to change the word's use in a sentence.
benchmark text minimum for being on grade level Being at benchmark means that the student has crossed the threshold for being on grade level. Anything below this mark is considered below grade level. Benchmark does not mean average. The average student will be performing above the benchmark.
2 or 3  consonant sounds meld together /br/ /str/, each consonant sound can be distinguished In a blend two or three consonant sounds meld together( /br/ in 'breath' /str/ in 'string'), each consonant sound can be distinguished.
sounds in a word
ability to put the separate sounds together to make a word The ability to put separate letter sounds together to make a word is an important part of the beginning-to-read process. Students need to know their letters and sounds extremely well in order to do this.   /s/ /a/  /t/  = sat
captions words that label or identify a photograph or illustration Captions are words or phrases that more clearly identify photographs and illustrations in a book. This text feature can increase the reader's understanding of the text by providing additional information.
central message  the big & most important idea, what the story teaches The main idea of the text, the most important topic. ..what the story is really about.
characters people, animals or other beings in a story Characters are any people, animals or other creatures who populate a story, poem, movie, etc.  The characters usually face obstacles that must be overcome or problems that they must solve.
classic tales stories that teach a lesson, usually with animals that talk These are traditional tales often featuring animals that talk, interact and solve problems.  The classic tales have a moral or teach a lesson. Examples of classic tales are:  The Ugly Duckling, The Tortoise and the Hare, Chicken Little, and The Little Red Hen.
concluding statement ending message or summation The ending summation of the written work or text.  Usually the final or concluding statement restates the most important or central message.
conjunction for, and, but, as soon as, or, yet so, yet, since, because  Conjunctions are words that join other  words, phrases and independent clauses together.  (after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as thoughfor, and, but, or, yet so, yet, since, because)
making connections
The reader relates the text to a personal experience, another book or personal knowledge for better comprehension.  Students who connect their background knowledge to the text they read are better able to understand what they have read.  They actively think about and apply their knowledge of the book's topic, their own experiences, and the world around them.
letter which is not a vowel Consonants are: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x,  z,        sometimes y.  Consonants are all non vowel letters and sounds.
context using the surrounding words to read and understand a tricky word or concept Context is what we call the parts of a text or speech that precede or follow a specific word or passage and can influence its meaning or effect. It is useful to pay attention to the words and phrases surrounding a challenging word or concept in order to read it and/or understand its meaning.
decode read the words Decode literally means the ability to word call or read the print on the page. The reader may or may not understand what he/she is reading.
dictate One person says the words and someone else writes them down. In this case dictate means that the student orally states the sentence and the adult or scribe writes that sentence down on the student's paper. Sometimes the student will copy their own sentence(s) later.
digital tools using Chromebooks, iPads, computers, Smartboards, etc.
We are using Chromebooks, iPads, computers, Smartboards, etc. to enhance the thinking, writing and reading processes of our children. These are 21st century skills that are essential.
digraphs consonant 2 consonants work together to make 1 sound (ch, sh, th) The definition of a digraph is a combination of two letters that make one sound.Consonant digraphs include wh, ch, ph, sh, and th.
digraphs vowel 2 letters (at least 1 is a vowel) that work together to make 1 sound The definition of a digraph is a combination of two letters (at least 1 I a vowel) that make one sound. Vowel digraphs include ai, ay, ee, ea, ie, oo,
au , ey, aw.
diphthong A complex vowel sound formed by combining 2 vowel sounds. A diphthong is a complex vowel sound formed by combining 2 vowel sounds. ( boy, join, meow)
electronic menu set of options presented to the user of a computer application  
English grammar and usage the appropriate language used in books and the business world Standard English grammar and word useage is the language used in the business world.  Often, it is called the language of employment. It is the language found in most books. Standard English follows the rules of grammar and sentence contruction.
in oral reading
reading that sound natural, like talking Expression refers to the tone of voice and phrasing a student uses when reading orally. If a child can read fluently, vary his/her tone of voice and sound like she/he istalking, then there is a greater chance that the student is understanding the text.
fairy tale Story about magical and imaginary beings and lands. A fairy tale is a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures
fiction story that is made up, fiction means 'fake' Fiction means that the story is not true. It is 'fake'. It could be anything from fantasy to realistic fiction which is a story that could happen.
figurative language metaphors, similes, allusions to go beyond the dictionary meaning of the word to be more effective and persuasive in communicating Using figures of speech such as similes, etaphors, allusions, personification, and hyperbole make wrtiting more interesting,  persuasive and impactful for the reader. This means going beyond the literal or dictionary meaning of words which gives the reader new insights.
reading level
The book is too difficult for the child to read. In a frustration text, the child may be able to read some words  but is unable to adequately follow what is going on or understand what is being said.  Reading books at this level is of no benefit to the child.  It may  give the child the impression that reading is hard, no fun, and not worth the effort. The student will be disheartened, discouraged and may stop trying to learn to read.
a list of words and their definitions A glossary is an alphabetical list of words which belong to  a particular area of knowledge with the definitions for those words. 
icon picture or image that represents an application, capacity, or concept meaningful to the user  
idioms If we play our cards right.  A phrase that is not interpreted literally.  
informational text nonfiction writing to inform the reader Informational text is nonfiction text (true) that informs the reader about a topic. The author uses text features to more effectively reach his/her audience of readers.
illustrator person who draws the pictures in a story An illustrator is a person who draws the pictures in a story.
reading level
The child can successfully read the story alone and with confidence. Reading books at the independent level is very important for developing fluency, vocabulary and confidence. The child can enjoy the reading experience because the words are easy for him/her. Children need to spend a significant amount of time reading books that are easy for them to read.
alphabetical listing of topics or  words used in a text An index is an alphabetical list of topics treated or specific terms used in a book. It usually appears at the end of the book and identifies page numbers on which information about each subject or term appears.
inference use clues from the text plus your own thinking to determine what is going on.. An inference is made when the reader uses past knowledge along with the new information from the text to develop a deeper understanding of what is happening.
inflectional ending mix…mixes, snow…snowing Inflectional endings are letters added to the end of the word to change its meaning and/or function in the sentence.
reading level

A  child is able to read with the support of a teacher, parent or tutor.  An instructional reading level is the level at which a child needs the support of a teacher, parent or tutor to read successfully. This level of book provides some wonderful opportunities for growth and, often, introduces new vocabulary. Children should read a healthy mix of independent and instructional level books.
key facts important information from the text that is needed to understand the big ideas Essential information and details that help the reader understand the the main topic, the big ideas, or figure out the author's point of view. 
What the student is supposed to learn by the end of the year in each grade level... A learning target is a brief statement which describes
what a student is expected to learn and be able to
accomplish by the end of the lesson, the unit or the year.
These are end-of-year learning targets.
linking words words that connect ideas and sentences Linking words help the author to connect ideas, give examples, add information, sequence information, summarize, contrast ideas or give a reason/result.  examples: and, in addtion, as well as, apart from, moreover, furthermore, too.
literature story that is fiction or not true Literature texts are stories that are not true, fiction.   They may be realistic fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, historic fiction, traditional literature, science fiction etc.
long vowel the vowel says its own name  The long vowel says its own name. (may. he, hi, go) The letter U has two long vowel sounds. One is the traditional, says its own name long U sound in the words: 'music and 'mule'.  The other is the /oo/ sound long U makes in the word, 'tune'.
main topic what the text or writing task is about The main topic is the most important or central thought of the book, article, speech or other communication. What the text is mostly about is the main topic.
major events events important to the central idea of the story A major event in the text is a really important event that happened or is about to happen that is essential to understanding the central idea.
metaphors He has a broken heart.  She was lightning quick.  ....a comparison without using 'like' or 'as' This figure of speech makes a hidden or implied comparison between two different things without using the words 'like' or  'as'. The two things are not related but share some common qualities. "She was the black sheep in that family."  "My parents were boiling mad."
in poem
the pattern and rhythmic flow of the words  Meter is the stressed and unstressed patterns the syllables make in the phrases and lines of a poem. The stressed (louder/more important) syllables are longer and the unstressed syllables are shorter.  The meter gives the lines of poerty a pattern, a flow, and a rhythmic sound.
moral the lesson that I take from the story to improve my own life A moral is a lesson learned about right and wrong from a story or an event. ex. How you treat others will eventually come back to hurt or benefit you.
multi paragraph
more than one paragraph Multi paragraph text means more than one paragraph. It is a longer piece and requires a reader to follow the author's train of thought. That reader needs to be able to determine which are the important setails and which are not.  The writer of a mulit paragraph text must organize her/his inofrmation/thoughts into a cogent intrductions, main body and onclusion.
narrative piece personal story or imagined event Narrative writing piece tells about a peronal story or fictional experience of the author. It might also be a story based upon a real or imagined event.  
narrator person or character who is telling the story The narrator is the voice that the author takes on to tell the story. The narrator can have a personality that is totally different from the author's and/or the characters'.
nonfiction text that is true, talks about real things Nonfiction texts are true or 'not fake'. More precisely, these works are true from the author's viewpoint. They can take several forms. Narrative nonfiction talks about real life events such as autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, personal essays and journals. Expository or informative nonfiction informs or explains: research reports, anayltical essays. Peruasive nonfiction provides evidence to convice the reader to act or think a certain way. Political speeches, print advertisements, and editorials are in the persuasive nonfiction category. Descriptive nonfiction seeks to have the reader use her/his senses to create mental images. Descriptive nonfiction includes scientific observations and character sketches.
nouns name of person or object the name of a person (Geoff), a place (school) or thing (tornado)
opinion pieces What I think about the topic…. Opinion pieces are writing works which allow the student to give what she/he thinks about the topic with arguments to support his/her view. The Common Core want students to be effective adocates for their own opinions.
poem a collection of words that express an emotion or idea....may or may not rhyme A poem is a kind of text, or artistic writing, that tries to stimulate the reader's imagination and emotions. The  author accomplishes this by this by choosing and arranging the words for their meaning, rhythm and sound.  Poems can be simple and humorous. They can be complex and serious. Some poems use rhym and other poems do not.
plot the events that make up a story  Plot is a literary term that refers to how different events are arranged to make a story understandable to the reader, obsever or listener.
one type of affix
letters attached to the beginning of the base word or root word. Prefixes are letters attached to the beginning of the base word or root word. (re…, un…, mis…, dis…, in...) review, unhinge, misspeak, disappear, inside
prepositions in, under, of, during, in, up, by, A preposition acts as a locator of time and space in a sentence. e.g. after, under,
during the game, under the table, at school, in the closet, on the chair, with my dad A prepositional phrase is a phrase that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun. e.g.  Above the dark skies...., with my little sister...
proverbs A brief, simple saying that expresses a common sense truth. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  
purpose of 
a text
why the author wrote it Detemining a text's purpose requires the reader to think like the author. Why did the author write the text?  Who was her/his audience?  Was the author effective in his/her purpose? What is the author's main message to the reader?
rate words read per minute Rate is a measure of words per minute when the student reads out loud. Fast reading is not our goal. In fact, a fluent reader will vary the rate as she/he reads to further enhance comprehension. The rate needs to be sufficient to show that the student is efficiently using her/his strategies to decode and problem-solve his/her way through the text. Reading fluency is about phrasing and appropriate expression. A good rate doesn't alway mean appropriate fluency.
root words base words, words to which endings or beginnings can be added (wax...waxing, do...redo)  Root words or base words can stand alone in a sentence.  They are the core words to which you can add endings (suffixes) or beginnings (prefixes) to change the word's use in a sentence.
rhyming words The vowel and the ending of each word sound the same. (seat, feet, Pete) In rhyming words the last vowel and potential consonants at the end of each word sound the same. The words do not have to be spelled the same at the end. (snow, go) 
in phrases/poems
the patterns made by alternating stressed and unstressed syllables, alliteration, or rhyme  The patterns produced by the  measured flow of  words and phrases in poetry or prose as determined by the relation of long and short, stressed and unstressed syllables, alliteration, rhyme, etc.
rubric a tool to help evaluate a student's performance on a task …. A rubric is a way to judge the quality of a student’s work by using very specific criteria. Often, the rubric consists of 4 points. 1 point is below standard. 2 points is approaching the standard. 3 points meets the standard. 4 points is above the standard. In a 4 point rubric, levels 1 and 2 are below grade level.  Level 3 is at grade level and 4 is above.
setting when & where the story takes place Setting of the story refers to when the story took place as well as where. Example of when: 100 years ago, during World War II, last week …Examples of where: on a pirate ship, in the wilderness, at school, in the city…
short vowel (e. g. at, egg, in, on, up) Each vowel does not say its own name but makes the sound as follows:, E...Ed.../eh/, I...itch.../ih/, O...octopus..../aw/, U...up..../uh/.
similes "Fast as lightning" "Quick like a cat" ..a direct comparison using 'like' or  'as'. This figure of speech makes a direct comparison between two different things using the words 'like' or 'as'. "He was as brave as a lion."  "That well was dry as a bone."
strategies different, helpful ways to approach the task Reading strategies are the different approaches or ways to read (decode) and understand text. Strategies also allow the reader to sustain mental attention and focus while working through text. Writing strategies are pratices useful for effectively  writing to  communicate the author's research,  ideas and/or point-of-view. A strategic writer uses interesting vocabulary, spelling skills, appropriate grammar, and punctuation. Listening and speaking require another set of skills in which the participant needs to be able to listen to others, respond effectively and communicate her/his own research and/or  ideas with clarity, empathy, and compassion.
one type of affix
letters attached to the end of the baseword or root word Suffixes are letters attached to the end of the baseword or root word. (, ...ed, ...ful, ...s,, ...ment) sinking, picked, wonderful, balls, boxes, punishment 
syllable part of a word that has one vowel sound, piece of word stated in one push of  breath   (pic nic) A syllable is part of a word that has one vowel sound. It is a piece of word stated in one push of breath.   (Picnic has 2 syllables)
one syllable short word or part of a bigger word with one vowel sound  
synonyms words that mean the same thing Synonyms are words that mean nearly the same thing. (afraid, scared; trash, garbage; idea, thought; listen, hear)
temporal words words relating to time (first, as recently) These time-transition words help to organize the details and more clearly communicate to the reader.  examples: first, later, then, second, next, before, earlier, after, shortly after, suddenly, at that moment, tomorrow, yesterday, next week, finally 
text words in print that we can read When we refer to  ‘text’ we mean words/sentences on the page, in a sign,  a cartoon, a magazine an article, a menu, a  banner, a  poem, a book, etc. It is important for students to have the strategies that they need to get accurate and appropriate information from the texts that they encounter every day.
text features headings, table of contents, glossaries, graphs, captions, etc. Text features allow the reader to better understand the text.  They are helps that explain or highlight the important concepts on the page.  They include headings, subheadings, table of contents, glossaries, insets, indexes, captions, illustrations, and photographs.
theme the life lesson or message the author wants to communicate A theme is a life lesson, meaning, moral, or important message about human nature that is communicated by a text.  Author's message – The main idea, theme, or lesson the author wants to communicate to the reader.
topic What the book, article or writing piece is about… What the book, article, speech, report or writing piece is mainly about...
transitional words & phrases
words that provide the glue to hold ideas together when writing...however,  in partiular, for one thing, to illustrate Transitional words and phrases help the writing to flow more smoothly.  These words connect ideas, sentences and paragraphs an help to enhance the readers' understanding by providing logical or more nuanced information. 
verbs action words A verb is a word used to describe an action, mental action, or state of being, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as threw, jumped, hear, know, see, believe, become, happen, is, am & are.
vowel a, e, i, o, u &, often, y The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u &, often, y.  At least one vowel is require in each English syllable. The vowel speech sounds can be held and sustained until the speaker runs out of breath.