The four blocks literacy model
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The Four-Blocks Literacy Model. Working With Words Guided Reading Self-Selected Reading Writing. Expected Outcomes :. Participants will: Study and describe the major components of Working with Words Develop and implement lesson plan activities based on the Working with Words Block

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The four blocks literacy model

The Four-BlocksLiteracy Model

Working With Words

Guided Reading

Self-Selected Reading


Expected outcomes
Expected Outcomes:

  • Participants will:

  • Study and describe the major components of Working with Words

  • Develop and implement lesson plan activities based on the Working with Words Block

  • Create and make hands on instructional supports for classroom use.

Let s look at the research
Let’s Look at the Research…

by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver

by Patricia Cunningham,

Dorothy Hall and

Cheryl Sigmon

Research jigsaw
Research Jigsaw

  • The Teachers Guide to the Four Blocks

    • Group 1: Word Walls, Pgs 122-124

    • Group 2: Word Wall Variations, Pgs 130-135

    • Group 3: Phonics & Spelling, Pgs 136-137

      Decoding and Spelling, Pg 159

      Making it Multi-Level, Pgs 161, 164

    • Group 4: Making Words, Pgs 142-147

  • Children with Disabilities

    • Group 5: Purposes and Priorities, Pgs 110-112

Show what you know
Show what You Know!

  • Word Walls

  • Word Wall Variations

  • Phonics and Spelling

  • Making Words

  • Decoding and Spelling Variations

  • Making It Multi-Level

  • Purposes and Priorities for SWD

Word wall words creating the wall
Word Wall WordsCreating the Wall

Form basics
Form Basics

  • Letters need to be approx. 2 inches high

  • Dark, thick marker on light sentence strip on dark (high contrast) background

    • Given a choice, manuscript, not D’Nealian

    • Upper and lower case from beginning

  • Different color background for each word in each category (t-words, b-words)

  • Cut out block shape around letters, leaving approx. ¼ in. border

  • Visually similar words (am/am) on different background

  • Homophones (too/to/two) on different backgrounds

  • Alphabetic by first letter only

Word wall words choosing words
Word Wall WordsChoosing Words

Word wall foundations choosing words
Word Wall Foundations…Choosing Words

  • Used to teach words that you don’t want student to have to work to decode or spell

  • Exposure vs. learning

  • Needs/wants/use vs. curriculum-driven direct instruction

  • Distributed vs. massed practice

  • Permanent vs. temporary accountability

Word wall content basics
Word Wall Content Basics

  • Unimportant words need not apply

    • High frequency words

    • Generative patterns (‘transfer words’)

      • At, can, like, old

    • High Utility

      • Student names, teachers, school name, tv favorites

    • Spelling demons

      • Words kids regularly misspell in writing

Common rimes wylie durrell 1970
Common Rimes (Wylie & Durrell, 1970)

ack ap est ing ot

ail ash ice ink uck

ain at ick ip ug

ake ate ide it ump

ale aw ight ock unk

ame ay ill oke ank

an eat in op ell

ine ore

Carolina literacy group s onset studies
Carolina Literacy Group’s Onset Studies

  • Onsets in Three Levels of Ease of Learning

    • Easiest: h, n, d, fl, m, j, r, h, t

    • More Difficult: sh, dr, cr, f, bl, pl, tr, cl, pr

    • Most Difficult: sp, sn, str, sc, th, ch, br, ch, k

Carolina literacy group s rime studies
Carolina Literacy Group’sRime Studies

  • Rimes in Three Levels of Ease of Learning:

    • Easiest: it, ay, in, ap, ill, an, ack, ip, ing, at, ore, ug, ell

    • More difficult: aw, ide, ake, ock, unk, ick, oke, ank, ice, ash, ump, ink

    • Most difficult: ine, ain, ate, ail, est, ale, ight, ot, uck, eat, op, ame

Word wall words routine for adding words
Word Wall WordsRoutine for Adding Words

Word wall use basics
Word Wall Use Basics

  • 5 words a week

    • Issue is deep, thorough knowledge; not content coverage or exposure

  • Cumulative list

    • On the wall until every kid consistently spells word correctly without looking.

  • Introduce homophones in separate weeks, not all at one.

  • Daily 10-minute activities

Introducing words
Introducing Words

  • Put word cards on display separate from word wall

    • Temporary wall location, chalkboard tray, pocket chart…

  • Pronounce first word to class as they look at it

    • Discuss meaning or use

  • Clap and cheer/chant 3 times

    • A-N-D…AND!!

    • (older kids) make cheers…see reference on WIKI

Introducing words cont
Introducing Words… cont.

  • Each child writes word

    • Incorporate handwriting by modeling correct letter formation on overhead or board

  • Repeat with remaining words

  • Draw around shapes of words in block

  • Last words introduced in mid-to late April

Word wall words routine for practicing
Word Wall WordsRoutine for Practicing

Word wall words let s give it a try
Word Wall WordsLet’s Give it a Try!

On the Back:

Cross Checking

Cunningham, 128

Word wall words let s give it a try1
Word Wall WordsLet’s Give it a Try

On the Back:

Be A Mind Reader

Cunningham, 129

Working with words center
Working with Words Center

  • What are students doing?

  • word sorts

  • using magnetic letters

  • reading ABC books

  • making words

  • playing word games

  • What mini-lessons do I need to teach to get it started?

  • how to do a word sort

  • how to use an ABC chart

  • how to use materials at the center (letter stamps, word cards)

  • how to use a dry erase board

  • what to do when you are done with one activity

Daily activities
Daily Activities

  • Cunningham 125-130, 138-162

  • Erickson 116-124

  • Handout

The four blocks literacy model

Websites for Working with Words

PowerPoint Word Wall Vocabulary Presentations **

Word Wall Activities List

for teachers: type in secret/big word to get list of little words…

goes along well with making big words

FDLRS Springs website for literacy activities


FDLRS Region 2 website for links to helpful compilations of literacy resources

Rhyming games

Interactive; kids sort words by rime

Interactive; add onset to make real words

Interactive making words using click/drag magnetic board

Thanks resources
Thanks … Resources…

  • To Dr. Karen Erickson and her work with our kids and teachers

  • To FDLRS Springs…for helping us get this initiative started in our region.

  • Visit our WIKI Space to see other resources…


Now for the rest of the story
Now…..for the rest of the story

  • Lo Tech Accommodations

  • Software Demonstration

  • Implementation Assignment

  • Make and Take Activities

  • Session Evaluation