Word-Wires Foundation Sample Lessons

Word Wires Foundation

The Word-Wires One curriculum is designed for use in a Tier 1 First Grade classroom but has an intentional overlap with Second Grade skills to allow it to be flexible based on the needs of students.

If phonics concepts are introduced through spelling, the pace of instruction may be too slow for First Grade readers. With that in mind, the pacing of this curriculum focuses on first teaching phonics for reading with a pre-teach for spelling and then re-teaching the patterns with a focus on spelling.

Unit 1, called Big Ideas, establishes routines, a sense of discovery and an awareness of how people learn by creating a classroom culture where students ask questions and take risks.

Unit 2 is the Mouth Foundation Fast Track, and teaches the deep linguistic structure of English to build articulatory phonological awareness.

Using the linguistic structure of English to inform the sequence of instruction, the focus in Units 3 & 4 is to teach phonetic concepts necessary for reading while pre-teaching spelling skills. The goal is to quickly give students tools and strategies for reading, knowing that all concepts will be reviewed in Unit 5 for spelling.

Unit 5 revisits common phonics concepts with a focus on spelling. Structured very differently than previous units, sight words are introduced on Monday using evidence-based strategies, a phonics concept and spell sort on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are reserved for vocabulary, and skills are assessed each Friday. High frequency sight words are grouped around themes to enable students to make connections between letter and meaning patterns whenever possible.

Each Unit is made up of a series of lessons followed by Practice, Apply, Automate, and Transfer activities (PAAT) designed to move students’ skills through the Learning Spiral.

  • Practice: Using the Guided Release of Responsibility model, Practice begins as a teacher-guided activity and gradually releases students to independence. Students practice patterns in isolation with opportunities for self-monitoring, self-checking, and think-alouds.
  • Automate: After students have practiced and are adept and accurate, have them practice in small daily doses with increasing smoothness. Automaticity means students have become so proficient they can do it effortlessly.
  • Apply: While working on making skills automatic, have students apply skills in highly-supported contexts.
  • Transfer: Encourage and expect students to use patterns independently in various subjects.

Sample Lessons

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