Adjectives give us more information about nouns.
For example: A tall giraffe. The weather grew cold.
Most adverbs, as their name suggests, tell us more about verbs. Adverbs like these are often formed by adding -ly to an adjective.
For example: The troll ate ravenously. The adverb 'ravenously' tells you how the troll was eating.
A few adverbs modify adjectives.
For example: The map is very old. The adverb 'very' tells you how old the map is.
The code shows us the relationship between the sounds of our speech and the written letter(s) of the alphabet and how these are used to match those sounds.
Apostrophes have two uses:
• to indicate a missing letter or letters in a shortened word.
For example: didn't (did not); we'd (we would).
• to show what someone or something owns or possesses. There is no apostrophe in ordinary plurals like tomatoes and videos.
For example: the extraterrestrial's toenails (the toenails of the extraterrestrial)
When the noun is plural and already ends in s, you add an apostrophe by itself.
For example: the cities' cathedrals; in three weeks' time.
When a person's name ends in s, you add an apostrophe followed by s if you normally say an extra s in speaking. But you just add an apostrophe by itself when you do not normally say the s in speaking.
For example: St Thomas's Hospital; Achilles' armour.
Children read in pairs. The buddy is often an older child.
To say the individual sounds that make up a word and blend them together to hear the whole word for reading e.g. s-a-t becomes sat. We say you blend to read and segment (see below) to spell.
A system of grouping books in bands of colour to represent different levels of reading difficulty.
It is often used as a term for an intervention programme but it is also a not-for-profit organisation that provides training techniques to support teachers to help children identified as underachieving. www.catchup.org
A clause is a part of a sentence that has its own verb.
A sentence can contain one or more main clauses, linked by a conjunction such as and, but, or, or yet, or by a semicolon.
For example: We approached cautiously; the lioness was beginning to stir.
A subordinate clause begins with a subordinating conjunction such as because, if, or when, and it can come before or after the main clause.
For example: Because they eat aphids, ladybirds are useful in the garden.
A relative clause explains or describes something that has just been mentioned, and is introduced by that, which, who, whom, whose, when, or where. A relative clause can either restrict meaning:
For example: Of all Tolkien's books, the one which I prefer is The Hobbit.
Or it can simply add further information, in which case you put a comma before it:
For example: The book, which Tolkien wrote for his children, was an instant success.
Books are sometimes colour coded in schools so that children choose a book from a similar level. The colours represent different levels of reading difficulty. Popular colour coding systems include Book Bands or Oxford Reading Tree, for example.
Commas are used:
• to mark a pause in a sentence, especially to separate a subordinate clause from the main clause.
For example: When the howling stopped, we ventured out from the cave.
• to separate items in a list or series.
For example: I've packed a bikini, flippers, snorkel, and a periscope.
• in pairs before and after the name of someone who is being introduced or described.
For example: The guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, once lived here.
• to mark a pause in a compound sentence.
For example: The film is rated 15, but it's not that scary.
A command or exclamation is a sentence which ends with an exclamation mark.
For example: Come and see the ice beginning to thaw!
The understanding of a text; at its simplest this may be an understanding of what the text makes explicit (e.g. the story is about a pumpkin) and at its most sophisticated, it is an understanding of what lies beneath a text (e.g. the authors' experience, historical context, themes and so on) which is often referred to as the deeper levels of meaning, inferential comprehension or higher order reading skills.
Conjunctions are used to join words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence.
For example: and, but, for, or, neither, nor, yet, although, because, if, until, unless, when, where, while, whereas.
Coordinating conjunctions join words or clauses which are of equal importance in a sentence. They form compound sentences.
For example: and, but, for, or, neither, nor, yet (Would you prefer tea and biscuits, or coffee and cake?)
Subordinating conjunctions are used to link a main and a dependent clause. They are used to form complex sentences.
For example: although, because, if, until, unless, when, where, while, whereas (Mira felt brave because she had her lucky pebble.)
Connectives are used to link ideas in a piece of writing. They often occur at the start of a sentence and connect it with a previous sentence or paragraph.
For example: moreover, nevertheless, finally, furthermore, and, thus (Nevertheless, he still remains popular with his millions of fans and continues to have hit records all over the world.)
Every letter in the English alphabet that is not a vowel.
Books which have been specifically written, using a cumulative structured introduction of phonics, so that children can practise their developing reading skills.
To read a word by saying the sounds then joining, or blending, those sounds together to form the word.
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. For further information visit www.bdadyslexia.org.uk
An ellipsis is used to show that one or more words have been missed out or that a sentence is not finished.
For example: "No! Don't tell Dad about the ..."
You use an exclamation mark to indicate shouting, surprise, or excitement in direct speech.
For example: 'Stop! Don't drink! The goblet is poisoned!'
It can also be used to express surprise, alarm, or excitement in a narrative.
For example: The sun was coming up. She must hurry! Soon the spell would wear off!
Cards to use in games to help children practise recognizing, at speed, a letter, group of letters, words and/or pictures.
To say the individual sounds that make up a word in the Read, Write Inc. Phonics reading programme. Elsewhere sometimes called Robot Talk or Sound Talk.
A full stop shows where a sentence ends, when the sentence is neither a question nor an exclamation.
For example: Our story begins in 1914, on the eve of the First World War.
Full stops go within quotation marks in direct speech.
For example: He said, 'I'll meet you outside the cinema.'
Full stops go within parentheses, when these surround a complete sentence.
For example: The waiter arrived with a plate of toast. (I had ordered waffles.)
A written letter or group of letters that represent a sound e.g. the sound s can be represented by the graphemes s in sun, ce in dance, ss in dress, st in whistle, cy in cycle and so on.
Similar to guided reading, but children take it in turns to read aloud from the same book whilst the teacher listens and supports.
About 6 children, grouped by reading ability, read aloud from the same book at the same time whilst the teacher listens in and draws out teaching points. At junior levels children may read a book, or part of it, away from the session and then focus on particular aspects of understanding.
These are the words that occur most commonly in the English language. Some are 'decodable' like much (see above) whilst others are 'tricky' like the (see below).
Reading books sent home from school for your child to read. These may be from a reading series so your child can practise early reading skills or from the library so you can share and discuss.
A noun with the same sound as another.
For example: son and sun
Hyphens connect two or more words which make up a compound noun or adjective.
For example: close-up; an ultra-huge sandwich.
Reading 1:1 or alone as it suggests.
Books that contain facts or information including reference books such as dictionaries, atlases and encyclopaedias.
Inverted commas occur in pairs and can surround a single word or phrase, or a longer piece of text.
For example: 'Look!' said a voice behind me. 'Look at the sky!'
Inverted commas are also known as speech marks, quotation marks, or (informally) quotes. Pairs of quotation marks can be single ('...') or double ("..."), but are never mixed.
Books from a reading series that have been written in levels of difficulty to enable a child to take small but steady steps to reading success. As children's skills increase so children read more and the need for such control lessens.
Memory joggers such as a rhyme, a phrase or a shape. For example, seeing a dinosaur in the shape of a letter d to help your child to associate the dinosaur with the letter and sound d.
A broad category of texts that includes anything that isn't story (information books, reference materials, newspapers, biography, Wikipedia etc.).
Nouns are used to name people, places, or things and tell you who or what a sentence is about
Common nouns name people or things in general. Common nouns only begin with a capital letter when they start a sentence.
For example: dancer, lizard, sandwich, television.
Proper nouns give the name of a specific person, place or thing. Proper nouns always begin with a capital letter.
For example: Max, Antarctica, Hallowe'en, Friday.
Collective nouns name groups of people or things.
For example: a team of athletes, a herd of sheep, a swarm of bees.
An abstract noun is a thing that cannot be seen or touched, such as an idea, a quality or a feeling.
For example: happiness, truth, friendship.
see decodable books.
A method of teaching children to read and write the English Language. It teaches children that the sounds of English are represented by letters or groups of letters (see also synthetic phonics).
The smallest unit of sounds in a word represented by letters or groups of letters.
Books in which the pictures play a major part in the story and the text is not levelled by difficulty e.g. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Picture books are not necessarily just for the very young and they can support the understanding of quite complex ideas e.g. Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing.
Pronouns are used to replace a noun in a sentence or clause, and help to avoid having to repeat words.
Personal pronouns replace the name of a person or thing.
When the pronoun is the subject of the clause:
For example: I, you, he, she, it, we, they (Zoe and Bill are coming to the concert. She's got a ticket, but he hasn't.)
When the pronoun is the object:
For example: me, you, him, her, it, us, them (The guards were following us and we were unable to shake them off.)
Reflexive pronouns refer back to the thing the clause is about.
For example: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves (Most baby birds are unable to feed themselves. I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.)
Interrogative pronouns are used to form questions.
For example: what, who, whom, whose (What is happening? Who wants some ice cream? Whose is this?)
Punctuation is the use of special marks to make a piece of writing easier to read and understand. Punctuation marks show divisions and connections between sentences, clauses, or individual words.
Question marks are used to mark a sentence that is a question. Question marks usually come at the end of a sentence.
For example: Are there wild animals in this wood?
A question is a sentence which ends with a question mark.
For example: When would the ice begin to thaw?
Children read by themselves for a short time.
This is an average reading level we would usually 'expect' for a child of any specified age. It is only a guide.
The books that the children bring home to practise reading with you.
When children are reading easily with confidence and intonation and at pace.
Reading Recovery is a short-term teaching programme of one-to-one tutoring for children identified as underachieving at 7 years of age.
A child's ability to read substantial and often more challenging books for a longer period of time or in one sitting.
SATs stands for Standard Assessment Tasks. These are national tests in reading and maths taken in May/June by children in their final year of primary school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Writing is assessed by the teacher.
Children check their own work against a set of answers or criteria or swap with a partner to mark each other's work before then discussing the marking or comments. Proven to be an effective tool for learning.
To write or spell a word by listening for the sounds in the word and deciding which letters represent those sounds. We say you blend to read and segment to spell.
A sentence is a group of words that contains a verb. It should make sense on its own. In writing, a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark. It can contain just one clause, or several clauses joined by conjunctions or punctuation.
A simple sentence consists of one main clause.
For example: The cat is sleeping.
A compound sentence consists of two or more main clauses joined by conjunctions such as and or but.
For example: The cat is sleeping but the dog is awake.
A complex sentence contains a main clause and at least one other clause.
The two clauses are joined by conjunctions such as although
You use a semicolon to mark a break in a sentence that is longer, or more important, than a break made with a comma:
For example: The castle was desolate; no one had lived there for three centuries or more.
Semicolons can separate a series of connected clauses introduced by a colon.
For example: There were three clues: there was mud on the carpet; the door had been forced; and the air in the room smelled of fish.
A single semicolon can also separate two contrasting or balancing clauses.
For example: You bring cups and plates; I'll bring juice and sandwiches.
A teacher reads and discusses a text with the whole class, demonstrating how to be a good reader.
Words you need to learn by sight because they cannot be easily sounded out. (see also Tricky words).
To say the individual sounds that make up a word (see also Fred Talk).
To say the individual sounds that make up a word (sometimes also called Fred Talk or Robot Talk).
A term used to cover a wide range of needs that may need additional support whether a child is falling behind or far exceeding normal expectations. Also sometimes referred to as SEN (special educational needs).
The teacher reads a story aloud to the whole class.
Blending or merging the sounds in a word together in speech so you can read the word.
Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching reading. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent – so, they are taught that the letter m sounds like mmmm ... when we say it. Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesising) the sounds together to make a word.
The form of a verb that shows when something happens in the past, present and future.
For example: I am walking.
For example: I have walked.
For example: I will walk.
Common words that are difficult to decode because some of the letters don't make the sounds you would expect, like the or said. (Also see High frequency words).
A verb can describe an action or process (for example: dive, chew, heal, thaw), a feeling or state of mind (for example: worry, think, know, believe), or a state (for example: be, remain). A sentence usually contains at least one verb.
The letters a, e, i, o, u in the English alphabet.