What does it all mean?
In an effort to help you better understand your child's report
card and assessment results, we have listed frequently used
educational terms. We realize that some of these terms are
unique to education and educators. Below we have listed some
frequently used words, terminology and brief explanations to help
answer any questions you may have about your child's
Spatial Relationships - This refers to the position of an
object. We assess terms such as above, below, between,
High Frequency Words - These are words that are seen most
frequently when reading. Children are taught that these are
words that you have to learn to recognize instantly. *Many of
these words do not follow phonics rules and cannot be decoded.
Initial Sound - This is the sound that is heard at the beginning
of a word. When we ask students to identify the sound at the
beginning of a word, we want them to give the actual sound and not
the letter name.
Phoneme - This refers to each individual sound heard in a
word. For example: cat - /c/ /a/ /t/
Rhyming Words - Words that sound the same at the end. For
example: cat - bat, mouse - house
Sorting - Putting objects with a similar characteristic
together. We ask children to sort objects by color, size and
Fluency - This has to do with the rate at which a child can
read, name letters, numbers, etc. We strive to make students
so familiar with letter names and sounds, high frequency words and
numbers that they are able to call them automatically with little
Segments Words or Phoneme Segmentation: The ability to
break words apart by each isolated sound. If given the word
frog, the student will be able to break it apart by giving the
sounds /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/.
Story Retelling - After hearing a story, students are able to
retell the story giving key points such as character, setting,
beginning, middle and end.
CVC Words - This term refers to words in a consonant vowel
consonant pattern such as dog, cat, sun, fog, etc.
Nonsense Word Fluency - This is one of the test given in
December and May on DIBELS. Students are given rows of
consonant vowel consonant nonsense words that students are able to
give the sound for each letter or read the whole word. You
may ask, "Why nonsense words?" The answer to this question is
that it allows us to see how well a student has grasped phonics
concepts. When using real words, many students read by
Phonemic Awareness - This refers to auditory skills. It is
the ability to hear sounds, syllables, rhymes, etc.
Phonics - This is a visual skill. This is the ability to
attach sounds to written symbols. For example, not only can a
child hear /b/ at the beginning of bat, he or she can also
recognize or write the letter Bb.
DIBELS - This is a state mandated test that is given in grades K
- 2. It stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy
Skills. In kindergarten it assesses fluency of phonemic
awareness and phonics skills. The four subtests given
are: Initial Sound Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency,
Letter Naming Fluency and Nonsense Word Fluency.
*We will continue to add assessment terms throughout the
year. If you ever have a question regarding your chid's
assessment information, please feel free to contact your child's