Above Average (Light Blue) Level Instructions Above Average (Light Blue) Level Instructions
Above Average (Light Blue) Level Instructions
Compound words are made up of two words that can ‘stand-alone’ and yet, when combined, make a new word, frequently, with a new meaning. Students will often encounter these words in their daily reading. The work they have completed in the programme so far (including the compound words read in the Lexplore Turquoise Level), will now support them in decoding the letter sounds they contain.
The words in this section, once again include previously learnt phonemes, so that students can build their decoding confidence without feeling overwhelmed. Some students will already have stronger sight-reading skills and will be able to read through these words as remembered ‘images’, rather than decoding them. Professional judgement and knowledge of the child should be used, to decide how quickly you will progress through these.
If students need help decoding the words, they should be encouraged to physically break these down, using their fingers, or the instructor can model this. When the words are ‘broken down’ in this way, they can then be decoded and blended through to read the word. Many students find breaking the words into their syllables is a useful way of decoding them and further details are given in the Supporting Document about syllabification.
It is useful to discuss where the previously learnt vowel phonemes tend to appear in the words in this section. Discussing the position of sounds at the beginning, middle or end of base or root words, can help with developing skills in spelling accurately.
Some of the words in this section will be less familiar to some of the students, these can become teaching and learning points and provide an excellent platform on which to develop and expand their vocabulary.
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 3 – 6
Contractions are a shortened version of the spoken or written forms of a word, syllable or word group, created by omission of internal letters. The missing letter or letters are shown by an apostrophe of omission. Some contracted forms of words have already been experienced in previous levels of Lexplore Intensive, as part of High Frequency or Tricky word, however, this is the first level in which they appear as a distinct category of words. These are generally familiar to students and are largely easy to spell, though they may need to be taught where to place the apostrophe.
NB: From here onwards at Lexplore Intensive Light Blue Level, students will just read across rows, taking turns with their peer, before swapping over.
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 7 – 12
Homophones can and do cause a great deal of confusion in spelling. Put very simply, they are each of two or more words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spellings. If a pair of students is unsure of the meaning of either of the homophones seen here, they should be encouraged to look these up, or make a note of them, to ask the instructor. These charts are not fully comprehensive but do include the more common homophones that students will come across in their daily reading.
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 13 – 16
For most words, changing them from the present tense (something happening now), to past tense (something that has already occurred), is relatively simple, just by adding the suffix -ed to the base or root word, such as ‘walk’ becomes ‘walked’. In English, there are some exceptions to this, and we can generally hear these, if we say them out loud. Some of the common exceptions are included in the following charts, for students to practice their skills in this and to overlearn them.
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 18 – 21
Affixes: Suffixes and Prefixes…
Affixes include additions to base or root words that change the meaning of the original word, this can be in relation to its tense or a number of other alternations, including creating adverbs. Common suffixes (added to the end of a base or root word) will be looked at first, with some common prefixes (coming before the base or root word) will then be looked at, with information given along the way, to build the student’s metacognition of the language involved. This is important as it can particularly aid spelling and understanding of more complex texts, when there is some knowledge of why things change the way they do.
There are some general rules that can be followed when adding suffixes to base or root words. Do remember that in English, there are exceptions to these (which are thankfully relatively few) and these should just be over-learnt to embed them in the longer-term memory.
These are, when adding a suffix to a base or root word, the options are:
- Do nothing
- Double the final consonant
- Drop the e
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 23 – 40
High Frequency and Tricky Words
During the next section, students will encounter further lists of common High Frequency Words. These are quite simply, those words which occur most frequently in spoken and written material.
This section also incorporates Tricky Words. These words are sometimes known as ‘irregular words’, ‘common exception words’ or ‘sight-words’. Many of these words are not decodable and therefore need to be learnt ‘by sight’. Overlearning, using the principles of precision teaching, is an excellent way to commit these to a student’s long-term memory.
Some of these tricky words do not follow typical patterns, such as in the word ‘weight’ or may contain consonants that do not ‘say’ their typical sounds, such as in the word ‘naughty’. These may need to be told to the student the first few times that they encounter them.
Working through these words can greatly help students develop the sight-reading skills they need, before moving on to Lexplore Navy Level.
Student and Marking PDF: Pages 42 – 47
It is recommended that the student can now begin to use the previously encountered word lists, as spelling lists. The instructor can choose which list the student should begin with, whether this is from this level or previously ones. Use knowledge of the student here, to determine which word lists are most appropriate, for example, if they struggle frequently with spelling a particular phoneme, begin with words containing that. Each page has four columns of eight words and for most children, eight words is a good number to choose. For those students who experience memory challenges, use four words and consider checking them more frequently.
An excellent and proven way to check spellings, is to use the ‘Trace/Copy/Memory/Eyes Shut’ routine:
The paper should be folded across the middle, so that the student can write over the top of the word/phoneme in question in the ‘trace’ section. As they do this, they should say the letters out loud. When this has been done, they should copy the word (in the ‘copy’ box) and check for accuracy. After this, the student flips the sheet over and in the ‘memory’ box, writes the word from memory, before checking and finally, writing the word with their eyes shut. Many students are amazed by how neat their writing is with their eyes closed and they enjoy the process of overlearning, without feeling like they are doing this.