Reading Skills and Assessments
Purpose and Description of Weekly Skills Tests

The Weekly Skills Tests assess children's understanding of discrete reading and language skills taught in each theme of Houghton Mifflin Reading.  We use the results to customize future instruction.

The Weekly Skills Tests are made up of 5-item multiple choice subtests covering phonics, high-frequency words, comprehension, spelling, grammar, and writing skills.   

Purpose and Description of Integrated Theme Tests

The Integrated Theme Tests evaluate children's progress as readers and writers.  The tests indicate how well children have learned and are able to apply the skills and strategies developed in the theme.  Written answers are expected to be in complete sentences.  1st graders are responsible for beginning sentences with uppercase letters and finishing them with end marks.

The Integrated Theme Tests include reading selections that relate to the corresponding themes in the Anthology.  Children are asked to respond to the selections in four parts:  Reading Strategy, Comprehension, Phonics, and Writing and Language.
Beginning in Theme 5, children respond to writing prompts that assess their writing fluency and ability to apply writing skills to a particular mode of writing.

    Theme 5 ~ Personal Narrative
    Theme 6 ~ Description
    Theme 7 ~ Story
    Theme 8 ~ Research Report
    Theme 9 ~ Friendly Letter
    Theme 10 ~ Instructions

Theme 7
High Frequency Words

Week 1

again     both     gone     hard     or     turn     want

Week 2

afraid     any     bear     follow     idea     most     tall     water

Week 3

build     old     piece     shoe     start     under     very     wear

Theme 7

Grammar Skills

Proper nouns are special names.  Proper nouns always begin with uppercase letters.

Proper nouns

for people:  Jake, Mom, Kate

for animals:  Spot, Whisper

for Places:  West Stafford School, Big Y Supermarket, Sun Valley

Pronouns take the place of naming words:  he, it, they, she

Theme 7
Writing Skills ~ Story

What makes a great story?  When you write a story, remember to do these things.

    Ask, Who will my story be about?  This will be your main character.
    Include a lot of interesting details about the main character.
    Think of a problem for your main character.  Include many details about it.
    Include a beginning, middle, and an end.  Write the events in order.
    Tell how the problem was solved and how the story ends.
    Write a title that makes your readers curious.

Theme 7

Phonics Skills

Long o spelled oa

boast     coat     goat     Joan     moaned     oak     oats     road     toad     croaked     throat     toast     float     loaf     coal     coach

Long o spelled ow

bow     crow     slow     blow     bowl     know     show   snow     grow     own      

Sounds for oo

book     cook     took     good     shook     woods     looks     brook     fishhooks          stood

Compound Words

sidewalk     sunrise     springtime      outdoors     doghouse     beside     sometimes      cookbook     notebook     scrapbook     bookcase     raindrops     treetops     playground     campfire     upstream       flashlight     wallpaper     homesick     mailbox     pancake     backyard     suitcase      

Vowel pairs oo, ew, ue, ou

boots     clue     Drew     Sue    threw     you     chew     glue     group    knew     loose     moon     new     soup     too     tooth     true     broom     scooped      blue     pool     too     food     soon     noon

Long i spelled ie, igh

cried     goodnight     high     lie      light     tight     pie     right     sighed     tried     might    

Theme 8

Phonics Skills

Base Words and Endings -s, -ed, -ing

beg ~ begs ~ begged ~begging

flap ~ flaps ~ flapped ~ flapping

beam ~ beams ~ beamed ~ beaming

look ~ looks ~ looked ~ looking

learn ~ learns ~ learned ~ learning

play ~ plays ~ played ~ playing

smile ~ smiles ~ smiled ~ smiling

paint ~ paints ~ painted ~ painting

walk ~ walks ~ walked ~ walking

Vowel Pairs ou, ow

sound    shouted     out     hound     house     couch     cloud     loud     ouch     round     trout     count     grouch     bounce     pouted     

owl   crowd     how     down     howls    brown     chow     clown     groled     now     town     wow     frowned    

Theme 8

High Frequency Words

Week 1

about     because     draw     happy     part     teacher     tiny

Week 2

always     arms      body     eight     ready      seven      warm

Week 3

butter     carry     kind      person      put      saw     were     work

Theme 8

Grammar Skills

 Action Words ~ Verbs

    An action word tells what someone or something does.
    A sentence can have more than one action word.

runs, sleeps, sing, dig, plant, eat, swim, sit, fly, draw, read, bake, play, build, walk, get, give, speak, go, climb

Present Tense

    An action word  tells when an action takes place.
    An action word in the present tense tells about something that is happening now.

Past Tense

    An action word with -ed is made from a base word and the ending -ed.
    An action word with -ed tells that an action happened in the past.

called, wanted, filled, walked, stopped, showed, liked, hopped, winked, passed, planted, started, learned, played, went, cooked, followed, smiled, stayed, painted, lived

Theme 9
High Frequency Words

Week 1

around     dance     else     ever     ocean     open     talk     though

Week 2

after     before     buy     done      off     pretty     school     wash

Week 3

baby     edge     enough     garden     only     sharp     together     watched

Theme 9

Writing Skills ~ Friendly Letter
What makes a great friendly letter?  When you write a friendly letter, remember to do these things.

    Think about who will get your letter.
    Think of something interesting to tell this person.
    Include all five parts of a friendly letter:  the date, the greeting, the body, the closing, and your name.
    Include a lot of details in your letter.  Tell them in order.

Theme 10 Phonics and HFW Lists