A Year In Bloom’s(Part 1): Word Power

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of educational objectives, which is based on the research of Benjamin Bloom and colleagues that was released in 1956. There are six classifications: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluate and create/synthesis. (I prefer using the word Synthesis.)

Many of the skills that kids are taught are aligned to the rigor matrix and guide many teacher’s instructional practices. 

In this article, I’ll detail my experience using these classifications to create a Word Study routine called “Word Power” , and the impact that it had on my student’s growth during the 2019-2020 school year.

Intro: The Origins of Word Power

At the onset of the 2019-2020 school year, the focus was on phonological awareness. Understanding that kids need phonics and vocabulary instruction, as well. The challenge was finding a way to incorporate those components within a 25 minute block.

Throughout the first nine weeks, I brainstormed a system to integrate those other elements. Utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy progression, “Word Power” was birth.

1. Purpose of Study: Meeting All Student Needs

This was not intended to be a study. I created this routine because I wanted to meet all my student needs. Aligning the cycle to Bloom’s Taxonomy accomplished that, though. 

*It should be noted that I’m not the first person to have a Word Study routine, but the components are traditionally done on different days of the week and not in concert with one another. 

2. Framework: Align To Bloom’s Taxonomy

Knowledge: Day 1

A. Phonological Awareness: What’s The Word? (5 Minutes)

In this part of the routine, I stand on a table and review the weekly words. For example, I say

The first word is park and then ask the scholars: What’s The Word?!!!

Kids then chant: Park!!! (And I repeat for the other 14 words.)

B. Phonics: Underline The Pattern (5 Minutes)

After teaching the words, I have the kids underline the pattern. The kids will say the word and then say the pattern and underline it. (I normally call them up using voices.)

C. Vocabulary: Teach Definitions/Vocab Trailers (15 Minutes)

Originally, I would teach the definitions to kids. After receiving advice from vocabulary expert, Joanne Billingsley, I used the Vocab Trailers technique on the first day to tie visuals with the word.

For this technique, I show a picture that relates to one of the weekly words. Then I give the kids a sentence stem: In this picture or This reminds me of…

The kids turn and talk and then share out their answer. (I’d do this with four images.)

Thanks Mrs. Billingsley.

Comprehension: Day 2

A. Phonological Awareness: Clap It Out (5 Minutes)

To start the day, I break the weekly words into syllables and clap out each word with the kids, which embeds blending into the Word Study cycle.

B. Phonics: Sorts  (10 Minutes)

This is quite simple. The kids sort the words according to the pattern. For example

Example of a table that you can make for Control-R Vowels.

C. Vocabulary: Picture This!!! (10 Minutes)

For this exercise, the kids draw pictorial representations of four of the weekly words.

Example of a Picture This!!! for Blends.

Application: Day 3

A. Phonological Awareness: Read and Build (5 Minutes)

On this day, I have the kids apply their skills. First, I call out words and have them spell it on their desk.

B. Phonics: Spell (10 Minutes)

Then, I call out words and have the kids spell them. While they’re spelling words, I walk around the room and assess what errors that they’re making. 

C. Vocabulary: Spell and Draw (10 Minutes)

For this portion, I’ll have the kids spell the words and draw a pictorial representation, as well.

Extension: Read Connected Text

I have this as an extension exercise but many times it was the main exercise. In the exercise, the kids read a short paragraph with words centered around the weekly words pattern. They underline the words with the pattern and sometimes answer a few literal comprehension questions. (Teacher Pay Teachers has some good Phonics Fluency Passages. If you’re not comfortable with TPT, you could use Decodable Text.)

Analysis: Day 4

A. Activity: “Conver” Stations”

This is an activity that incorporates all skills. In one station, the kids would sort the weekly words and explain why. One activity might have the kids write a paragraph based on the weekly word(s) and picture. My favorite activity is when the kids incorporated the words with a reading skill.

For example,

I would ask the kids to make a drama about a girl. It was a fun way to get the students to use their words in different ways.

Evaluate(Assess): Day 5

A. Phonological Awareness: Go Noodle Clap It Out

I didn’t assess Phonological Awareness but I would do “Go Noodle Clap It Out” as a brain break, so the kids can get that component.

B. Phonics: Incorporate In Other Disciplines

I didn’t assess spelling on this day, but I’d try to incorporate in the other subjects or disciplines.

C. Vocabulary: Context Clues Assessment (5 to 20 minutes)

To assess vocabulary, I’d give the kids a story and they’d have to fill in the blanks with one of the weekly words.

Create/Synthesis: Day 5

A. Vocabulary: Draw A Picture/Write A Story/Info Text/Poem/Drama/Opinion

After the assessment was completed, I’d give the kids several options. They could draw a picture with a self-selected weekly word or write a story, Informational Text, Poem, Drama, or Opinion using one or many of their weekly words.

3. Methodology: T.P.R.I./Classroom Discussion/MAP Growth

To gather data. I used T.P.R.I., a Texas-based assessment which measures the kids foundational growth in Word Reading(Decoding), Graphemic Knowledge (Spelling), Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension. In addition to that, classroom discussion was used to measure vocabulary development. 

MAP Growth was used as a measurement too, as well.

Below you will find the results.

4. Interim Results: Phonological Awareness and Phonics Growth

Phonological Awareness

Figure 1.1

*I was able to test for phonological awareness virtually at the End of Year.

From the BOY(Beginning of Year) to the EOY(End of Year) my students grew 19.74 percent in their Phonological Awareness. Students who tested 90 percent or above in Word Reading don’t have to test again. They’re considered developed, so students could have grown five or ten percent more.

There were several glows.

  • One student grew from 25 to 90 percent.
  • One student grew from 30 to 80 percent
  • As a class, only one student didn’t finish the year under 80 percent in Word Reading, but that student grew from 0 to 55 percent.


Figure 1.2

*I didn’t test my kids spelling in 4th nine weeks due to Covid-19 and not being in formal classroom.

In this graphic, you’ll see that my students grew 31.57 percent in Graphemic Knowledge (Spelling). The biggest jump was from the BOY to MOY–where the kids grew 19.21 percent.

There were several glows here, as well.

  • One student grew from 15 to 80 percent.
  • Another grew from 30 to 80 percent.
  • Six students grew 40 percent.
  • 11 out of my 19 students spelled at 80 percent proficiency.

5. Overall Results: Growth Above The Norm

Figure 1.3

To get a complete picture of the success of the “Word Power” routine, you have to look at my kids BOY 2019 to BOY 2020 MAP Growth. (Due to Covid-19, there was no MAP Growth assessment at the EOY.)

Desegregating the data, the students grew 24 points, which equates to 2.4 years. As a class(198 average), they were a full year above the Norm (nationally average).

Naturally, there were glows here, too.

  • One student grew 38 points(close to four years)
  • Another grew 35 points.
  • Nine students grew 20 points or more.
  • Four students grew 35 points or more

*I took a sample size of 15 students–as a few students moved.

6. Discussion: Enhancing My Knowledge

Evaluating the routine and year, the main limitation was my lack of knowledge of the proper scope and sequence for Word Study instruction, which resulted in weekly words being a little random. Also, the age of the students(2nd Graders) didn’t allow me to embed writing as much as I would have preferred to do. 

Additionally, if there were school assessments, I could have measured the kids vocabulary development through mastery of TEKS/Skills.

7. Conclusion: New Way of Doing Word Study

Based on the data, the “Word Power” program is an effective one. It can be improved, though, by following the proper Scope and Sequence for Phonics instruction, adding more activities and tracking data weekly. To further validate the method, I’ll use other educators from different grade-levels and environments. 

This much is certain: Word Power is a new way of doing Word Study. It naturally embeds phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, writing, fluency while building reading skills. (All of the Daily 5 that the Reading Panel suggested in 2000.)

If you’re interested in learning more about “Word Power” or would like professional development conducted on the routine, email thephenomenalstudent@gmail.com

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Up Next: A Year In Bloom’s(Part 2): Reading

Published by Jeremiah Short

My name is Jeremiah Short, and I'm a educator with six years of experience. I love to teach and the overall craft of the profession. I've written one book on my journey(As I Took My Walk With God Volume I: I Stopped Wasting God's Time) with a second one way (As I Took My Walk With God Volume II: Greatness Was Upon Them). In addition to writing books, I've created several instructional routines: Word Power, T.I.D.E., Bloom's Units: Reading and The Phenomenal Classroom.

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