Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
(a). Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.
Decode words with common Latin suffixes.
Decode multisyllable words.
Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.



  • syllable
  • phonics
  • word analysis
  • decoding

  • meaning
  • read
  • prefixes
  • irregular spelling words

  • derivational suffixes
  • Latin suffixes
  • multi-syllable
  • read

what's this
  • Students who have not mastered phonemic awareness will experience difficulty mapping sounds (phonemes) to letters (graphemes).
  • Fluent reading depends on the ability to decode and use other word analysis skills.
  • Comprehension depends on fluent reading.
  • Failure to acquire basic phonics and word analysis skills limits the opportunities for students to build vocabulary and develop concepts when reading both narrative and informational texts.
  • Basic word analysis undergirds advanced word study which is necessary for reading and understanding increasing complex content area texts across grade levels.
  • Difficulties acquiring phonics and word analysis skills can often be remediated with appropriate, focused, and intensive early intervention instruction.
  • Third grade students know that affixes (prefixes and suffixes) have meanings and can change the meanings of words to which they are attached. Third grade students can recognize common prefixes and inflectional and derivational suffixes and can explain how these common prefixes and suffixes change the meaning of a word. For example, they can explain that the prefix –un means not in the word unhappy.
  • These third grade students can isolate common prefixes and derivational suffixes in printed multi-syllabic words they are reading or are given (e.g., They would underline prefixes such as un-, in-, re- and derivational suffixes such as –ly, -less, -ful.)
  • Third grade students have expanded their word analysis skills to recognizing and knowing the meanings of common Latin suffixes such as able, ation, and ible. They can isolate Latin suffixes in the words they read and they can isolate the base word (root word) from the Latin suffix (e.g., in the word agreeable, students can identify the Latin suffix and the base word by underlining the base word once and the suffix twice). Being able to identify the base word and the suffix helps students decode the word and figure out its meaning.
  • Third grade students have developed strategies than enable them to decode multi-syllabic words.
  •    At their grade level, they
  •        i. recognize syllable types.
  •        ii. understand the term morphemes, and
  •        iii. have learned some syllabication rules and strategies such as finding vowels and circling syllables
  • Third grade students recognize grade-appropriate phonemic and morphemic spelling patterns. They can read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words when these are presented on word cards or in print (e.g. done, laugh, weigh, comfortable).
  • Third grade students have added terms such as morpheme, syllable types, r-controlled, Latin suffixes, and derivational suffixes to their academic vocabulary. They have also added a host of new vocabulary words as they add suffixes and prefixes to words and as they decode multisyllabic words during classroom exercises and while they read print.

  • How does learning the six syllable types support spelling and decoding?
  • Why is it important that students acquire the ability identify word parts (prefixes, suffixes (word endings) and root words)?
  • Why are Latin suffixes important in word study? What are the most appropriate Latin suffixes to teach to third graders?
  • How can teachers effectively assess mastery of phonics and word analysis skills at the third grade level?
  • What instructional materials and strategies support student learning about prefixes and suffixes, including Latin suffixes and support students as they decode multisyllabic words?
  • What prior learning must students have mastered if they are to effectively and efficiently decode multisyllabic words and use prefixes and suffixes to decode and understand new words they encounter in reading?
  • What resources and materials are available for teachers who wish to improve their knowledge of and ability to teach phonics and word analysis skills at the first grade level? Does the school’s library provide a professional book section (Refer to the Center On Instruction’s web resource, Building the Foundation: A Suggested Progression of Sub-skills to Achieve the Reading Standards: Foundational Skills in the Common Core State Standards at Building the Foundation and to pages 17-22 in Appendix A of the Common Core Standards document Appendix A.


Go to RF.2.3 to see skills mastered prior to this.