TKS Bootcamp’s Word Family Bootcamp

 Word Family Bootcamp is a science of reading-aligned curriculum that allows us to apply the sounds and letters we learned in ABC Bootcamp following similar routines that we used in ABC Bootcamp.  The students use the sounds we mastered in ABC Bootcamp to segment, decode, read, spell and write CVC words. After we finish our ABC Bootcamp we move on to word families and CVC Words using TKS Bootcamp’s Word Family Bootcamp!  Word families also provide the scaffolding of rhyming words. That’s the beauty of our TKS Bootcamp Curriculum.  Each Bootcamp builds on the previous skill and you’re also integrating multiple skills and strategies for learning to read and write and decode words.  The TKS Bootcamp Curriculum also means you’re learning the skills in context and not in isolation!

science of reading

Explicit:  students are explicitly taught how to decode, segment, spell, map, and write CVC words

Speech to print:  follows the sounds-first approach where we move from hearing the sounds (segmenting) to reading and writing the words

Phonics: students have ample opportunity to decode words, spell words, sort words

We follow a 2-day lesson when learning new word families.  We do 2-word families a week. If you want to see the order in which I do them, simply go to the Resource Center and click on The Big Picture for any year.

Word Family Bootcamp:  Circle Charts

Day 1 of Word Family Bootcamp is the circle chart.  Students come up with words for the word family.  I draw a picture for the word.  We segment the sounds in the word, spell the word and write the words.  Then we blend the word.     When segmenting we hear each sound in the word.  When we’re decoding the word we also focus on using all the sounds in the word AND some students use the onset and rime in the words. Then, we read the word as a whole group and the students take turns reading the word by themselves.  After we complete the circle chart we read all the words multiple times to build fluency.  The multiple times is research-based because students need to decode a word 1-8 times in order to orthographically map the words into their long-term memory.

Word Family Bootcamp: Word Building

Day 2 is word building and word writing.  We use our Word Family Bootcamp cards to decode the words and spell the words.  I say the word, we segment the sounds, and then I place the letter cards on the document camera or pocket chart.   We blend the word as a whole group, and students take turns independently blending the words. We also do word chaining where we change the letters in each word and read the new words to build fluency!  Word chaining is a vital piece of the practice because it allows the students to understand how sounds work in words and provides great practice into decoding words.

After we have built and read the words we write and spell the words! I use this word writing as an informal assessment.  As they finish, I check each student’s work and I work one on one with any student who needs some extra help!  We focus on saying a sound and writing a sound.  This approach has really helped my kids with their writing!

For assessment, the students complete a word match activity.  Based on observations, I pull students who I know will need support into small groups and we do the matching activity as a small group so I can provide targeted support.  The remaining students complete the match or sort on their own.


Word Family Bootcamp: Decodable Readers

A key piece of our TKS Bootcamp Curriculum is the decodable readers. We use the decodable readers in small groups for the students to practice and support with decoding in the context of print.  The decodable readers provide more practice with the phonics skill in context.  After reading the book Reading Above The Fray and learning that students need to decode a word 1-8 times, we are changing how much we read our decodable texts.  We will be reading them more in small groups, one-on-one and independently! 

Word family BootCamp also includes activities for small groups including sorts, look-alike word activities, decodable sentences, and more!  TKS BOOTCAMP is an all-inclusive, science-of-reading-aligned resource that has always been rooted in research and best practices!

Word Family Bootcamp In Action


Additional Activities Included

(No Theme Version is Shown In These Pics)


At the end of the week,  we assess the words and practice reading words from both word families for that week using ESGI!  All of our TKS BOOTCAMP Curriculum assessments are available on ESGI!  SIGN UP WITH THE CODE SMORGIE for a 60 day free trial and save $50 off your subscription!

So how well does Word Family Bootcamp work?   Here is our ESGI data from last year’s word families and CVC words.  The data is CLEAR.  Word family Bootcamp WORKS and is highly effective.  

But don’t just take our word for it, look at what teachers are saying:

Get Started – 

See The No Theme Preview –

Word Family Bootcamp is also part of our TKS BOOTCAMP Curriculum bundle at a 25% savings if you purchase the entire curriculum

To learn more about the entire TKS BOOTCAMP Curriculum, check out the all new TKS Bootcamp page!

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