WordBuilder - Pilot Opportunity



What: The training module walks teachers through how the WordBuilder app works and offers instructional tips and examples. While the WordBuilder app is designed to be intuitive to the user, the WordBuilder training module gives teachers an app preview and walks users through the different features of the app by explaining what the feature is, how it works, and why. In addition, the training module includes demonstration videos and interviews of an expert teacher using the WordBuilder app with a small group of students.

WordBuilder is a research-based, free app used to teach struggling adolescent readers how to break down, build, and spell multisyllabic words. The app is designed as an instructional tool for teacher-led, direct instruction delivered in small groups or one-on-one with struggling readers.

Why: By the time students reach middle and high school, they are expected to independently read grade-level, subject-specific textbooks to learn new information. Because trying to apply the basic phonics skills they may know – the sounds represented by consonants, digraphs, blends and long and short vowels – is often unproductive, struggling older readers often avoid or stop reading texts that contain long words. For this reason it is recommended that older struggling readers learn word recognition strategies that help them tackle longer, multisyllabic words that are commensurate with the grade level texts they are expected to read.

How: Through the online training module in CALI Learns, CALI Reads participants will learn how to utilize the WordBuilder app during small group instruction to teach students a method for breaking down multisyllabic words.

Who: WordBuilder Literacy Training module is available for CALI Reads Participants to pilot in 2019-2020. If you'd like to pilot, please contact info@calireads.org.

When: Piloting in the fall 2019 and spring 2020; Rollout in the fall 2020. The training module will become free to the public in future years through the CALI Reads Learning Library.

WordBuilder is an application that was designed by the LA Intervention Project at California State University, Northridge and development supported through CALI Reads SPDG funds. Free instructional program with videos and “how to” tips available at www.wordbuilderapp.com



Other Related Resources

LA Intervention Project

Reading Doctor



Archer, A., Gleason, M., & Vachon, V. (Spring, 2003). Decodng and fluency: Foundation skills for struggling older readers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 26, 89-101.

Boardman, A. G., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Murray, C. S., & Kosanovich, M. (2008). Effective instruction for adolescent struggling readers: A practice brief. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.

Compton, D. J., Miller, A. C., Elleman, A. M., & Steacy, L. M. (2014). Have we forsaken reading theory in the name of “quick fix” interventions for children with reading disability? Scientific Studies of Reading, 18, 55-73.

Nation K., & Snowling, M. J. (1998). Individual differences in contextual facilitation: Evidence from dyslexia and poor reading comprehension. Child Development, 69(4), 996-1011.

Rupley, W. H., Blair, T. R., & Nichols, W. D. (2009). Effective reading instruction for struggling readers: The role of direct/explicit teaching. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 25, 125-138.


Relevant Common Core State Standards Reading: Foundational Skills

Phonics and Word Recognition
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.



CALI Reads is a project funded by the Office of Special Education in partnership with the California Department of Education, Special Education Division. The project is coordinated and administered through the

Napa County Office of Education
1450 Technology Lane, Suite 200 Petaluma, CA 94954
Fax: 707-762-1438 | e-mail: info@calireads.org

Napa County Office of Education
U.S. Offic of Special Education Programs
California Department of Education

The contents of this website were developed under a State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) from the US Department of Education (CALI/Award #H323A170011), Project Officer, Susan.Weigert@Ed.gov. However, the contents of this site not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education and no assumption of endorsement by the Federal government should be made.


Last updated: 10/09/2019