Episode 20: Measuring Students Decoding and Encoding Abilities

It’s important for teachers to know the current levels of their students in order to enhance effective literacy instruction. There are many screening tools provided by the school system as well as informal assessment that teachers purchase for additional information about the student. Although my school system provided me with many reading assessments, I felt the need to use an assessment that targeted the students current decoding and encoding reading level. As I was researching, I found Megawords.

By no means am I promoting this tool as an affiliate. I am in no way receiving any benefits from Megawords. I am simply sharing this tool as another potential source for assessing our student’s word knowledge.  MegaWords has a powerful tool that can be used to determine a student’s decoding and encoding abilities. It starts with simple words that follow various syllabic patterns and ends with words that have certain Latin and Greek roots. This assessment is very powerful as it allows me to pinpoint where instruction should begin for the student. The Megawords program also comes with an Accuracy Checklist, which can be used with students for goal setting. Students can choose specific areas of their reading to improve upon. Finally, a Word Proficiency Graph, is also provided. Students can use the graph to track data specific to word learning. Once students are assessed, detailed lessons are provided so that the teacher can give the student explicit instruction in word analysis and word study.

In this podcast episode, you will hear me administer the MegaWords placement assessment to one of the ELL students. This provides me with a good idea of his decoding and encoding skills.


Johnson, K., & Bayrd, P. (2010). Lesson 14. Megawords 2. Cambridge: Educators Publishing Service.

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