Sunday, March 15, 2015

Start with the Vowel

(One of the Best Tips in this Blog!)

Quick Reading and Spelling Tips

When a child mispronounces a short word or doesn't even attempt to read it, we are inclined to tell that child to "Sound it out."  The child then dutifully starts at the beginning of the word and will say ca -aa- kaa - eee?   The problem is usually the vowel sounds. So here is one of the best hints I have found for poor readers.

Sound it out from the vowel!

A prerequisite for this method is that a child has to recognize vowels and know their sounds. For children with learning differences (LDs) exposure to a rule does not mean they will apply the rule while reading. Sounding out starting with the vowel gives a child practice in applying the rule. 

As an example we will use the words:  spit, split, and spite.

Start from the vowel and read to the end of the word. (see how-to examples below) Some children may need to be reminded of the rule: vowel consonant e (examples ake, ope, ite, ute ) makes the vowel long (say its own name) and the e is silent.  Most children will see this pattern if the vowel is read first. Then go back letter by letter to read the entire word.

  • spit is read:  it,  pit,  spit
  • split is read:  it,  lit,  plit,  split  (Reading it this way helps a child who might have difficulty with blending the consonants spl at the beginning of this word)
  • spite is read:  ite,  pite,  spite
As a child's reading improves this method can be applied to multi-syllable words. Obviously, a word has to be phonetic when using this method. This method wouldn't be used with non-phonetic words such as once or where.

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