10 Steps to Reading

Learn skills for reading with the following ideas. These tips include some of my favorite free online resources.Reading101

Download the 10 Steps to Reading (pdf)

1. Learn letter names  & sounds, and practice hearing and manipulating sounds; Phonemic awareness.

2. Sound out words with short vowels and CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant), practice with word families, then continue with consonant blends.

3. Learn phonics patterns in a sensible sequence as the student is ready. Try the phonics presentations at ReadingBear.org and watch fun videos that cover many phonics patterns with Kids vs Phonics from RedCatReading.

4. Practice patterns with picture and word sorts.

5. Play games that encourage literacy. Hands on games include traditional games like Boggle and Bananagrams, as well as many free printable games that can be found through links on specific phonics skills. Free online games are also available at this Symbaloo. The Mozilla Firefox browser may help with Flash games on mobile devices.

6. Read books to practice the patterns. The books from Progressive Phonics are free, fun, and practice the phonics patterns. They can be printed or read online.

7. Learn sight words. Many high frequency words are not decodable with phonics guidelines.

8. Encourage reading 20 minutes a day. Children who do this from Kindergarten through 6th grade score 90% better than their peers on tests. Check out more Benefits of reading.

9. Use your library. Attend storytimes, participate in summer reading programs, check out books & online resources. Choose fun books at the right level.

10. Read “Phonics from A to Z” by Wiley Blevins (online at issuu) and learn literacy terms.

Credits: Some artwork copyrighted by Mark A Hicks, illustrator, www.MARKiX.net. Used with permission. Sources for other graphics at PinterestPattern charts from boostforreaders

Learn more at Reading Basics from ReadingRockets.org. They have a Get Ready to Read screening tool too.

Sequence for teaching reading

PhonicsSequence

The sequence followed by different methods of teaching reading can vary. The Phonics Pow Toolkit is designed to help teachers teach, and students learn with a sensible sequence that builds on skills as they are learned. It is organized in five sections, with most sections having three parts (except the vowel pattern section, which has six). Color coding often provides clues, like the color RED (a CVC word with a short vowel) for the SOUND OUT WORDS section. As much as possible, one syllable words that include only patterns that have been learned are used until the final section.

SequenceWithColors

Closed syllables often have a short vowel (with some exceptions). Open syllables have a long vowel sound, and are most often found in words with more than one syllable. However, there are some one syllable words that are open, like: he, me, we, no, go, and so. These are sight words that are frequently seen in written text, so introducing open and closed syllables with one syllable words is a good plan.

Blends are introduced next, with words that have a short vowel.

Consonant patterns are placed together in one section for convenience. Digraphs are a pair of letters that represent one sound. Consonant digraphs may be introduced with words that have a short vowel at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section. Many words with consonant digraphs have advanced vowel patterns that have not been introduced yet, so those are covered as patterns are learned.

The schwa sound is usually a quick and weak “uh” that can be made by any vowel. It is often found in words with more than one syllable. However, there are a few one syllable words with the schwa sound like: of, from, and was. At the end of the silent e section, more is learned with words like “love” and “gloves,” which make the schwa sound instead of being long. The idea of schwa is introduced as a way that vowels can vary.

Learning Vowel Patterns begins with Silent e, then Bossy R, followed by Diphthongs and Vowel Teams. Vowel digraphs or combinations are separated into those that often make a long vowel sound (vowel teams) and those that make mostly new sounds (diphthongs). When diphthongs are introduced first, many of the remaining combinations make a long vowel sound. However, this is not always reliable, and there are many exceptions to learn about, so they are the last vowel patterns to learn. The final section includes Consonant-le syllables and more work with multi-syllable words.

I. GET READY

II. SOUND OUT WORDS

III. VOWEL PATTERNS

IV. CONSONANT PATTERNS

V. MULTI-SYLLABLE WORDS

Phonics instruction that is systematic (presented in a logical sequence) and explicit (directly taught) has been shown by research to be beneficial in teaching reading. Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit and how to be a super reading teacher.

Learn the Alphabet

Letter knowledge is one of the key skills to master reading.

WATCH videos of letter sounds from Turtle Diary at this Symbaloo collection.

WATCH videos at the Alphabet Animals tutorial at Wakelet

WATCH more videos: Letter Sounds from Turtle Diary (4:52), All letters from LogicofEnglish (1:42), Meet the Phonics from Preschool Company (41:10) Alphabet from Kids vs Phonics (29:02) Sound Pronunciations from sightwords.com. Learn the Alphabet with the Storybots (28:34) or a playlist with individual letters.  Vowels & Consonants from Lotty Learns (2:53), Short Vowels from Red Apple Reading (3:01), Long & Short from Scratch Garden (1:55)

Play online alphabet games at Wakelet

More Alphabet Resources:

PLAY Printables: Alphabet Chutes and Ladders: lowercase & uppercase from Super Simple, Mailbox ABC from Totschooling (6 pages, color), Fishing for Letters from Kindergarten Crayons (7 pages, color), Sammy the Starfish from Fuelthebrain.

consonants

 

Active, Board, and Card games at the ABCs of Games For Reading.

Sight Words

binoculars

Phonics guidelines can often be helpful, but there are some words that are not easily decodable.

Sight words are frequently found in written text, and many are not decodable with phonics guidelines. When these words are learned, a large percentage of written text can be read. E.W. Dolch identified 220 words and 95 nouns. In 1996, Dr. Fry expanded on the Dolch list and published “Fry 1000 Instant Words.” In his research, Dr. Fry found that:
• 25 words make up approximately 1/3 of all published text
• 100 words make up approximately ½
• 300 words are 65%
• The full list of 1000 words makes up 90% of all published text

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Sight Word tutorial at Wakelet

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It may help to download Mozilla Firefox.

WATCH more videos at the Sight Word playlist at Phonics Pow Youtube channel

PRACTICE Fry Sight Words (with audio) at Quizlet.com.

FRY SIGHT WORDS

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DOLCH SIGHT WORDS

FLASHCARDS

READ Phrases with Fry Instant Words from http://www.uen.org & Fry Fluency Sentences from Curriculum Corner. 220 Dolch sight words in a story from Mrs. Perkins.

PLAY Printables:

BuildaSentence

 

Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers:

FREE! Roll a (sometimes silly) Sight Word Sentence – to make this into a sentence shake cut the columns of words apart and put them in bottles.

sightwordsentences

The Roll a Color Sight Word Game pictured below uses the first 100 Fry words, or use any sight word flashcards and mark them with the colors.

rollacolor1

PLAY more printable games: Sight Word Last Card from sightwords.com, Battling for Sight Word Treasures from Liz’s Early Learning Spot, Gone Fishing editable Sight Words from thisreadingmama, Sight Word Scrabble from craftnectar. (The last two may not fit easily in the portable Phonics Kit, but look fun!)

The Schwa Sound

SchwaSymbolChairBe Aware of Schwa:

Schwa is often a light “uh” sound that can be made by any vowel. It is the most common sound in the English language.

SchwaCard

The Schwa sound is often found in words with more than one syllable, so it is included at the end of the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (V.c) However, it is a good idea to introduce it earlier as Schwa can be found in some one syllable words like: the, a, was, and of.

The sled was a lot of fun.

Hear the Schwa sound in these one syllable words with the letter o: My son won a ton of money a month from the lottery. At the end of the Silent e section (III.a) there are activities with words that have the Schwa sound (some love gloves).

WATCH

PLAY A free printable Sheriff Schwa Worksheet from teachchildrenesl.com and Schwa maze at English-Zone.com. Pizza! Pizza! printable schwa game from the literacy nest. Online Quiz at purposegames.

 

Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: Schwa Word Sort and free Schwa Word Treasure game.

Note: read about short U & the schwa sound at the challengeoflearningUSEnglish

Consonant -le

ConsonantLEThere are seven syllable types. Learning the different syllable types helps makes sense of the different vowel sounds in the English language. We’ve learned about: Silent e, Bossy R, Diphthongs, Vowel Teams, and Open & Closed Syllables. The last syllable type to learn about is Consonant -le.

Consonant -le is an unaccented final syllable that contains a consonant and -le. The e at the end is silent, and creates a new sound: “ul”

Consonant-le tutorial at Wakelet

WATCH Kids vs Phonics le (1:58), Final Stable Syllable from Turtle Diary, Consonant-le from Sue’s Strategies,  Consonant -le plus review of all syllable types (2:46)

PLAY Printable Consonant -le Go Fish from Hattie Knox. Free Consonant-le Word Treasure from Super Tutor Tools at Teachers Pay Teachers.

LISTEN and practice at Quizlet

Bookmarks and posters from ThisReadingMama

Poster from MakeTakeTeach:

7 syllables blog pic

Poster from maketaketeach

Open and Closed Syllables

Syllable2

Syllables are simple, one for every vowel sound, so there are lots of syllables around. You can clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop! Hearing syllables is a part of phonemic awareness that can be practiced with a syllable sort mat and animal flashcards.

Open and Closed Syllables

WATCH:

pinclosed

When a vowel is followed by at least one consonant, it is closed in. It often makes a short sound, as in pin. (the vowel stops short)

openno

A vowel is open with no consonant behind. Open syllables are often long, you will find. (the vowel can go long)

Advanced phonics patterns are more powerful and follow their own guidelines: “car” makes a new sound because of Bossy R,  and so does “loud” because of the Diphthong. “Cake” and “team” both have long vowel sounds because of Silent e and Vowel Teams. WATCH this video from Jessie Ketchum.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Open and Closed Syllable tutorial at Wakelet.

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to use the Firefox browser.

Examples of words with open and closed syllables at sightwordgames.

Syllable Division

SyllableDivision2

WATCH videos and play games at the Syllable Division tutorial at Wakelet

Open & Closed Vowels in Two Syllable Words

TigerCamelWords

After learning about how to divide syllables, notice that two syllable words with one middle consonant can divide after the first vowel. This leaves the first syllable open, which often has the long vowel sound. Examples: pa|per, be|gin, ti|ger, ro|bot, mu|sic. Note that there are exceptions: about 40% of the time the word splits after the middle consonant, making the first syllable closed and short. Examples: cam|el, ped|al, vis|it, rob|in. Learn more at More Ways Vowels Can Be Long.

Bossy R Variations

Vowels can vary in the sounds they make. Here are some of the ways that Bossy R words can vary. First let’s look at what happens when words have both a Silent e and a Bossy R.

SilentevsBossyR

Silent e vs Bossy R

If you find a wire in your spare tire you will see that Silent e wins with -are & -ire. When we explore nature, it is Bossy R that wins with -ore & -ure.  A Silent e vs Bossy R words worksheet is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers Super Tutor Tools store.

The Bossy R Schwa

SchwaBossyR

Some words say “er” with different Bossy R spellings. “The pearl is worth a dollar.” In this phrase, all of these spellings make the “er” schwa sound.

The -ear phonogram is quite tricky. You will learn (er) not to fear (long e/r) the bear (“air”) with a big heart (ar). WATCH: ear video from stickyball.net.

EAR3

The -air sound (or phoneme) can be made with several spellings. Besides the ear in bear, AR can say arrow and ER can say error. Be warned that AR can also say OR when it is warm. IR can say a long e in words like spirit & mirror.

AIR

Multiple Meaning Words

MultipleMeaningWords2

When working with Bossy R variations, you may notice that many of these words can be homophones. They sound exactly the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. “I have a pair of pears.”

You may also see homonyms or homographs, words that are spelled and sound the same but have different meanings. “I will park the car at the park.” In the phrase “There is a tear in my eye as I tear up the paper” the word tear is a hetronym. Hetronyms are a type of homograph that have the same spelling, but a different sound and meaning.

READ “A Bat Cannot Bat, a Stair cannot Stare” by Brian P Cleary, “Dear Deer” by Gene Barretta, “Eight Ate” and “The Dove Dove” by Marvin Terban.

PLAY Categorical Dominoes from Brian P Cleary to practice homophones.

Practice Schwa Bossy R with worksheets that can also be used as word sorts available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. A free copy of the Multiple Meaning Chart can be found there as well. PLAY a homophone Search-a-word puzzle.

Learn more at R is Very Controlling from ogforall.com

More Ways Vowels Can Be Long

Vowels can be long with the Silent e pattern, Vowel TeamsOpen Syllables, and Tricky Y. Two more important long vowel patterns to learn are: i and o can be long when followed by two consonants, and open syllables in two syllable words with one middle consonant. These can be challenging, because in both cases, words may have either the long or short sound.

i and o can be long when followed by two consonants

If you have lŏst a gĭft you know that this is not always so. A strategy for reading is to try it with a long vowel sound to see if it is a recognizable word. If it is not, try it with the short vowel sound.

Strategy: To fīnd lŏng, pĭck bōth

These words can be practiced with a Long or Short i or o Soccer Game. Teams are chosen for either the long vowel sound or the short vowel sound and take turns drawing words to match the pattern.

The words can be printed on “soccer balls” and cut out with a 1 inch circle punch to add to the fun.

The Long or Short i or o Soccer Game is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

PLAY online: Wild Old Words from learningonlinerocks

Open and Closed Syllables in Two Syllable Words with one middle consonant

TigerCamelWords

The first syllable in two syllable words with one middle consonant can be either long or short, so it is important to understand and practice these words too. Since more are long (60%) than short (40%), try the long vowel sound first to see if it is a recognizable word. If it is not, try it with the short vowel sound.

Strategy: Bē/gin with long, vĭ/sit short

The Tiger & Camel Words Soccer Game is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Vowels That Vary

One of the trickiest things about the English language is that vowels may sometimes look the same and make different sounds. There are even variations with short vowels. (II.b)

WATCH videos and PLAY online games to learn more at the vowels that vary tutorial at Wakelet.

Y at the end of a one syllable word, often says a long “I” as in fly. Learn more about Tricky Y.

Syllables that are closed are usually short, but when you fīnd and lĭft the gōld don’t get lŏst. The letters i and o followed by two consonants can be bōth – short or long.

AlikeO

And that is not all…did I mention that the letter a can say a short ŏ like in watch or in ball? The Sounds of A Worksheet/Word Sort is available at TeachersPayTeachers. Learn more about Short Vowel Variations.

We have met OO/OO, one of the diphthongs. Which might be a foot that is short, or a boot that is too long. How about OU, which can be very rough?More than six sounds can really be tough. i before e is weird too and can vary a lot. i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.

More vowels that can vary are OW, EA, IE.  When you eat (ē) bread (ĕ ) with a steak (ā) , EA can also say a long a, isn’t that great?

2Sounds

R controlled vowels can vary a lot: AR can sound like ER, as in pillar or dollar. So can OR, when you start your motor. When there is an E before AR all bets are off. It might be ER when you learn, or maybe a long e that you hear. It can even be a polar bear on a chair. Learn more about the Bossy R Schwa sound and other variations.

Last, but not least of all, is the amazing schwa. Any vowel can make this lazy “uh” sound, so watch out for schwas all around!

SchwaCard

These guidelines may help you to figure out the many sounds you will discover all about.