Reading & Spelling Overview

In the early grades, reading and spelling work together hand in hand. Children are learning phonics patterns, which allow them to break the secret code of reading – and these same patterns are also needed for their writing. This includes much more than the sounds of the letters of the alphabet. These phonics patterns encompass both consonant and vowel combinations: combinations of consonants like ”fr” for friend and double vowels like “oa” for boat. From first through third grades, these

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3. Spelling & Reading Double Vowels

Rules and Patterns Along with sounding out simple words and memorizing high frequency words, children begin to learn and apply spelling “rules” or patterns for combinations of letters. These rules help children break the code of double vowels and consonant blends that have their own sounds. As they’re sorting out these spelling patterns, writing the words helps them to “burn it into their brains,” as I explain to my students. The many exceptions to the rules are learned over time.

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4. “Tricky” Words

Transitional Spelling Phonetic spelling transitions gradually to correct spelling. Many words just have to be memorized because they are not spelled according to their sounds. In fact, over half of our language is NOT phonetic. It often takes a child about 40 times of encountering a word before it’s remembered automatically. “Tricky Words” Along with learning “blend friends” and vowel combinations, children need to memorize words that have special combinations. Words with silent letters like “could” are often the hardest

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5. Spelling Games & Activities

WORD BINGO AND WORD CONCENTRATION Word BINGO and Word “Concentration,” are two easy games that will be fun for your child as he encounters words he’s learning to spell. (See my website article, “Easy Games Make Learning Letters and Words Fun” for more details.) FLIP BOOKS Making “flip” books together helps with learning “word families” that end with the same spelling. WORD SORTS (See an example of ai/ay in article 3. Double Vowels – Reading and Spelling) Sorting words according

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Games Make Learning Phonics Fun

Children become engaged when learning is fun. Here are 3 simple games that can be used for learning the alphabet letters and sounds or words to be learned by sight. By the end of first grade, students usually learn the first 100 words that are used the most, which make up 50% of what we read! These are words such as “the, of, saw, was,” etc. You can look up “high frequency words” on the computer and find the first,

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The Writing-Reading Connection

At age three or four, children all around the world show a natural impulse to mimic the writing they see. When this impulse strikes, children will write anywhere, much to our chagrin. How can you help channel and sustain this impulse, especially as your child comes up against the challenges of learning spelling, grammar, and composition? Writing reinforces learning to read and reading helps develop writing skills. Some children even learn to read through writing. There are three basic parts

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