• Consonants & Vowels

    It’s a Fact — Consonants

    Today, I want to give you a few facts about consonants. 21 Consonants are: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z Consonants never say their name (except in words like x-ray). Most consonants have one sound. Five consonants have more than one sound: c, g, s, x, n The letter r does not say “er.” It sounds more like a barking dog – “rhhh.” The letter q is ALWAYS followed by a u in English words. They make the sound “kw” as in queen.  The letter x makes three sounds: “ks” as in Box “gz”…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    Phonemic Awareness: Speaking of Individuality

    What’s the importance of phonemic awareness and what exactly does that mean? First, phonics and phonemic awareness is not the same thing. Phonics is the understanding of the relationship of letters and sounds in WRITTEN language. Phonemic awareness is understanding the sounds of language working together in SPOKEN language to make words. According to the National Institute for Literacy, Putting Reading First, Kindergarten Through Grade 3, “If children are to benefit from phonics instruction, they need phonemic awareness.” The document goes on to say, “The reasons are obvious: children who cannot hear and work with the phonemes of spoken words will have a difficult time learning how to relate these…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Spelling

    Spelling Is Easier with Generalization Rules: OI/OY, OU/OW, AU/AW

    In keeping with the past two posts on spelling consonant sounds and spelling vowel sounds, I am going to cover oi/oy, ou/ow, au/aw generalizations; when to use each to make their sounds. I mentioned these generalizations in my last post in a “Miscellaneous” category. Here I am going more in depth on when to use each letter combination. It can look confusing at first glance to read what I am writing below. If you are not familiar, take your time looking at the rules. Then do the worksheets (or hand give them to a student). On all of these combinations, the dictation is as important as the worksheet. Knowing which…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Spelling

    Spelling Vowel Sounds: What Music They Make

    In my last post I talked about how to spell consonants. This week, we will cover how to spell vowels. It is important to note that when I say “spell” consonants and vowels I am talking about how letters can make more than one sound. For example, a makes a long and short sound, as in make and tack. But to spell the letter a, we can use many combinations to make the long a sound. For example, the long a sound can be spelled using the letters ai, as in rain, train, brain. The difference that comes out of this is, if someone asks, “What does the letter i…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Spelling

    How to Spell a Consonant Sound

    Often in spelling and writing the letters and their pronunciations are considered, but what I had never experienced until working with Orton Gillingham is how to spell a letter sound. This post is on how to spell consonant sounds. Next week, I will cover spelling vowel sounds. There are letters that make sounds, d says “d” (dog), and there are sounds made up of letters, the sound “sh” can be made using the letters sh (shout) or ch (chef). We call that how you “spell” a sound. This can come in handy when teaching how to spell and read. Knowing that certain letters and letter combinations make certain sounds that…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    Get Mixed, Blends & Digraphs

    In my last post of the VCCCV syllable division pattern, or Ostrich words, I talked about blends and digraphs, and I said I would make my next post on these concepts so that Ostrich words will make more sense. That was three Mondays ago – I was out of town in Florida visiting my mom for the past two weeks. Even though I had good intentions of posting, it didn’t happen. But, now I’m back and ready to talk about Blends and Digraphs. First, let’s cover blends. Blends are consonants that when put together we can hear the pronunciation of each letter sound. For example, BL is “b,” “l” as…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Suffix Rules

    We Sailed and Jumped into a Twisted -ED (the suffix)

    Hearing letter sounds is a major key to learning to write and understand English. It can be confusing because many letters or letter combinations have more than one sound. Today I will go over one of the combinations – the suffix –ed. The suffix –ed is used to represent past tense; plenty of even smaller children may realize this. What a person may not have given attention to is that –ed makes three different sounds. A sentence to represent this  (and practice) is: He rented a boat, jumped in and sailed off. Hear it? Rented — /ed/  (said like the name, Ed) Jumped — /t/ (sounds like the sound of a “t”)…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    Say, “Wuh”? Pronouncing Sounds

    There are times when pronouncing a consonant letter, people will say it like this: For “m” someone might say, “muh” or “d,” “duh.” Actually, m says, “mmmm” and d says “d” (clipped, no uh on it). The sounds of letters are the smallest unit of sound in the English language. They are called phonemes (pronounced: phō-nēms). This is a good place to start with a child in OG. In class we made a deck to use. I use the deck by showing each card with a different consonant on it. I usually have this conversation, “Tell me what the letter says.” I hold up “m” and they say, “That is an m.”…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    Schwa Happens

    In the English language there is an interesting sound that can come from any of the vowels – a, e, i, o, u, and y. The sound is called a schwa. A schwa is represented in print with an upside-down e, like this: ә. The sound a schwa makes sounds like a short u (“ŭ” or “uh”). Schwas are only found in multi-syllable words. Let me give an example. Cotton. You don’t say, cot-ton (where the o sounds like the word ton), you say, cotton (and the second o sounds like a short u). This is a schwa. In the word, love, the o sounds like short u, but it is not…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    English Words with “V” at the End

    English words do not end in V. There will always be an E after the V. If you can hear the “v” sound at the end of an English word, it’s a safe bet to put the letter E after it. The saying I was taught is: “No English words end in V, it will always be followed by an E.” Examples: Active Effective Behave Hive Have Grove Serve Salve Solve Reprieve Receive Want more? Check out the Workbook Store. This information plus worksheets are in the workbook store.