• Consonants & Vowels,  Spelling,  Vowel Teams

    Sound Spelling Versus Sound Reading

    Sound Spelling Versus Sound Reading, What’s the Difference? When taking an Orton Gillingham class, as a student or as a teacher, you will have two terms: Reading Consonant & Vowels and Spelling Consonants & Vowels. What’s the difference in the two? It can get a little confusing. Reading Consonant & Vowel Sounds When going through a consonant reading deck with a student they will use an s two ways, as two sounds, /s/ or /z/. The s can make two sounds, /s/ and /z/. Sound reading is asking, what sounds does this letter (or letter combination) make? Ideas to drill sound reading To drill sound reading, use decks from your…

  • Accenting Rules,  Consonants & Vowels,  Sight Words,  Spelling

    Go Bananas for Schwa

    I’ve written about Schwa before, but I’m seeing a lot of questions around this topic so I want to take a deeper dive into the topic of Schwa. What is a Schwa? Schwa is a term used when a vowel takes on (or gets “swallowed up” by) the “uh” (ŭ) sound. Any vowel can do this and some vowel combinations make the sound as well, for example, doctor (the or takes on a schwa sound) or dollar, (the ar is a schwa). Schwa is represented with an upside-down e: ə Because any a, e, i, o, u, or y can make this sound, and even some letter combinations, it can…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Spelling,  Vowel Teams

    A Deeper Dive into Generalizations OI/OY, OU/OW, AU/AW

    I’ve written about Orton Gillingham Generalizations before, but I want to take a deeper dive into this topic. What Are Generalization Rules? Generalizations or Generalization Rules are vowel teams that sound alike and also have general rules or situations for when to use them. There are three: OI/OY saying “oi” as in oil/boy OU/OW saying “ou” as in out/cow AU/AW saying “ô” as in auto/paw Generalizations are rules associated with certain sounds that help know when to use each vowel team and in what position to use them in a word. They are tools for spelling and reading words. When do you use each Generalization? OI/OY Generalization Use oi at…

  • Sight Words,  Spelling

    Breaking the Rules: Wild Old Words

    I’ve written in the past about closed syllables and how if a syllable is “closed in” by consonants, then it will be a “closed syllable” and the vowel will be short. However, there are groups of words called Wild-Old Words that are “fossil” words left from Anglo Saxon times that do not follow the rules. These words are common but irregular. A student can learn that some common words ending in ld, st, nd, and lt have a single vowel with a long vowel sound. Examples comb roll, troll, stroll mold, told, sold, scold, old, bold, cold, fold, gold bolt, colt, dolt, jolt, Holt, molt, volt bind, find, mind, wind,…

  • 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…