Orton Gillingham Coaching: Short Vowels & Strategies for Teaching Them

For our Reading Vowels, we start with short vowels. We have a short vowel deck with pictures to help students associate these first letter sounds with pictures. Watch to learn more tools and teaching strategies for short vowels.

Links from Video:

Links: Scope & Sequence Workbooks (these workbooks contain the mini-cards from the video): https://bit.ly/2YN0XDP

Link to Magnet Sheets (if you want to make magnet cards/strips): https://amzn.to/3lMPD2y

Link to White Board in video: https://amzn.to/3zxk1CL

Link to Paper to make Cards: https://amzn.to/3EKC3We

Drill Card Template (you can make drill cards on your computer): https://bit.ly/3Eb3LuO

About Short Vowels

Dialect Can Affect Sound

The order in scope and sequence of short vowels is not a, e, i, o, u – it is a, i, o, u, e.

E and I can sound a lot alike, especially with a southern accent. A and O can sound similar in some northern accents. It’s important to teach those letters away from one another, at first.

The first letters in the scope and sequence are m, a, s.* Drill these letters with writing, spelling and reading exercises. Once the student is ready, add f, b.

Drills may look like this
  • Using drill cards, have student say letter name, sounds and key words.
  • Dictate the sound and have the student write the letter on paper, in sand, or other tactile method.
  • Practice writing the letter formations. Tracing letters or copying. (Do not use letter sounds for letter formation – use the letter names.)
  • Have student read letters, blending slowly then saying them faster. These words can be non-sense words.
  • Have student write the letters you dictate, then read slowly, then read faster. Again, these can be non-sense words.

Next, introduce short i. Now, you have short a and short i introduced. Continue with the above exercises, using all the letters introduced, but also pull out the short a and i.

Compare and contrast the a and i. Below are some techniques
  • Student points to the card or strip as teacher says sound.
  • Student point to a or i as teacher dictates words with these sounds, for example pin, lab, man, sim.
  • Teacher dictates words and student says vowel sounds. For example, teacher says pin, student says “i.”
  • Teacher dictates a word, like bam, and student writes on paper the vowel being used.
  • Teacher dictates a word and the student writes the word. For example, pig, pat, big, bat.

As you add more short vowel sounds, use these same exercises with each one.

As you get all of the short vowels taught, you could put a reminder sentence on a card to remind students of the sounds: Ask If Odd Ed Is Up

There are other sentences as well, this is just the one I made up.

*I’m referring to the scope & sequence in my Scope & Sequence Workbooks – you may have a different Scope & Sequence.

Want more? Visit the Workbook Store.

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