Why does Orton Gillingham work? And, A Few Tips!


Why does Orton Gillingham work? The Orton Gillingham method is used to teach reading, writing and spelling. It’s not a “fast” approach to learning – it’s a thorough approach. Orton Gillingham starts with the most basic part of language, the phoneme, the smallest unit of sound, and teaches all the sounds the letter makes – that’s right, many letters have more than one sound! (Think letter s – it says “s” as in moss or it can say “z” as in rose.) Orton Gillingham then builds on this to add blends, beginning sounds and ending sounds. Then moves into rules like FLOSS, Magic E, Hard/Soft C&G, and more....

Prefixes: Enlivened Vocabulary


A prefix is a vowel or a syllable placed at the beginning of a word to change the meaning of the word. English is a language made up of many other languages. Its three most common sources are Anglo-Saxon (less than 1%), Greek (11%) and Latin (55%)*. Words are made up of prefixes, suffixes and roots. Knowing the meanings of each will aid in decoding and spelling. ? Anglo-Saxon words with Germanic roots we use every day: Man, wife, child, brother, fight, love, drink, sleep, eat, house, to, for, but, and, in, on ? “Of almost 3,000 prefix words found...

The IE/EI Rule Yields Receipt


There is a basic rule about IE/EI, but there are also many exceptions to the rule that make it difficult to learn and teach this concept. However, getting a basic understanding of the rule can level the field for spelling and reading. This rule is usually for 4th grade and above. First, the rule says (and many have already heard this): Use i before e except after c, when spelling long e (?). ?So, what does this mean? It means that the location of the c is very important to the concept. Because it says “after” c, but in reality the c...

More Facts – Vowel Facts


Facts About Vowels All single vowels have more than one sound: they all make a long sound, a short sound and a schwa sound. For example: baby = “?,” apple = “?,” bandage = “?” Short vowels are indicated with a breve – ? 60% of English words have short vowel sounds A vowel followed by a consonant (closed syllable) is usually short = VC. Examples: at, dog, bid, sat, mat, plat, slug ??Exceptions: a vowel followed by the letters r, l, w, or y is NOT short. Curb Call Cow Delay Magic E – the Magic E pattern is VCE. E at the end...

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, zConsonants 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, nThe 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...

Always, Then, Last: REVLOC order


In my Orton Gillingham journey I’ve heard some who use the word CLOVER to teach syllable types. In the class I took, the word to remember syllable types is REVLOC. The reason for using REVLOC is that this is the order of the syllable for labeling. CLOVER may be an actual word, but REVLOC will give better guidance when trying to decode a word by remembering which syllable types overrule the next. I’ll give an example and then you can see the attached sheet for further explanation. The syllable: tur At first glance, it might seem that this is a closed syllable. But...

I’m Seeing Double – 1-1-1 Doubling Rule Explained


Continuing with Suffix Rules, the first one I will go in depth on is the 1-1-1 Doubling Rule. The grade level this rule corresponds with is 2nd through 12th. Before teaching this rule, one should know: What a suffix is That some suffixes begin with vowels and some with consonants The difference between one and two syllable words. The 1-1-1 Doubling Rule says: 1 syllable words ending in 1 consonant after 1 vowel double the final consonant before a vowel suffix. Why do we double? Because doubling keeps the vowel short. For this rule, worksheets are great, but it is better if you have plenty of...

Illustrations of Suffix Rules, An Overview


Continuing with Suffixes, today I will create an overview of suffix rules. The three suffix rules are: 1-1-1 Doubling Rule, E Drop Rule and the Y-Changing Rule. I will do an overview today, but go in depth in my next posts. 1-1-1 Doubling rule is: 1 syllable words ending in 1 consonant after 1 vowel, you double the final consonant before a vowel suffix. Why double? Because doubling the consonant after the vowel keeps the vowel short. E Drop Rule is: Words ending in e drop the e before adding a vowel suffix. Y Changing Rule is: Words ending in y change the...

The Ending Gives It Meaning – Suffixes


The English language uses affixes to root words to give new meaning by adding prefixes to the beginning and suffixes to the end of a word. It’s efficient – we don’t have to learn new words to get a new word, we just add something to the beginning or the end of a word we already know and there we have it, a new meaning. Suffixes, endings and stable endings are three words used when describing the ending added to a word to change its meaning. Those three terms mean the same thing and are used interchangeably. I use suffix,...

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...