R is Very Controlling


We’ve covered Closed, (Magic )E, and Open syllables in the REVLOC system of classifying syllables to give them rules to help pronounce words. From here, things get slightly trickier. The R-controlled syllable is the R in REVLOC. In a past post, I acknowledged the reason for the order of the letters in REVLOC is that this is the order in which each syllable “trumps” the next. R-controlled trumps all. If a word has a syllable that is R-controlled, but closed, you pronounce it r-controlled. For example – fir Technically, fir is closed, right? It’s a vowel closed in by two consonants. But,...

Be Open to Open Syllables


We’ve gone through the closed syllable and silent (or magic) E syllable. Next in the REVLOC system of classifying syllables is the open syllable. An open syllable is one with a vowel at the end of the syllable, making the vowel long. In comparison with the closed syllable, which is closed in by another consonant that makes the vowel short, the open syllable does not have a consonant after it, and so the vowel “says its name.” For example: Word:    me                        The e is long because there is no consonant closing it in. It is an open syllable. Add a d: med                    ...

The E has Magic – Silent E Syllables


Having covered closed syllables in REVLOC, we now move on to “Magic E” syllables. The magic of the Magic E is that by adding the silent e to the end of a syllable, it “makes the vowel say its name.” Our pattern for a closed syllable is: consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc), as in pin The pattern of the Magic E syllable is: vowel-consonant-silent e (vce) as in pine With a closed syllable, the “closing in” with the consonant makes the vowel short. With Magic E, adding the e at the end makes the vowel in the middle long, or “makes it say its name.” Here...

CLOSED Syllables – Breaking down REVLOC


For the purpose of understanding the REVLOC system, we can look at each syllable type more closely. First, let’s define what a syllable is. A syllable must contain a vowel. As in nan ny – two syllables. (In this case, the first syllable is closed and the second is open.) A syllable can be a stand-alone vowel, but not a stand-alone consonant. As in, a lone (the a is a syllable and a schwa). I’ve gone through what REVLOC is, but now I want to go through each letter in individual posts. Starting with C. C stands for closed syllable. A closed syllable...

REVLOC Reveals Syllable Types


What makes OG (Orton Gillingham) so special is the way it teaches the English language in broken down parts then re-assembles them into a whole; meaning that by the time one is older (or for an adult, towards the end of the learning sequence), one can see English from a broad perspective. A major component to help gain the overall perspective is REVLOC. In some circles they use CLOVER, but where I took the course, they call it REVLOC and soon I will reveal why. First, let me break down the answer to what REVLOC actually is. Each letter stands for...

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: ?. The sound a schwa makes sounds like a short u (“?” 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...

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.

How a Dialect Can Mix Things Up


When teaching short vowels… if you are from the south, you may not want to teach “i” and “e” together. Southerners tend to say things like, “Go git (get) your brother.” If you are from the north, you may not want to teach “a” and “o” together. Northerners tend to say things like, “Get a jab (job).“ A good way to teach short vowels is to make vowel strips. On a strip of paper use markers and write the vowels out. Have the student recall the sounds as a drill. You might follow up this exercise by dictating some short vowel words...

The Letter Q(u)


You will never see, in the English language, the letter q without a u following it. The exception here is in proper names, like Q-tip, but that is the only exception. The rest of the time, qu is always together. For this reason, in Orton Gillingham, Qu is a consonant together and the sound it makes is “kw.” After I learned this, I started thinking of words and sure enough, qu is always together. Queen, quarter, quilt, quill, quiet, quite, quick, quit, question, quack, quality, quip, quintuplet, quagmire, squint, squat, squirt, squirrel … I could keep going but I’m sure you get...

Orton Gillingham for All


I spent a year taking a course on the Orton Gillingham (OG) method of teaching reading and spelling. I took the class at The Schenck School, a school specifically for dyslexic children. My teacher was a dynamic woman named Rosalie Davis. She was hands down the best teacher I have ever encountered. Or, was it that what she was teaching was so enchanting? I think the answer is both. What makes OG a special method for teaching kids to read and spell is that it is multi-sensory. What that means is, students of OG are taught to see, hear and feel each...