• Tips and Games

    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. OG then…

  • Prefixes/Suffixes

    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 in textbooks, grades 3-9, words beginning with un-, re-, in-(meaning…

  • Miscellaneous Rules

    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 (ē). ֎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 comes first, before the ei. It is important…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    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 = “ā,” apple = “ă,” bandage = “Ə” Short vowels are indicated with a breve – ă 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 of the word usually makes…

  • Syllable Division,  Types of Syllables

    Go to the End and Count Back Three, if You See Consonant + LE

    The syllable pattern in REVLOC is is a departure from the Vowel-Consontant-Vowel patterns. This one is Consonant+LE. It is the L in REVLOC. If you have not read the post on REVLOC, please read it and come back. When you have a word with a Consonant+LE at the end, count back three letters, then divide the word. Consontant + LE is ALWAYS at the end of the word. The C+LE endings are: ble dle fle gle kle tle zle ple They are pronounced as: ble = b’l (as in bubble) dle = d’l (as in idle) fle = f’l (as in ruffle) gle = g’l (as in giggle) kle =…

  • Syllable Division,  Types of Syllables

    It’s Just an Ostrich! VCCCV Patterns

    Now that we have gotten through the more challenging VCV syllable pattern, we can move to the next in line – VCCCV, Vowel-Consonant-Consonant-Consonant-Vowel. Even though it looks longer and possibly more challenging, this one requires less work to break up than VCV. If you have not yet read the posts on REVLOC, VCCV, and VCV, I suggest reading those and coming back to this post. Orton Gillingham is a system that builds one section of lessons upon the next. This is the section called Syllable Division Rules. The class I took, we called the VCCCV pattern Ostrich words. The main rule about Ostrich words is that when dividing, allow the…

  • Accenting Rules,  Syllable Division

    VCV – the Tiger and the Camel Slept in a Motel in Japan

    Hopefully everyone has been practicing the VCCV pattern while I have been away. My kids just got out of school so I’ve been busy with end of year madness. Today we move into VCV – or vowel consonant vowel – patterns. If you have not read the posts on REVLOC or VCCV please do that now and come back. Each of these posts builds on the next. There are not as many pattern types in VCV as there are in VCCV, but breaking the words up into syllables becomes a tad more difficult now, because we have to place an emphasis on accenting of the syllable. That determines where we…

  • Syllable Division

    The Essence of OG Word Patterns & Syllable Division

    When studying Orton Gillingham, one of the main focuses of the program is on dividing words into syllables (known as syllable division). The one and only point of syllable division is to pronounce the word. Nothing else. This means, if someone does not perfectly divide up the word, but is still able pronounce the word based on how it was divided, the person doing the dividing should consider that they succeeded in their mission. With that said, we still want to learn the rules to syllable division because it makes learning easier when there are rules to follow, rather than just trying to haphazardly divide a word and pronounce it.…

  • 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”)…

  • Syllable Division,  Types of Syllables

    They Come as a Team – Vowel Teams

    So we’ve now gone through all of the syllable types except one in the REVLOC system of syllable division. We have covered C, E, O, R, and L. The final type of syllable is Vowel Teams – the V.  These vowel teams are vowel sounds (it’s the sound, not just the letters) formed by two or more letters (notice it is letters, not vowels) within the same syllable. For example: Bee Bread Boy Light Eight In dividing a word, a Vowel Team syllable will look like this: Conceit                                      con (closed or C)  ceit (vowel team or V) As a side note: is this a vowel team?  The word: Quit?  NO!…