The Six Syllable Types: Consonant-le Syllable

gif_2726-Elementary-School-Design-Books-And-Apple (1)This week, we are taking a look at the syllable type: consonant -le.

Consonant-le Syllables:

  • Have three letters, a consonant, an l and an e (there can be a /s/ added to make words plural).
  • The e is silent.
  • The syllable is the last syllable in a multisyllabic word.

Some examples are: apple, crumble, sparkle, giggles, brittle, vehicle, little, multiple, snuggle, rectangle, etc.

There are some words with exceptions to this rule. The exception occurs when the consonant is an s. It makes the t silent, and the sound is a /l/. As in bus·tle, whis·tle, and cas·tle.

This is a great syllable type/spelling pattern to teach, as it is fairly straightforward. I hope this helps!

A Gift for You: Words for Writers

IMG_1657I’ve put together a great resource for teachers and parents. This “Words for Writers & Editor’s Checklist” is a list of the most commonly used words in English, and will help your students/child with spelling and writing. If it is a very common word, such as “who, what, when, where, and why,” then the word will be listed in this small packet.

This comes as a gift when you sign up for my free quarterly newsletter (see sidebar to right to sign up/ or click here to see homepage/sidebar). My quarterly newsletter, which is a one page e-mail, offers tips, stories, and information that will be especially helpful in working with your students and/or child.”Words for Writers” will be included as a PDF. 

IMG_1658This freebie will help you give some ownership back into your students’ hands. If you know it is a basic, common word, you can direct them to look it up.

We have a book binder at our school, so I bound mine, but a heavy duty stapler works as well.

I promise to never, ever spam you or share your email!

The Six Syllable Types: Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable

This week we will look at vowel-consonant-e syllables.

A Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable:

  • Has a vowel, consonant, and then an e.
  • The first vowel is a long vowel sound.
  • The e is silent.

gif_book121This rule is among the first rules we teach with regards to long vowels and single syllable words. Examples include: cake, cape, kite, ride, cove, rose, tube, and cute. We emphasize that the silent e makes the previous vowel say its “name”—that is, a long vowel sound. Students need to be able to differentiate between a short and long vowel sound to understand this syllabication type.

I like to have students look at the difference between words when the silent e is added. For instance, “cap” turns to “cape” with the silent e. “Hop” turns to “hope.” Have students practice reading words with and without the silent e.

This syllable type can be found in multisyllabic words, often paired with a closed syllable. Examples include: in·vite, name·sake (two cvce syllables), rep·tile, dis·crete, etc.

There are some exceptions to this rule. In English, words do not end in the letter /v/.  Words like “give,” glove,” and “solve” do not have a long vowel. Other common words that are exceptions are: palace, favorite, justice, notice, damage, etc.

If you are interested, I have a nice unit on TeachersPayTeachers where students can read short stories and practice this syllable pattern (at the K/1st grade level). 

The Six Syllable Types: Open Syllables

jpg_seeBefore summer break, I started a series on the six basic syllable types. I blogged generally on the six types, and on closed syllables and more on closed syllables. Today I am resuming with open syllables.

As a refresher, the logic behind teaching syllable types is that it helps take the mystery out of reading, especially for students with reading disabilities. Students are given the tools to attack a word, and break it down into smaller, readable parts.

Open Syllables:

  • End in one vowel.
  • The vowel sound is long.

Examples of open syllables are: hi, so, he, she, try, si·lent (“si” is open), re·pent, by·line.

The Exceptions: The a can make the schwa sound as in A·las·ka. The i can make the short i sound as in com·pli·cate.

Next week we will look at vowel-consonant-e syllables.

The Six Syllable Types: More on Closed Syllables

gif_book121As a recap, closed syllables have one short vowel and end in one or more consonant. Examples include: chip, click, hap·pen, chip·munk, splash, etc. Closed syllables can be paired with other syllable types; but when you first begin teaching, try to stick to words with only closed syllables. Also, highlight blends and digraphs (see previous posts on those), as many closed syllable words are made with these letter combinations.

Some ideas to teach closed syllables include:

  • Make syllable cards and have students form words. (Anytime you can include a multi-sensory approach, this is helpful.)
  • Give students words with closed syllables and have them circle the short vowel and underline the ending consonant(s).
  • Give students simple sentences and have them identify the closed syllables by the method listed above. For example: The cat sat by the plump pig (circle the vowel).

Closed Syllable Exceptions

Of course, in English, there are always exceptions. Here are some of the more common exceptions:

  • ild, as in child, mild, wild
  • ind, as in blind, kind, mind
  • old, as in cold, mold, told.
  • olt, as in bolt, colt, jolt
  • ost, as in host, most, post

In these instances, the vowel makes a long sound, rather than the short vowel sound, as is typical in closed syllables. It is helpful to teach the sound and spelling of these letter combinations, as they are fairly common.

Remember, teaching/learning syllable types takes time, and there needs to be a lot of repetition and review. Still, over time, your students who struggle with reading will start to have the tools they need to attack reading and spelling.

The Six Syllable Types: Closed Syllables

jpg_4289-Owl-Teacher-Cartoon-Character-With-A-Pointer-2Closed Syllables are the most common type of syllable. Before you begin, students should understand the definition of a syllable: a word, or part of a word, made by one push of breath. Practice clapping the syllable, tapping the syllable, etc. Students should also know the difference between a consonant and a vowel (you’d be surprised), and be able to identify short and long vowel sounds.

Closed Syllables:

  • Have only one vowel.
  • The vowel sound is short.
  • The vowel is followed by one or more consonant (hence, “closed-in”).

Examples of closed syllables are: clap, tip, graph, pic·nic (two closed syllables).

Why teach closed syllables?

Personally, I like to give ownership back to students for their learning. When you teach this rule, and students understand it, you can give prompts such as, “This word has a closed syllable.” The cue being: one short vowel, ends in a consonant(s).

We’ll discuss teaching ideas in the next post.

The Six Syllable Types

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These are six syllable types that make up the majority of words in English.

They are:

1. Closed Syllables
2. Open Syllables
3. Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable
4. Consonant-le Syllable
5. R-Controlled Syllables
6. Vowel Teams

What are the benefits in learning these six types?

English is a very complicated language, and teaching the syllabication principles will help your child/student chunk words down into more manageable parts. This, in turn, will help with overall reading skills and identify of spelling patterns.

This will also be especially beneficial for students who have a specific learning disability in reading. Research supports that teaching phonics is the most effective type of reading instruction for students with dyslexia.

In the upcoming weeks, I will tackle the different syllable types. Whether a refresher, or new material, I hope this series helps!

Spelling Rules and Phonics, Part IV

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Today is Phonics 101. I have been going over some of the lesser known spelling rules, but was thinking I shouldn’t assume everyone is familiar with the basics of beginning spelling and reading.

 

Here are the steps to teach beginning reading and spelling:

  • Teach the alphabet.
  • Teach the letter sounds. This includes consonants and short and long vowel sounds.
  • Begin with reading CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant such as: cat, bet, sit, cot) and beginning sight words (these are very common words such as: the, are, was).
  • Teach basic CVCe words. These are words with a long vowel sound and a silent /e/ at the end (bake, kite, hose, etc.).
  • Teach blends and digraphs (typically with short vowel sounds first). Blends are two (or three) consonants where you say each sound (such as: clasp, mask, fist) and digraphs where two consonants make one new sounds (ch, ck, ph, sh th, wh with words like:  such, duck, shut, which, etc.).
  • Teach students about simple syllables along the way. A syllable is a word or part of a word made by one push of the breath.

Next week, we will be looking at syllables. There are six major syllable types and this is where teaching phonics gets more specific!

Have a happy Friday!

Spelling Rules and Phonics, Part II

jpg_4289-Owl-Teacher-Cartoon-Character-With-A-Pointer-2Here is an interesting bit of trivia you may not realize, and it will help to explain an irregular spelling pattern.

Have you ever noticed that words in English do not end in the letter v?

Because of this rule, we add a silent e after a /v/, and it will not necessarily make the prior vowel make a long sound.

This helps to explain why we have words that follow the typical long vowel silent e rule such as five, hive, gave, (long vowel/consonant/silent e) and then words like: give, have, extensive, expansive, pensive, responsive, etc. (short vowel/consonant/silent e).

I’ve heard it said, “The v refuses to be last!”

Spelling Rules and Phonics, Part I

jpg_Education048I was taught to read by sight. The only spelling rule I can remember being taught was “i before e except after c.”

For our students with specific learning disabilities (specifically, dyslexia), some of the spelling patterns which many learn somewhat intuitively need to be taught specifically and systematically.

Do you know the rule for when to use a /c/ versus a /k/ for the beginning of a word followed directly by a vowel?

A hard /c/ and /k/ make the same sound, which can be confusing.

Here is the rule:

  • If the word is directly followed by the vowels a, o, or u, it begins with a c.                    Examples are: cat, cash, camp, cot, cod, coddle, cut, cup, cub.
  • If the word if directly followed by the vowels e or i, it begins with a k.                   Examples are: key, keep, kettle, kit, king, kitten

Of course, in English, there are always some exceptions to the rule. I hope this helps, and be sure to teach the same rule over multiple days so it really sticks!