The Six Syllable Types: Vowel Teams (Part II)

Vowel Teams are common letter combinations that include at least one vowel.  

In Part I, I gave a brief overview of Vowel Teams. Below are some examples of Vowel Teams, and how you might see these used in teaching. I hope this helps!

 

  • ai, ay (wait, train, pay, stay)
  • au, aw (haunt, paw)
  • ee,ey,ea (seed, key, bead)
  • oi, oy (coin, toy)
  • oa, oe, ow (coat, toe, row)
  • ou, oo, ue, ew (soup, tool, cue, blew)

You may have heard the jingle (or have seen a video), “When two vowels do the walking, the first one does the talking.” For instance, in the word “bait,” the /a/does the “talking,” as in a long sound. There are some cute free videos teaching this concept on the internet.

Vowel teams can be tricky as the same team can make different sounds. For example, /ea/makes a long e, but can also make a short e, as in bread) Teach the most common pronunciation first, and if this pronunciation does not make sense, try different vowel team sounds.

Vowel digraphs, vowel diphthongs, and words with the similar or same vowel sound are often taught alongside each other in reading lessons and worksheets. For instance, the following long vowel sounds might be taught together: ai, ay, and a-consonant-silent e as in say, bait, bake, plane, train, etc. This helps students concentrate on one vowel sound at a time.

The Six Syllable Types: Vowel Teams (Part I)

Vowel Teams are the sixth syllable type we will discuss.

Vowel Teams are letter combinations that include at least one vowel. For example, the /ay/ in the first syllable, and the /ea/ in the second syllable of the word “daydream” each make a vowel team. 

There are some distinctions among vowel teams. They are:  

  • Vowel Digraphs are two vowels together that make one sound, such as ee in beet.
  • Vowel Diphthongs occur when one vowel sound glides into another, such as oi in toil.
  • Vowel Teams can consist of different letter combinations/not all vowels, such as igh in light or ow in cow.

For simplicity, I teach two vowels side by side using the phrase, “Vowel Teams,” rather than the more technical terms above. Teaching vowel teams is fundamental in teaching reading. I will discuss more in next post.

The Six Syllable Types: R-Controlled

Continuing on with the six syllable types…

R-Controlled Syllables:

  • Have a single vowel followed by an r.
  • -ar, -er, -ir,  -or, and –ur.
  • The vowel before the vowel is neither long nor short.

If you have been teaching for a bit, you may have heard simple words with this syllable type as having a “bossy r.” This is because the r controls the vowel. R-controlled syllables can be part of multisyllabic words.

Some examples are:

ar:  car, far, tar, star, car·pet, mar·ket 

er: her, hy·per,

ir:  firm, bird, dirt

or:  born, torn, worn, for·get

ur:  turn, churn, sur·vey

These words are often best taught together, and in context. For example, students need to know the meaning of fur versus fir.

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

jpg_book001

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!