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.

This 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

Before 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.