Why You Should Analyze Your ABC Chart

When we think of classrooms, we almost always envision an alphabet with pictures posted somewhere in the room. We may not realize that the keywords or images used in alphabet posters and books matter - a lot more than you may think! Many cute and colorful alphabet posters are available, and we may gravitate toward what is aesthetically pleasing, but these are not the best choices for our students and classrooms. 

Analyzing Our ABC Charts - Why It Matters

Reading is the ability to connect spoken sounds to their letter representations. We want students to elicit the smallest unit of spoken sound, or phoneme, in its purest form. For this reason, being mindful of keywords is essential. 

What does this mean? The ability to segment phonemes (sounds) into their smallest units and then blend those sounds into words is what is needed to read and spell. Keywords or pictures we choose to link to graphemes (letter/s) need to connect directly to the individual phoneme (sound). 


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Tips For Success: Movement and Short Vowels

vowels May 19, 2022

This week, I'm sharing a short video with quick tips for helping your students remember short vowel sounds.

Clearing Up Short Vowel Sounds with Movement Cues

If you work with early learners or dyslexic learners, you may need a great deal of practice with short vowel sound production. Many children will confuse vowel sounds in phonology work, reading, spelling, and sometimes running speech. This may occur for several different reasons. Some children may find sound discrimination tricky, and others may struggle with recalling the sounds when given a letter representation. Some students may also struggle with phonological processing, have speech sound errors, sound substitutions, omit sounds, add sounds, or distort sounds. If this is the case for your students, keep reading. This week, I'm sharing some tips for teaching short vowel sounds. 

Closed syllables, a syllable with one vowel followed by one or more consonants, make up almost half of all syllable types. When we can engage...

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What Is The Vowel Valley?

vowels Apr 22, 2022

Individual phoneme production is an integral part of reading and spelling instruction. As educators, we need to be solid in understanding and implementing individual speech sounds. Students need to be able to isolate phonemes to segment. The skill of segmenting is the ability to take apart individual phonemes and sounds within words. 

Throughout history, scholars have been fascinated with understanding the production of sounds. This work primarily rested with phoneticians, linguists who specialize in phonics, especially the work of Dr. Daniel Jones.

Professor Daniel Jones's system of Cardinal Vowels is one of his most lasting legacies. His chart, developed in 1917, is still referenced as we work with sounds and articulation. I was so excited when I came across the 4th edition of his book An English Pronouncing Dictionary (1937), in which his Outline of English Phonetics chart shows his system of Cardinal Vowels and the English Vowels.

I will leave the...

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