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The Alphabet

The alphabet is so important. We use the letters to read about the world around us and to write about our ideas. Knowing the names of the letters of the alphabet is the first step to becoming a literate individual.

There are so many ways to engage students in learning about the alphabet.


It is important to review the alphabet daily and make learning the alphabet fun! One way to do this is to use alphabet mat activities.


Click here to download 22 page Alphabet Mat Activity Book for $4.95.
Recent posts

The Secret Rule: Syllable Division of vccv Words to Make First Vowel Long

In the last post we learned how use the Napkin Rule to teach syllable division of vccv words to make the first vowel short. The Napkin Rule works great for most words, but we also have many words that follow the Secret Rule. The Secret Rule is a syllable division rule that is used to make vccv words have a first vowel that is long.

Click here to get free phonics mini-lesson The Secret Rule: Syllable Division of vccv Words to Make First Vowel Long

The Napkin Rule: Syllable Division of vccv Words to Make First Vowel Short

Students who have difficulty reading longer words need a decoding strategy to help them break words into smaller parts. Usually we break words into syllables to read. Today we will learn a strategy to help students read 2 syllable words.


This strategy is called theNapkin Rule. The Napkin Rule states that in a vowel, consonant, consonant, vowel pattern we most often divide between the consonants and accent the first syllable. The Napkin Rule makes the first vowel short.
Click here to download free phonics mini-lesson about the Napkin Syllable Division Rule.


vc  cv       năp’ kĭn


vc cv năp’ kĭn

Strategies for Reading Longer Words

The purpose of guided reading is to move students forward in their reading abilities. To accomplish that, teachers must provide support to students while they are reading. When students misread a word, our current guided reading supports include the following statement, “Does that word sound right?” or just supplying the student with the correct word pronunciation.
Imagine actually supplying students with a strategy to read longer words. Providing students with a go to strategy to break longer words into syllables helps students break words into chunks, so that they can decode longer words on their own. Get Free Strategies for Reading Longer Words Here

Spelling: The Doubling Rule

The English language has rules that we must follow to spell words correctly. In reality about 85% of the English language is phonetically reliable for spelling. It is up to us as educators to explicitly explain and model these rules.


The Doubling RuleWhen adding a vowel suffix to a one syllable base word ending in a short vowel and one consonant, you must double the final consonant before adding the vowel suffix. Click here, if you would like a free printable of the Doubling Rule.

Using Children's Names to Teach the Alphabet

How does one begin to teach children the alphabet principle that 26 letters in the English alphabet represent about 44 sounds? The alphabet principle is the foundation of phonics. Phonics teaches children that our English language is reliable and predictable in reading and spelling.
To make the alphabet principle comprehensible to students we purposefully teach children to notice letters around them. Children usually first notice letters by seeing their name in print. A good strategy to help children focus on the initial letter in their name is to write their name in black letters with the initial letter written in a different bold color such as red. This also helps isolate the initial sound of their name and quickly used to make a connection with a letter and its sound.JulieAs a whole class, you can sort the names based on their first letter,  and how many letters are in each name.  You can also play games with the names.  You can have each child hold his name, then call out letters a…

Spelling the (s) Sound

There are many ways to spell the (s) sound. Beginning readers first learn that there are 2 ways to spell (s). One way is with s. Another way is with ss.

Watch this quick video on how to teach this concept to your students.



So we learned that initial and medial (s) is spelled with s. Final (s) after a short vowel is spelled ss.