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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.

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

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


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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

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

FLoSS Spelling Rule

We know how important being able to spell correctly is for a student to express himself through writing and get his ideas across to the reader. Teaching students spelling rules is critical to writing fluency. My goal is to make teaching spelling rules easy and understandable to students so that they can apply it to their own writing.

The FLoSS Spelling Rule basically states that in any one syllable base word that has a short vowel sound before final (f) is spelled ff as in sniff, final (l) is spelled ll as in hill, or final (s) is spelled ss as in pass.

Even though, there are a few exceptions to this rule, it is extremely important to teach it because it is about 85% correct. It is easier to apply this rule and memorize the 15% that is the exception rather than memorize the spelling for each word.

To help you teach the FLoSS Spelling Rule, I have made a video. You can access it here:


After teaching the FLoSS Spelling Rule, I have made a FLoSS Spelling Rule Game that you can play with …