Screenshot 2019-01-06 at 8.24.08 AM.png

Letter – Sound Relationships

One part of learning to read

One part that serves the reader in his/her meaning making reading work!

Avoiding Instructional Missteps in Teaching Letter-Sound Relationships

Go read it.  Bookmark it. Download it.  Study it!

7 Pitfalls from the past . . .

How to teach phonics . . .

How not to teach phonics . . .

“Specific, Applicable Generalizations

Simplistic, broad generalizations or “rules” do not work. For example, if we say that silent e signals a long vowel sound all the time, then we have a lot of issues. But if the generalization is made more specific, it is more applicable. For example, the silent e pattern is consistent more than 75 percent of the time in a_ei_eo_e, and u_e, but only consistent 16 percent of the time with e_e.”

Details matter.  The quote above came from #7 in the linked article. Perhaps you skimmed over that section.  I believe it is probably one of the most critical sections.  And in case you missed it, #7 is

7. Missing Essential Elements of Phonics Instruction

Teach Letter – Sound Relationships.

Check the research on teaching letter-sound relationships. 

Check the instruction in your classrooms. 

Then check the student learning. 

What work with Letter-Sound relationships have your PLN’s been doing?

Arm yourself with knowledge!

How do you know what students understand about letter-sound relationships?

By their writing.

What do they use?  How do they apply their knowledge?

Have you studied these?   Utility of Phonics Generalizations

5 responses

  1. We need this conversation. I see kids confused when we teach phonics in “absolutes”.
    Few teachers approach phonics instruction with a complete knowledge of this.

    1. Valinda,
      So true on so many levels. I still hear the old, “When 2 vowels go walking, the first one says its name” – That is true 45% of the time.
      NO. NO. NO
      However in “oa” the letter o says its name 97% of the time. “ee” also consistent. So, So, much that needs to be understood deeply by teachers!
      And I agree. I’m the consummate rule breaker. No absolutes! Then I am searching for the exceptions!

  2. Oh, so with you and our dear Mary on this stuff. In the early reader of my day: Come, Spot, come. Go home, Spot. Hmmmm…come doesn’t follow the rule, home does…..and it was taught to beginning readers right away, no wonder kids can be confused. I agree with you on all of this. Kids can’t be reading and going through the litany of rules to figure out the decoding part; what brain energy/attention is left for comprehending? If I could design a reading program it would not be phonics all the time for all. But, there are some helpful things for kids to know about, so that is a point. It is not “no phonics” it should be “phonics instruction that makes sense when needed.”

    1. Janet
      Spot on!
      “phonics instruction that makes sense when needed.”
      And the likelihood of ALL students needing the exact same thing . . .
      should be slim!

  3. […] Phonics – this post listed Faux Pas from the past […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them.

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

%d bloggers like this: