Long vowel words

My niece mastered the silent e vowels rather quickly – much more quickly than Ian did. I don’t know whether it’s because she is a little older, or because I am moving slower (making sure she fully comprehends each step instead of pushing through the curriculum). Or maybe, she’s just wired differently. Anyway, it took her about a week to master, and it took Ian several months. (But he’s finally a great reader!) Today, I started her with words that have two vowels in the middle, rendering the first one long and the second silent. Words such as rain, mail, boat, beat, etc. I started out by moving between two similar words, such as ran and rain. We went back and forth several times, and she did fine, but when we started in on the others, I noticed that she doesn’t really know her vowels all that well. You absolutely have to know the difference between vowels and consonants to decipher these words, so we dropped what we were doing and worked on that instead. Since I had my little homemade flashcards out already, I just used those. After reciting A, E, I, O, U several times, I pointed to the r in rain, and asked, “Is r a vowel?” “Yes!” “A, E, I, O, U. Say ’em with me. A, E, I, O, U. Is r a vowel?” “No!” We did all of the letters in rain individually, then moved through the rest of the 20 or so flashcards. About half-way through, we were able to stop reciting A, E, I, O, U at every letter, and she was able to recall which were vowels without thinking too hard. By the end of the flashcards, she was zooming. Vowels down. Tomorrow, I’ll reteach today’s lesson, and we’ll stop if we need a refresher. We’ve been working so hard on long vowels lately, that I need to remember to go over her 3 sight words tomorrow too. Hope I don’t forget!

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2 responses to “Long vowel words

  1. I loved going over short vowel sounds with Mom, in my early reading days. We had a little mantra to aid remembrance: “A, alligator. E, elephant. I, igloo. O, octopus. U, ugly.” My favorite part was “ugly”, where I pointed to Mommy’s quite reasonably attractive face and laughed hysterically. Obviously, I’d already discovered the entertainment potential of opposites. (:

    • That’s so cool! I wish I could remember learning how to read. It might come in handy with teaching the little ones. I can remember the pictures in the books, and some of the plotlines, but not the actual process of reading. That’s really funny about your little joke! You must have had a great sense of humor!

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