Tag Archives: long vowels

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!

Simple manipulative for long vowels

I introduced the concept of long vowels to Jade today. Leapfrog’s Code Word Caper DVD is a great help with this. It teaches that when two vowels walk together, the first one says its name and the second vowel doesn’t say anything. It teaches silent e in the same manner. As an added bonus, it teaches a few digraphs as well. Having an educational video around keeps Jade contentedly learning while I am helping Ian with his language or math.

One way I helped Ian to learn long vowel sounds was by helping him tell the difference between a word with a silent e and without one. So I made little cards with words on them like cape, Jane, and cane. I cut them out individually and folded the silent e’s under. We went back and forth reading can, cane, can, cane. This enabled him to see that the words were alike in all respects with the exception of the silent e. Jade and I tried the game this morning, and she liked it!