Tag Archives: teaching 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!