Thursday, 19 April 2018

R Controlled Vowels Decodable Stories

When a vowel is followed by an r, the r changes the sound that the vowel makes.  The vowel is called an r-controlled vowel.  Sometimes it is referred to as a “bossy r” because the r “bosses” the vowel to make a new sound.  When the “a” is followed by r, it makes the sound you hear in “star” or “car”.  When the “o” is followed by the r, it makes the sound you hear in the word “horn”.  The “ir”, “ur” and “er” make the same sound /er/ as in the words “bird”, “burn” and “her”.   I teach my students /er/ most often comes at the end of words like in "runner" and "faster". But unfortunately the r controlled vowels don't follow strict rules and this makes the activation of the visual memory so important. Since "er" "ir" and "ur" all say the same sound then students must use their visual memory to remember which phonogram to use. For Dyslexic students this is often a huge challenge. That is why I am offering this free Anchor Chart to help. I have also created 10 decodable stories to practice these tricky sounds. In addition, all my stories have the kinesthetic component of writing in the cloze passages. I have found these extremely valuable for my dyslexic students. 





10 Fun Stories in Color and Black and White


Cloze passages are so helpful for comprehension

                     Go to my store for these helpful stories Here






Wednesday, 18 April 2018

AY and AI Decodable Stories

Vowel Teams can be tricky! Some letters, when placed together make the long vowel sound. For example, when the letters “ai” appear together, they make the long a sound as in the word “bait”. “ay” also makes the long a sound as in "play".  When children are learning to spell words it’s important for them to know the most common placement of the digraphs in the words. The “ay” is most often used at the end of a base word and the “ai” is often in the middle. 


I am currently working on Vowel Team Stories to help my students get more practice with these tricky teams. All my Decodable Stories are aligned with the Fundations Curriculum, but are suitable for any Orton Gilligham Curriculum.

All the students I work with are struggling readers so they need lots of practice with vowel teams.

               I made this Free Poster to help introduce my students to the AI and AY vowel teams






And I have written 10 Decodable Stories to practice Reading and Writing  with this vowel team.








Every Story is in Color and Black and White with Fill in the Blanks for Comprehension and Fluency.






I hope you find these resources helpful!




Thursday, 8 February 2018

Why Truly Decodable Stories are so Important for Struggling Readers

Decodable books are books that contain only the phonetic code that the student has already been taught.

For example, a beginning reader may only know words which have the short vowel sounds.They could decode simple words like pot, bet, and pig but would not be able to decode words like saw or bowl. 

However, a student at a higher reading level who is learned letter phonograms like OI and OA be able to be to read words like coin and boat.Teachers of reading should be aware that the term decodable books is often used incorrectly.

Many books which are supposed to be easy to read have text in which only half the words are decodable. 

Can you imagine trying to read a book in which only half of the words were decodable to you? It is very frustrating. When given an"easy" to read book that is NOT easy to read students often begin to guess at words instead of decoding them.
If you are using a good Orton-Gillingham Reading program, it will carefully teach all the phonograms and provide good decodable stories which carefully present words so that students can decode the words and be successful.

I work with struggling readers each day and I have some wonderful curriculum I teach with. But I needed more stories for my students to practice with. I also wanted them to contain cloze passages because I find them so helpful in aiding students with comprehension and fluency. So I created a pack of fully decodable stories with cloze passages. These decodable stories do have carefully introduced sight words but are decodable
and presented so students can get the practice they need and be successful. If these stories, are helpful to you please let me know!Try a great silent E story for free here.





Sound Drills and Phonogram Study To Help with Your Orton-Gillingham Program

It is extremely important when children are learning to read that they understand phonogramsIt may seem difficult at first, but phonograms are actually simple to understand and easy to teach.


 A phonogram is a letter or combination of letters that represent a sound for example ck is phonogram that says as /K/ as in sock.


Onk is a phonogram which says /onk/ as in /honk.




Oi/ is a phonogram that says/ oy/ as in coin. 


The word phonogram comes from Greek and is literally translated as the written symbol for sound.

All children benefit from knowing these important sounds on sight. This is especially true of struggling readers.

Most words are learned through blending together sounds. Most words are not the learned best by rote memorization.

 Usually students learn phonograms through flashcards doing sound drills daily but flash cards can be boring.
That's why I've created to products to help with the study of phonograms. 

I have a fun PowerPoint and a Smart Board presentation. This will be a growing bundle, so buy it now at a reduced price. You can get the Smartnotebook Presentation Here and the Powerpoint Here

Currently there are over 40 slides available.Included aredigraphs sounds (sh, ck, ch, th, wh)Welded Sounds ( am, an, all, ank, ink, onk, unk, ang, ing, ong, ung)R controlled sounds (ar, er, ir, or, ur)and vowel teams (ai, ay, ee, ey, oa, oe, ue, oi, oy, au, aw, ou, ow, oo, ea, ew)


 I'll be adding more sounds as time goes on. I hope that you enjoy this product
Sunday, 4 February 2018

Encouraging Young Readers Sale

Hi I want to spread the word about some great literacy material for young or struggling readers.
I finally finished my level one pack of decodable readers with cloze passages. It took about a year to finish this resource so to celebrate and get the word out I am having a Buy one get one free sale.
Buy any product in my store and leave feedback and get another product of equal or lesser value Free.
Just contact me after you purchase an item and leave feedback and I will send you another item from my store FREE https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Smart-And-Special-Teaching










Friday, 17 November 2017

Increase Your Student's CVC Fluency

Stuck Sounding Out

I once had a home-school parent come to me for an evaluation for their child who seemed too be having trouble reading. One of the first things I asked the student to-do list to read a little Bob book that was mainly composed of three-letter CVC words.  He proceeded to read the book to me by sounding out each and every word  /S/ /a/ /m/  /c/ /a/ /n/  /s/ /i/ /t/. The problem was he never put any of the words back together again so his understanding of what he read was next to nothing.Usually when students have reading problems teachers encourage them to sound out words or tap out words. This is an important skill, but many children especially ones with any kind of visual dyslexia become stuck in the sound out or the tap out mode of reading.



Getting Students "Unstuck"

I wanted to create a products that would encourage children to be able to visually see the differences between CVC words and increase their fluency speed. Sounding out is a tool to decode words but we don't want students to be stuck only sounding out.


Small Differences

Many students struggle to the extreme with CVC words. In fact I have some students that can read longer words much better and they can read simple CVC words. My theory behind this problem is that CVC words are visually similar to each other. Young  children  or students with visual dyslexia have difficulty seeing the small differences in these words. So they continually sound out the same words over and over again. This can be maddeningly frustrating for both the student and for the teacher. that is why I created a product which especially focuses on vowel changes so students have to focus on these changes .


When using these sheets I always have the students read the rows with the words that only have one vowel change first and then later after they can do this fluently. I have them read the column with additional changes. Kids really respond to this interactive method and I have seen wonderful results.
I love to laminate these put them on a ring and use them again and again. It is a great time saver in the therapy room or the classroom.
If you want to try out these helpful materials. You can buy Winter CVC Fluency or Fall CVC Fluency

Happy Smart and Special Teaching



Using an Effective Method to Teach Sight Words

Writing Sight Words in Sentences is Effective





Have you ever had a student read a sight word with you perfectly well on a flash card and then later when presented with the same word in the context of the story not be able to read the word? This is happened to me so many times as a reading teacher. One of the things that I found that has helped my students immensely is writing their sight words in the context of a sentence. I don't just have them copy the word over and over again. Not only is that boring and demotivating, it doesn't really work.

Sight Word Sentence Fun


I created a  fun product which encourages children to write their sight words in the context of a sentence. However,  especially for the younger students I didn't want it to be overwhelming. That's why I made it gradual.  In my first level pack the students begin by writing one word of the sentence each subsequent sentence they add another word that they need to write.




A Specific Method-Whisper Writing


I encourage students to read the word and then say the letters as I write them each time. If they're doing this all the center then I have the students whisper read the word and whisper the letters as they write them.Sometimes I give students and sight word sentence buddy somebody that they can do the center with that will make sure that they are reading the word and saying the letters as they write them. The students take turns writing their sentences whispering as they write.




Helpful Variations

Another variation . Students often enjoy  is stamping out the word with stamps and colored ink word building the word with plastic letters. But If you are using this in an intervention group, I encourage you to at least at first have the students write out the sentences and not just write with plastic letters or with stamps. This kinesthetic experience of writing the words is extremely powerful to help students take the word from their short-term memory into their long-term memory. If you're working with a student with dysgraphia and the student really struggles with writing then perhaps it would be a good idea to have them write out the sentence at least once but for the other times you stamps or plastic letters so that the student doesn't become too frustrated.



Better than Flashcards

If you send the sheets home for students to do for homework I would suggest instructing the parents to have the students read the word and write the word saying the letters as they write them. If students write the words within the context of a sentence they're more likely to be able to recognize their sight words again in the context of their reading.


The first pack covers 93 words you can get it here  and the second pack covers 83 words and you can get it here.

Happy Smart and Special Teaching!