by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
Welcome back to part 3! In this post we will look at some strategies and prompts regarding the visual cueing system. When a student’s main strategy is to use the letters they see to sound out words, they are attempting to make the word(s) look right. This method is often helpful, especially with cvc words or words which are phonetic. We do want kids to know how to segment the sounds and blend them together to pronounce the word. But we don’t want them to overuse it and neglect the other 2 cueing systems. A good reader uses all 3 at the same time to cross check their reading.
If we want children to use the visual cueing system, there are several “sounding out” strategies. Children often need guidance about which of these works best. So try not to just say, “Sound it out.” This guide emphasizes many of these strategies. Get it here FREE: Strategy Chart full size.
- Sound out letter by letter: To pronounce had = /h/+/a/+/d/
- Get the word started with the right sound.
- Stretch out the sounds slowly (also referred to as continuous blending).
- Use common chunks (sometimes referred to as rimes, phonograms, word families): spent = /sp/ + /ent/
- Look for little words within bigger words: stand = /st/ + /and/
- Flip the vowel: If a student tried the word time, but pronounced it /t/+/i/+/m/ with the short i sound, tell the child to flip the vowel (meaning they should try the other sound that vowel makes to determine if it makes sense). This is a GREAT strategy to use without having to go into a mini lesson about vowel pairs, silent e, and other phonics rules concerning vowels. Just say, “Flip the vowel.”
- Think of another known word which has a similar spelling: If the child is trying to read the word were think of the word her. Trying to read the word tree? Think of the word see.