Nerf Guns and Shaving Cream: Teaching Reading and Spelling to Kids Who Can’t Sit Still
- Created: Monday, 01 December 2014 08:11
- Written by Liz Winter
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A recent email from a parent voiced a question we hear frequently from customers wondering about starting with cursive.
'I really want to teach my almost 5-year-old cursive first, but I’m worried about confusing him when I’ll be teaching him to read using print-face. I purchased your Foundations curriculum to teach him cursive and am looking for readers written in cursive but haven’t found any as of yet. Has anyone else brought up this concern and do you happen to know of a solution so I can reinforce cursive while teaching reading?'
We at Logic of English® have been teaching about vowels saying schwa in unaccented syllables and unaccented words for some time, as have other Orton-Gillingham programs. This concept, which we explain to students as a lazy vowel sound, explains thousands of words like a, the, amazing, precise, companion, easily, bicycle, fountain, and speedometer.
However, there were a number of common English words that used a schwa-like sound in a way that remained mysterious. They were not explained by the concept of schwa. In these words, the phonogram O says the sound /ŭ/ in an accented syllable. The normal sounds of O are /ŏ ō ö/, and yet we have words like won, money, love, other, wonderful, mother, brother... Why, we wondered, was this so?
Schwa may be the most misunderstood sound in English. Most people have heard of schwa, but it is rare that a teacher or a student knows that:
Linguistically, schwa is an unaccented vowel sound.
We're introducing a new spelling rule to teach students about schwa! This blog post builds on a three-part series we posted in August on understanding vowels, consonants, and syllables. If you didn't see them, they are a great starting point, as they clarify several foundational concepts related to our new spelling rule.