Use Word Study to Teach Reading

Okay, full disclosure, I’m kind of a word geek. Not the kind of geek that knows every definition of rarely heard words. I’m a word study geek.

First of all, I love spelling generalizations! I’m not referring to spelling “RULES”. You and I both know that many English rules are bound to be broken as soon as you learn the spelling rule. Does this mean you shouldn’t teach spelling rules? No. Students benefit from word study and from having an understanding of why certain letters routinely show up in certain spots.

Here is an example:

“tch“ comes at the end of a word after 1 short vowel.

This helps explain words like:

CATCH  (end of word, after 1 short vowel)

TEACH  (end of word, after 2 short vowels)

If a student understands basic spelling generalizations, he is more likely to meet with spelling success. After all, 80% of English words follow spelling rules.

Having solid foundational skills also improves reading.

But, how are reading skills improved? Well, when a student automatically decodes words, less time is spent struggling through text. Less word processing time = improved comprehension skills.

This week my 2nd grade students have worked on Soft c/ Hard c and Soft g/ Hard g sounds. They love that they can explain “Soft C or G sound when the C or G is followed by the letters E, I or Y.” It makes sense to them and it is easy to remember. Here’s a peek at the word sort we used this week:

Have FUN with word study and phonics! Kids will learn so much more if it is fun… they won’t even realize they are learning. That is one of my goals EVERY DAY.

If you are looking for technology resources, be sure to check out my digital resources (Google Slides) for Google Drive and Google Classroom.


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