• The following information explains some generalizations for phonics as well as providing definitions for terms.

    The symbol / /:  This symbol is used to demonstrate the sound a letter or letters say.  For example the letter “x” makes the sound /ks/.  The letter “s” can make the sound /s/ or /z/.

    Digraph: (sh, th, wh, ch, tch, dge) A digraph consists of two or more different consonants that stand for a single sound that is different from either or all of each consonant alone.  We tell a story about the H-Brothers, as a way to remember the sounds for ch, th, wh, and sh.  The digraph "ch" has 3 different sounds and we use our arm to gesture a roller-coaster car going up and over a track as we say each sound.  For the digraph "tch," I call it, 3-letter /ch/ and for "dge", I call it 3-letter /j/.

    * I make the comparison between digraphs and chocolate milk - two parts are milk & chocolate, when they are mixed together they create something new.  The parts are mixed and cannot be separated back into individual parts.
    "C and G":  When the letters "c" or "g" are followed by any of the letters, "i, e, or y," the "c" will make the /s/ sound and the "g" will make the /j/ sound.  For example; pace, rice, juice, cycle, giraffe, gym, gem.
    Inflected ending -ed: The ending -ed can stand for the sounds /t/, /d/, or /ed/.
    Syllables: VC/CV - vowel-consonant-consonant-vowel:  If a word has two consonants in the middle (other than digraphs), divide between them.  A word has as many syllables as it has vowel sounds.  For example, nap/kin, kit/ten, pen/cil, pud/dle.
    Syllable C+ le:  C+le means: consonant-le, (ble, cle, dle, fle, gle) like: bubble, circle, puddle, ruffle, and giggle.  EVERY syllable has to have a vowel.  The C+le rule is an extension of magic e - the "e" is there to show the last syllable of a word.
    Vowel Sounds of -y: When the letter "y" is at the end of a word, it stands for either the long /i/ sound or the long /e/ sound.  When "y" ends a one syllable word, the "-y" makes the long /i/ sound.  When "y" ends a two or more syllable word, the '-y" makes the long /e/ sound.   For example; cry, fly, try, by, baby, funny, silly.
    "Bossy r": When a vowel is followed by the letter "r" we call it a "Bossy r" sound.  The "r" controls the sound of the vowel, but, we say the "r" is polite, because it lets the vowel go first.  This is a very difficult rule to remember, because it is challenging to discern which letter combination matches the sound.  We practice by saying & visualizing a word with each vowel.  For example we say; "/ar/ as in car, /er/ as in her, /ir/ as in bird, /or/ as in fort, /ur/ as in nurse."
    Inflected endings -ed, -ing, -es -er, est:  (-ed means something happened in the past, -ing and -es mean something is happening in the present, -er is used to compare two things, and -est is used to compare at least three things) For example, hopped, jumped, hopping, jumping, cried, cries, rushes, crashes, bigger, smaller, biggest, smallest.  When spelling words with inflected endings, many words that end in a CVC the last consonant is doubled before an ending is added.  For words that end with the consonant -y, the "y" changes to "i" before adding -ed, -es, -er, -est.
    hop, hopping, hopped
    skip, skipping, skipped
    rush, rushes, rushed
    big, bigger, biggest
    small, smaller, smallest
    cry, crying, cries, cried
    happy, happier, happiest
    kn /n/ and wr /r/: When a word begins with "kn", the "k" is silent.  When a word begins with "wr", the "w" is silent.