Supplemental Text

Question:
“I am a reading teacher in NYS. We will be implementing Rtl in September as well as the new ELA core curriculum. I would like to use your products as a Tier 2 intervention but don’t know where to begin. The classroom teachers at first and second grade use leveled books. I am currently using a phonics book and leveled books with a lot of the word wall words. Thank you for any advice.”

Answer:
Thanks for your interest. There is a free “Guide to Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways” PDF file you can download from my website which has proven to be quite helpful for this purpose. I would also recommend looking at several older newsletters summarizing how two award-winning teachers are using my material in their classrooms: Go to my website and check out Phonics Talk: Volume 11 to read what these teachers are doing.

And I am always here to help — literacy is my passion! ~Dolores

Phonics or “Phonics?”

Question:

“Our school has a very good basal reading program which includes phonics, yet many students (including my own) are still struggling. It does seem to me that phonics simply may not work for every student.”

Answer:

This is a common misconception!

Most schools use a form of phonics called IMPLICIT PHONICS. Words are learned as a whole along with letter sounds, using their shape for clues.
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Short Vowel Sounds

Question:

“There are slight differences within each short-vowel sound, For example, in the lesson on “r” the word ra-n shows up. I’ve been reading him /a/ as in apple, so “ran” sounds awkward when he says it more like “rahn.” Should I tell him the “a” makes a few sounds, correct “rahn” to ran, or just say nothing?”

Answer:

Yes, there certainly are subtle differences in the short-vowel sounds, especially in regional parts of our country!
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Multisyllable Words

Question:

“I don’t need help with beginning readers, but what about third and fourth graders who know how to decode almost everything but have some difficulty with multisyllable words?”

Answer:

This is a common problem, and is usually caused by guessing at a multisyllable word rather than sounding it out by syllables.

I would begin with a quick check of basic skills first.
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