Begin by teaching the sounds of the consonant letters.
Begin by teaching students the sounds of the consonant letters. Have students refer to lesson one. In this lesson is found each consonant letter with a picture above it. For instance the letter b is located directly under the picture of a bus. The first sound heard in the word bus is /b/. In our program when either a letter or group of letters are located between slanted lines (virgules), the letter or letters located between the slanted lines represent the sound of the letter. This /b/ sound is the sound which the letter b represents. Carefully go through each letter, and determine how well students know the consonant sounds. Explain to your students that if they have difficulty remembering any of the consonants’ sounds, they should remember the key word pictured above each letter. The key word for b, for example, is bus; for c the key word is cat. After remembering the key word, students must then learn to isolate the first sound heard in the key word in order to determine the sound represented by the given letter.
The letters c and g each represent a second sound. Later in the program students will learn in what situations these two letters will represent their second sounds. Until that point in the program is reached, when students encounter the letters c and g, the letters c and g will always represent their primary sounds as indicated in lesson one.
When teaching the consonant sounds, avoid as much as possible adding the /uh/ sound after the consonant sounds. As an example the sound for b is not /buh/; the sound for b is /b/. The sound for c is not /cuh/; the sound for c is /c/. Two consonant letters, however, do require that a slight /uh/ sound be added at the end of their sounds in order to pronounce them correctly. Those two consonant letters are w /wuh/, and y /yuh/.
Teach the following spelling rules at the outset.
1. The letter q is always followed by the letter u. The letter team qu is classified as a consonant letter team and represents two sounds blended together. The letter u is not considered a vowel when it is part of the consonant team qu. In English we use the consonant letter team qu to represent the sounds /kw/; the letters k and w are almost never used for this purpose in spelling words. qu = /kw/ as in quilt
2. Students underline all consonant teams found in words during dictation.
3. The letter x represents two sounds blended together. x = /ks/ as in box (The letter x represents a different sound when it comes before the vowel. Only a small number of words contain the letter x where it comes before the vowel, and almost all of these words are uncommon words; thus this second sound for the letter x is not taught in this program.)
4. The letters c and k form a consonant team. The letter team ck is never used at the beginning of a word and must come directly after a short vowel: ck = /k/ as in rock
5. The letter s represents two sounds: s = /s/ as in sun and s = /z/ as in nose. Words which begin with the sound /z/ are always spelled with the letter z, never the letter s.
Students double underline a letter when it represents its second sound.