Phonics

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5 Problems with Using MSV (aka The Three-Cueing System)

The three-cueing system or the multi-cueing system is also known as MSV. MSV stands for Meaning, Syntax and Visual cues, thus the three-cueing system. You may ask, “What is the problem with MSV?” For years a popular reading program (with ties to a renowned university) have been touting the strategy of MSV. I’ll admit it,…

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What is a Closed Syllable and Why is it Important?

Teaching beginning readers about the closed syllable is an important first step in reading success. Kindergarten, First Grade, and emergent readers benefit from lessons that include explicit, systematic instruction of the closed syllable both in isolation and in connected text (decodable readers). 

Why You Should be Teaching Phonics: Common Phonics Myths Debunked!

 Phonics is NOT a Dirty Word Scientific, brain-based research supports explicit, sequential, and cumulative phonics instruction in the early grades.  According to Louisa Moats, “[Phonics instruction] is so accepted in the scientific world that if you just write another paper about these fundamental facts and submit it to a journal they won’t accept it because it’s…

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The Magic of Decodable Texts

  Decodable Texts are a Powerful Tool What’s the big deal about decodable texts?   Approximately 20% of the population is prone to a language based learning disability.  For these learners, reading does not come ‘naturally’.  To meet with reading success, repeated opportunities to practice code are non-negotiable.  Systematic, sequential, and cumulative practice with the alphabetic…

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Sight Words vs. Decodable Words

Helping Emergent Readers Understand the Difference   How can I help my students learn the difference between decodable words and trick words? ***Updated 2021 to adhere to current research related to the Science of Reading*** After learning the letter names and sounds in isolation, beginning readers are often taught to decode closed syllable words (i.e….

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Supporting Emergent Readers Through Successive Blending  

Helping Students Make the Sound-to-Print Connection What is successive blending? Successive Blending is an instructional technique that provides a scaffold for students who are unable to sequence more than two sounds. For example, a student who would benefit from successive blending might read the word “tag” as “tap”, “ag”, or “got”, among other possibilities.  This…