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a_e and others

(9 Posts)
Sallyssss Tue 14-Jun-11 21:26:48

My daughter kept getting stuck on these words tonight = pace, case, lace, cake

She also doesn't know the other sound to "C" - cyclist, lace

Hope I am not being dumb, but I don't really know how they teach these words - are they by sight, or by a "rule". Can anyone help me so I can help her?

Thanks so much

stressedHEmum Wed 15-Jun-11 09:21:36

c followed by e, i or y is soft ( read as a ss sound), same with g followed by e, i or y = a j sound. Mine where just kind of given the rule and then practise words and phrases, I think.

The other ones are the magic e thing (I don't know if they still call it that). The explanation given to my kids was that the -e sends all it's energy to the other sound and makes it strong enough to shout out it's name (A,E,I,O,U) so there is no energy left over for the -e and it doesn't say anything. BUT the -e can only do this by jumping over ONE consonant, it's not strong enough to go over more.

When mine learned to read they did it by using things like:

hat, cap, rod, kit... reading the short vowel word and then adding the -e to make the A say it's name.

I hope this makes some kind of vague sense. Someone who knows more about it than me will have a much better explanation of the rules. It's been a while since my kids learned to read in school and things have likely changed a lot.

pinkgirlythoughts Wed 15-Jun-11 10:13:02

Typing 1 handed feeding ds, so I'll keep it brief.
When I was at school, we learnt magic 'e' makes the vowel say its name- as stressed says. We're not really 'supposed' to teach it this way in schools any more, although plenty of people still do, and I think it makes it easier for children to remember, as its a bit of fun to think of magic 'e' as having super powers! Now we tell children it's a split digraph, where 2 letters work together to make one sound. They should already be familiar with other digraphs, like th, sh and ch, but a_e etc are 'split' by the consonant in the middle, although they are still working together. Ask your daughter to tell you all of the sounds in the words she's stuck on (sometimes called 'pressing the sound buttons') to make sure that she is realising a and e are a digraph in each word, not two separate sounds. So for cake, she should say c-ay-k, rather than c-ah-k-eh. Hope that makes some sense!

Mashabell Wed 15-Jun-11 10:51:01

On englishspellingproblems.co.uk/html/learning_to_read.html I have grouped words by vowel spellings.

Many parents and teachers find them useful for reinforcing a pattern that does not stick.

blackeyedsusan Wed 15-Jun-11 11:27:03

try looking at the alphablocks programmes on the cbeebies website. they have a good programme about magic e...

wordsmithsforever Wed 15-Jun-11 12:39:20

There's a free reading book for children which focuses on the magic e here here (third book).

sarahfreck Wed 15-Jun-11 17:32:50

For the "soft" c - point out to her that if i, y, or e are after the c it nearly always makes a sssss sound. I get a balloon, blow it up but put a bag clip on the end, draw a large c on it with dry wipe marker, then let it go whilst shouting "ssssssssss" ( like the air coming out of something) and " i, y, e make a softy of c". Good fun and it helps them to remember!

camicaze Wed 15-Jun-11 22:57:35

www.starfall.com has a nice 'magic e' err I mean split digraph activity. It might have soft 'c' stuff as well.

Mashabell Thu 16-Jun-11 07:16:43

I should perhaps have mentioned that the lists on englishspellingproblems.co.uk/html/learning_to_read.html are free.

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