Thoughts From My Notebook

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-ch or -tch, which witch?

/ch/ -tch after a short vowel  Don’t you love that we have a pattern that is so simple to follow?  Yes, but people ask me, what about much and sandwich?  Let’s take a look at the historical aspects of these...

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Is it ee or ea?

  and other facts you didn’t know you needed to know! The question of when to use these two spellings of /ē/ is never-ending. Why do we have two so closely related spellings of /ē/? These two spellings of /ē/ are...

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/k/ can be tricky!

  Let’s talk about these three spellings of /k/. When do we use <c> and <k>, and what is the pattern followed for <ck>? Do you struggle with what to tell your students when they ask, “Should I use a...

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Why are there two ways to write /w/?

Why are there two ways to write /w/? Is that a <w> or <wh>? How often have you heard that from your student? How do you explain the difference? Do they really sound different? Let’s take a deep dive into...

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Too many rules and exceptions!

As the Science of Reading pushes awareness of how to teach reading and spelling, people are jumping on the bandwagon. Publishers also see an opportunity to make money, so they are cranking out a “phonics-based “ curriculum with all the...

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Yes, I know it isn't a suffix...

Before I get bombarded with comments, yes, I know <tion> is not a suffix, and yet I teach it as a whole unit. Yikes! I can sense so many of you want to jump to the comment section to set...

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How about these two softies?

Let's talk about soft c and g!  I am not a linguist or a word historian; I am just curious about the English Language structure. I spend late nights reading obscure books and chasing google rabbits down deep holes. I...

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