Yesterday I began talking about how 34 of the most common rimes fit onto the vowel pattern chart. I didn't explain the vowel pattern chart, but did mention that it makes understanding phonics easy. Our brains are pattern detectors. Did you know that if you understand 6 of the vowel patterns, then you can read 75% of the words that you will come across?
Knowing the rime patterns helps one to read 500 words and knowing the vowel patterns helps one read 3/4 of the words that one will come across. Wow, that is astounding. Everyone always talks about how difficult the English language is, but really only 25% of the words cause difficulty and need to be memorized. That is why we have sight words. Those are words that cannot be sounded out and just need to be memorized because they do not follow the pattern.
The following chart is called the Vowel Pattern Chart because the sound of the vowel is determined by it's placement in the word. If one is able to see where the vowel is in relation to the consonants, and truly understand these patterns, then she will be able to be a reading machine. Here is an example of what the chart looks like again.
You can make this chart on poster board or simply on the inside of a notebook. I use it in powerpoint format with my online reading students and add it when we come to words that the child doesn't know that are decodeable.
Another name for this chart is the syllable pattern chart because there are words that can have two syllables that go into different places on the chart. Yesterday you saw words that were one syllable words, but if you have a word like bubble, then bub- would go into the closed pattern and -ble would go under c + le. (C + le stands for consonant + le). I refer to these as word parts with kids. So I would say, "This word part goes under closed, and this word part goes under c + le."
As a child comes across a word that is decodeable that she cannot read, then add it to the chart where it belongs. After you have one of the sections filled with tons of word parts, start analyzing where the vowel is, what sound the vowel makes, and talk about any rules that the two of you notice.
Over the next week I am going to discuss each of the patterns in more detail, how I get kids to discover the patterns, and easy ways to remember each of them. I will also include a video that will show this in action.
Which of these patterns are new to you? List them in the comment sections along with any questions that you may have.