WRTR for Parents: Lesson 4

in 3GRD, 4GRD, 5GRD, 6GRD, Phonics/Reading, Short Course, Spelling, WRTR

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single syllable doubling

These “Rules” don’t appear in the Spelling Lists until somewhere around list N, so you won’t be teaching this in order.

The First Suffix Rule:  #9-10

When you add any suffix-that-starts-with-a-vowel (ing, ed, ish, etc) to a base word, you have to check for the following three rules:

  1. DOUBLING (a consonant)
  2. DROPPING (a silent e)
  3. CHANGING (a y to an i)

Let’s start with Rule 9, the Single Syllable Suffix Doubling Rule (SSS Doubling Rule):

  • Does the suffix start with a vowel? (Spalding doesn’t actually ask this question, but it’s implied.)
  • Does the (single-syllable) base word have ONE vowel?
  • Does it end with ONE consonant making ONE sound?

DOUBLE IT.  The notebook page only shows times that you DO double it.  At the top of the post, you will see a mix of options where you do and don’t.  The answer to all three questions must be YES to double.

Rule 10 is the Multi Syllable Suffix Doubling Rule (MSS Doubling Rule):

  • Does the suffix start with a vowel? (Spalding doesn’t actually ask this question, but it’s implied.)
  • Does the accented syllable fall just before the suffix?
  • Does it have ONE vowel?
  • Does it end with ONE consonant making ONE sound?

DOUBLE IT.  The notebook page only shows times that you DO double it.  Below you will see a mix of options where you do and don’t.
multi syllable doublingWHY? (You don’t have to know this to teach it, but it’s the answer anyway.)

The reason WHY you have to double is to protect that solitary accented vowel.

Remember our syllable division rules for BASE WORDS?  Well, pinning tails(suffixes) on words is another ball game entirely.

That little accented vowel can’t fight for himself!  If he is hanging out there alone with his one consonant friend, the vowel-starting-suffix tail will suck that consonant right off and keep it for himself!

But, if it’s not accented, the vowel-starting-suffix tail doesn’t notice that consonant and leaves it alone.  He’s too busy being envious of the accented syllable he can’t reach.

Syllable Types

ALERT! You don’t have to know this. However, it will take some words out of the “rote memorization” world and give them a real answer for WHY.

Spalding mentions syllables, but it’s not a focus. But all of WRTR is so much easier if you understand them and it gives you a dependable framework for analyzing words. Lemme give you a quick and dirty on that one that we will come back to later. Before, we covered how syllable division works. This time let’s talk about the syllable types you see after you do the dividing and where you first encounter them in the spelling notebook pages.

There are six syllable types you see after you follow the dividing rules:

  1. R-Controlled (er, ir, ur, and the like) ti-ger, pan-ther (p. 2 of notebook)
  2. Job 1 Silent e : Bur-mese (p. 1 of notebook, Rule 7)
  3. Vowel Teams: chee-tah, (pp. 7-8 of the notebook)
  4. Job 4 Silent e (Consonant-L-E): jun-gle (p. 1 of notebook, Rule 7)
  5. Open (end in a vowel, long vowel): ti-ger, li-on (p. 1 of notebook, Rule 4)
  6. Closed (end in a consonant, short vowel): cat, jun-gle, li-on, pan-ther (p. 1 of notebook)

R-E-V-L-O-C is the way to remember them.  R-controlled, E-silent Job 1, Vowel teams, L (con-L-E), Open, Closed

Let me show you how useful this is…How do you make a LONG O sound? I would write REVLOC on the page and think through it thusly:

  • R: there are none
  • E: Rule 7, job 1 (rote, smote)
  • V: boat, cloak
  • L: no such thing
  • O: Rule 4 (o/pen, no/ble)
  • C: Rule 17 (cold, most)

Next…WRTR for Parents: Lesson 5



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