WRTR for Parents: Lesson 6

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

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This is a continuation of a parent series on WRTR.

Shhhh…Tall, short, and otherwise

So, now we are on page 6 of the spelling notebook.  This won’t be taught until halfway through the second year, but here you go.

This is rule 13’s page. EXCEPT THAT IT’S MISSING.

13. SH at the beginning of a word, SH at the end (word or syllable), or in the suffix ship.

NOTE:  We call this the Shiny Fish Friendship Rule.

The rest of the page gives you examples of middle-of-the-word /sh/.

  • Tall letter /sh/ = TI.
  • Short letter /sh/ = CI.
  • Can’t remember what Sound Beginnings calls the other.  /sh,zh/, I think.

Regardless, the whole spread is your illustration of rule 14 (Special Motion Mission Rule.)

14. /sh/ in the middle of a word is TI, CI, or SI.

15. /sh/ after s or where the base had an s, is SI.

Our therapist says that /shun/ is ssion after short vowel and tion everywhere else.

16. /zh/ is SI

This sound in reading is actually found in two places:  si and su.  Like “usually.” But Spalding rules are not READING/SPEAKING rules.  They are spelling rules, or a spelling pronunciation rules.


Let’s take a beat here to review our rules and the hints I’ve tossed in along the way.

      1. Q is a chicken.(L1)
      2. C says/s/ before e, i, y.(L1)
      3. G says /j/ before e, i, y. (L1)
      4. Open Syllable Rule (L2)
      5. I and Y have only two sounds. (L2)
      6. English words don’t end in I, please use Y.(L2)
      7. Silent E Jobs 1-5: (L3)
        • job 1, jump one
        • v, u, job 2 : v, u rhyme
        • c, g, job 3:  hat dance
        • job 4, needs more: consonant-L-E
        • no job e (AAS calls it “handyman e” which is way better)
      8. Her first nurse works early. Wormy Word Rule (L3)
      9. 111 Doubling Rule (L4)
      10. 211 Doubling Rule (L4)
      11. Dropping Rule (L5)
      12. I before E Rule (L5)
      13. Special Motion Mission Rule (L6)
      14. Shiny Fish Friendship Rule (L6)
      15. Tense Tension Rule (L6)
      16. Persian Fusion (L6)

Not numbered but totally helpful at least for completing the picture for the explanations:

  • Crisp Kernel Rule:  Every syllable has one and only one vowel phonogram.
  • Kitty Cat Rule:  K takes e, i, y; C takes the rest!

Next….WRTR for Parents: Lesson 7

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary July 16, 2015


“this page teaches us in the negative again.”

I’ve found instances of this in several ways of teaching phonics and other subjects. So many times the emphasis is on the exception to the rule instead of the usual case, as with so many words in the WRTR list using the second and third sounds of a vowel. One must teach the rules/reasons for using the second sound before there is much practice recognizing and using the first sounds of the vowels…. I’ve found that Wanda Sanseri’s approach is a bit better on this issue and other issues.

As to your last comment, “crying out for a spelling list”? Just make one and add it to the pages behind page 8. I used to continue in our notebooks with my own lists (including the Ten Commandments and other lists/prayers). Wanda Sanseri has many of the same kinds of lists in her two books. I have enjoyed using this version of Orton/Spalding with my youngest children. We can all add lists, and this is what Wanda did while Dr. North was adding scripts, sequences, etc. Barbara Beers also has more lists in her Phonics Road version of WRTR.

Good notes.


2 admin July 18, 2015

I think I will add pages to the kids’ notebooks. Mine will have pictures!


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