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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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Question for observation...ou "long o" pronunciation
Old 02-15-2019, 09:34 PM
 
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My observation is scheduled for next week and this is what I'm teaching to the intervention group being observed. We use SPIRE as a resource.

I've just introduced the four sounds of ou this week. Three of them make sense to me- ow as in couch, short u as in cousin, and oo as in group. However, spire also taught "long o" as the fourth sound. I get that in words like though or dough, but most of the examples they gave were words with r sounds such as four, court, gourd, etc.

To me, there is absolutely not a "long o" sound in any of those words- it's an r controlled "or" sound. Am I crazy? Is this my flat midwestern accent interfering? I tried to google it and the same thing came up from another resource- ou as "long o as in four."

My P is OBSESSED with phonics, so I don't want to screw it up in front of her. Also, is there some rhyme/reason to when you use each of the sounds that I'm missing? I.e. other letters in the word or the vowel team placement that would tell you when it's an ow vs. short u vs. oo sound? TBH this group is way farther along in their reading skills than my usual cohorts, so I've never actually gotten this far with teaching phonics skills before. I've only taught the predictable vowel teams like ai, ay, etc.

My kids understood the sounds well enough this week in the introductory lessons, but we only focused on one sound per day, so they knew that "oo" or whatever was the one we were working on. I'm afraid they're going to fall apart when they have to use all of them at once, especially since I have no rule to explain to them for when/why each pronunciation is used. The only thing SPIRE offered was that "ow" is the most common.


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Old 02-15-2019, 10:03 PM
 
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You
Group
Coup
Route
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Old 02-16-2019, 02:57 AM
 
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The Orton-Gillingham progression teaches the applicable long-vowel sounds in this order:

regular long-vowel sounds (oa ow ou)
r-controlled (or)
-ough (multiple pronunciations)

I agree that -our is r-controlled. I think the logic is this: ou makes the long /o/ sound, but adding the r makes it r-controlled. Not sure what you're going to do with that for your P...
Added: I finally found a site that specifically says -our is r-controlled:
https://www.actionfactor.com/pages/l...ed-vowels.html
Its example word is pour.

For some info that might help, take a look at:
http://www.resourceroom.net/readspel...s/default.html
Most of the words are going to be more difficult than you want for your students, but the info and word lists might give you some ideas.

Here's the link to the Drill Bits book:
http://www.resourceroom.net/readspell/drillbits.pdf
Some good info in here, and TONS of words to work with.

This site has a lot of stuff on it; I just found it:
http://phonics.kevinowens.org/index.php

Last edited by teacherwriter; 02-16-2019 at 03:18 AM..
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:24 AM
 
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Personally, I'd leave out the r controlled words for another study. Concentrate on the ones you've taught clearly. And teach r words at another time.
Good luck on the observation!
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:29 AM
 
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Also from the midwest and hear four, court, gourd as /or/ and agree that is an r-controlled vowel unit.
The only way I can get to a long o sound with those words is if I divide the words into 2 syllables, but I have never heard anyone actually say or read the words that way:

fo-ur
co-urt
go-urd

That would be crazy and would also not make sense with the fact that you are focusing on ou teamed words, because you woudn't break up the team between syllables.

Here are some additional /long o/ ou words in case you need them so you can stay away from the r-controlled.
poultry
boulder
shoulder
soul


In terms of when each is spelled/read, when there isn't a rule that I can teach (and in this case I *think* there is not, unless it is related to the origin of the word - which goes beyond what I am doing with my elementary reading intervention students). In that case, I would teach them in order of how common they are and then have students work through that order when coming to the word. Try the most common sound, is it a word and does that word make sense here? No? Go on to the next.

I typically teach the spellings by common sound instead of common spelling with different sounds, because I feel like that is a little easier for students to understand. Then when we run into a spelling we've seen already (hey! ou says "ow" but now we know it can an also say "uh").

When I picture my groups, I would have trouble at this point with them as well. How to decide? It's hard. I might go next to word sorting and creating an anchor chart or word wall of words with these sounds/spelling, controlled text that includes words that have been sorted (for their reference). Then as you encounter new words, you could add them to the chart in their pronunciation. This will give you time to address the word, practice the decoding strategy, monitor whether they have read a real word, and reviewing the different sounds.

Another scenario - you could have a good discussion with your phonics nerd P. Talking about the content of the lesson and that it's a difficult concept for students isn't a bad thing. Maybe your P has more information on this and can be a resource.


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Old 02-16-2019, 02:03 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply. I wanted to make sure I wasn't totally nuts not being able to hear the "long o" sound in those words. When I taught that lesson earlier this week, I told my students that it made an "or" sound.

These kids are fairly good readers (again, not my usual cohort) and luckily already knew the majority of those words anyway, so they didn't have a hard time reading them but it was hard to explain for spelling (spire includes tons of spelling and writing). In the future I would probably skip the "long o" lesson and teach the very few words where the ou really does make that sound as sight words.

We haven't done r-controlled yet- the spire sequence actually has that as a way more advanced skill way down the line. I'm toying with the idea of making my own "our" card and teaching kids that it's o-u-r /or/, but IDK (each lesson starts with a card drill where students say the letters and the sound(s) they make). The -our words will be in both the word lists and the story students have to read for the lesson so I can't ignore it completely. I could get away with taking any of those words out of the spelling/writing piece though since I could just replace them with other words without P knowing.

WG, I could see my P loving to talk about this stuff. However, I also have some other questions about what would be best for this specific cohort and I don't want to make it sound like I totally don't know what I'm doing . The phonics piece is usually easy for me.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:24 PM
 
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Huh, when written out as two syllables (fo-ur, co-urt) I can hear it in a deep southern it an oooooold New England accent. Maybe it's vestiges of a British influence? I definitely think our usually sounds like /or/ in those words.

English is insane.
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