The Doubling Rule Spelling Game

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hi everyone! When using the Orton-Gillingham approach or in any reading intervention program, the review portion is such an important component. Using games to review is a great way to reinforce learning. 

Today, I have a fun game to share with you for reviewing the doubling rule, also know as the 1+1+1 rule. Welcome Ann Whitten, from AikenLearning Lab.
Ann has a wealth of ideas, and this one is so practical, you'll be able to set it up and use it tomorrow. If you play Ann's game, please come back here and leave us a comment. Thank you!


The Doubling Game

Students who struggle with reading and spelling need to be given lots of opportunities to have fun, motivating practice in order to achieve fluency.  It is especially difficult for students of all ages to internalize the spelling generalizations for adding suffixes.

Before playing this game make sure that your student can sort suffixes into two groups—Vowel Suffixes (those that start with a vowel, like -ing) and Consonant Suffixes (those that start with a consonant, like –ly).

The Doubling Game The object of the game is to have the most points for correctly spelled real words at the end of the time limit set for the game.

Print a deck of base words on cards of one color.  My deck includes the following words:  trip, deep, pet, rot, lug, glad, grab, stop, cool, clap, swim, loud, wet, play, red, bet, dim, pump, big, drop, fool, step, flat, end, thin, frost, last, stay, mad, scout, crash.  If your student has not had vowel teams, you can assist your student to read the words with teams or just select words appropriate for your students.

Make a separate deck of suffix cards in another color along with a number 2, 3, or 4, written in the lower right hand corner of each card.  My suffix cards include:  -ness (4), -ly (2), -ing (2), -ed (3), -er (4), -est (3), -y (4), and –en (4).  The numbers in parentheses are the points that I have on each card.  You can include fewer suffixes as appropriate for your student.  Each student must have a piece of paper and a pencil to record words he makes and the score for each. 

Word cards are placed face down in a stack in the center of the playing area.  The suffix cards are placed face up in a column to the right of the word cards.

To play: a player selects a word card and holds it next to each suffix and pronounces the possible word.  If a real word is made, the student writes that word on his score sheet with the points earned for that suffix in a column next to the word. 

If the student has to use the doubling rule, he gets to double his score for that word!  This is an extremely motivating feature of this game because if the teacher is playing also, the teacher does not get this advantage and must take only the score indicated for that suffix.

The player continues his turn with the same word, trying each suffix, and writing each real word with the correct spelling until all suffixes have been tried.  The base word is then retired from the game. 

It is perfectly fair to question the player such as “Why did you decide to double (or not double) the middle consonant?”  All words written must be spelled correctly so the spelling generalization for doubling the final consonant will receive a lot of verbal reinforcement throughout the game.  

My students and I have also decided that any player can issue a “Point of Order” or “Challenge” to a word if they believe it is not a real word and cannot be used.  We then look those words up on a dictionary app on my phone and see if the word can be used or not.

Play continues until a specific time limit is reached or a certain number of words have been spelled and then the scores are added.  This game can continue for multiple days with scores being totaled each day for the ultimate Doubling Game winner!

Variation for younger students: To play the game, students must know short vowels, digraphs, blends and patterns with /nk/ and /ng/:  Play with just the suffix –ing, and make a deck with the following word cards on one color:  cut, get, sob, shed, shop, ship, wag, box, skip, drag, tip, zip, chat, punch, clap, honk, think, sting, mix, clip, sip, pat, mop, log, sit, chop, rip, hop, thank, bank, sink, rush, top, tip, crunch, shut, run, hit, and dig.  Print the suffix –ing on a different colored card.  For each word drawn, the student must throw a dice to see how many points that word is worth.  The student then holds the word card next to –ing and reads the word, then writes it correctly on his score sheet, doubling the consonant if needed.  As in the previous game, if the doubling rule must be used, the student is allowed to double the points earned.  Play as suggested above.

Thank you for more stopping by today! If you are looking for more doubling rule practice feel free to check here and here in my TpT store. Have a great day!


Five Fluency Interventions Worth Trying

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

As a dyslexia practitioner using the Orton-Gillingham approach, I can't stress enough the importance of a good fluency intervention for your struggling readers. I've taught in a 3-5 building for twelve years and saw many children that really needed this added component into their reading repertoire.
Sadly, there were problems with implementation.

I would hear things like:
1. This is "one more thing" to add onto my already busy teaching plate.
2. I don't have any training on how to use fluency intervention.
3. There's just no time.
4. Isn't there someone else to do this with the children that truly need it?

Every point listed above valid. Teachers are busy. Training is imperative for teacher to "buy in" to ANY program. Our schedules are jam packed. It would be so helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help.

Instead of seeing as "one more thing", see fluency intervention as a key component to a child's reading success. The programs I will list below can be used in a station, during independent reading time, at a computer, or even in a small guided reading group. Once you have a fluency program up and running  at the beginning of a school year, things can run smoothly if you commit to being consistent with it. I've seen wonderful results with several of these programs.

Here's a list of ones that are highly effective for fluency intervention:

1. Read Naturally
I've used this program for many years and I love it. This is a research based program for improving fluency. I started out with the tapes and stories a long time ago. My students always enjoyed the stories and charting their progress. They have a wonderful online component and many teacher resources.

2. Great Leaps
Again, this is another fabulous, research-based program I used for many years. I especially loved the lessons on phrasing with this program. No tapes or CDS like Read Naturally, but plenty of high interest stories that can used in a brief practice session.

3. Quick Reads
I really like the informational text used in this program. It's research based and offers brief practice each day. Using science and social studies topics is especially appealing for struggling upper elementary readers, since the bulk of their reading becomes more content driven as they get older.

4. Reading A-Z fluency passages.
This is an online subscription-based reading program that has become very popular over the years. They offer an extensive list of leveled fluency passages. Since my school had a subscription to Reading A-Z, I found the fluency passages to be very helpful, and user friendly.

5. FCRR fluency lessons
Fluency aside, this website is a GOLDMINE. You will have to spend a little time hunting around, but it is well worth it. You can search for free fluency lessons by grade level, and tons of results will come up. The lessons come with EVERY printable you need in student friendly font.

Have you used any of these with success? Let me know!
*If you are looking for additional fluency information, you might enjoy this post or this post.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Seven Things Parents Would Like Their Child's Pediatrician To Know About Dyslexia

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Seven Things Parents Wish Their Child's Pediatrician Knew About Dyslexia

You trust your pediatrician with your child and for most things, they are the best resource. They can tell you if your child is growing well, if their diet is healthy, and they are there when injuries or accidents occur. Sometimes, however, there are things that might come up that your pediatrician is not really an expert in. Dyslexia often falls into this category. Unless your pediatrician specializes in dyslexia or has taken the time to learn more, this might be a case of “parents know best”.

Many parents of children with dyslexia find themselves in the position of needing to teach their pediatrician things about the condition or how to handle their children’s needs the best way possible. I've worked with many families over the years as both classroom teacher and Orton-Gillingham tutor. It's incredibly daunting for families to begin a testing process when they suspect dyslexia in their child. Certainly, they want to have an open discussion with their child's pediatrician, but it can be frustrating when suggestions are made that simply won't work. We all now each child is unique, but their are some common threads I hear from families when they bring up the subject of dyslexia and testing with their pediatrician. 

Here are seven things parents wish their child’s pediatrician knew about dyslexia:

  1. Screen early. (as early as preschool and kindergarten). Offer the pathways to early screenings. Screening early will help to end the "Wait to fail" culture in schools.
  2. It's the most common learning disability. 1 in 5 people have it
  3. Dyslexia is on a spectrum. There are degrees of severity. 
  4. Listen to what parents tell you. This is a big one. Parents have gut instincts when it comes to their kids. Please take the time to listen to what they observe and what their concerns are. 
  5. For pediatricians to know what dyslexia is (signs and symptoms, myths, facts.) There are lots of opportunities to spread facts about dyslexia. It is still misunderstood. Having access to sites like the International Dyslexia Association is incredibly helpful.
  6. Offering to treat dyslexia like it's ADHD is the wrong approach. Even though some kids have ADHD and are dyslexic, there is no RX for treating dyslexia.
  7. Refer patients to a neuropsychologist when signs of dyslexia show up. Having names of reputable neuropsychologists to refer to can be so helpful, rather than having to search for your own.

With these things in mind, pediatricians could work more closely with parents of children with dyslexia to help meet the child’s best needs. Is there anything you would add to this list? 

Before you go, I'd love to add that although the pathway to testing and a diagnosis can be sometimes be a challenging and frustrating process, please keep your eye on the prize. It's all about kids first. Stay focused, take good notes, and meet with like-minded families who share the same goals as you. 

As an extra special thanks to my readers, I have an EXCLUSIVE promo code for only fans of The Literacy Nest. Have you heard of Nessy Reading products? They have designed web based applications and other technology tools to help improve your child's reading. They apps are FUN and engaging and I know your kids will enjoy them. Nessy has a new product called Nessy Reading and Spelling

Read more here:

"Nessy Reading & Spelling is a web-based, reading program developed by a team of specialist teachers and psychologists. Developed for students aged 5-12 with reading differences such as dyslexia, Nessy is a powerful teaching tool for all students, including English as a second language learners.
99 independent learning lessons spread over ten engaging islands employ an intensive, multisensory, and sequential method of instruction based on the highly respected and researched Orton-Gillingham approach to reading & spelling. Lessons emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, blending, sight words, fluency, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension. Each island consists of a series of lessons composed of strategy videos reinforced with games which teach fundamental reading & spelling skills.

If you'd like to give it a try here's a 10% off promo code when you purchase Nessy Reading and Spelling! Are you ready? Use: nest10 when you checkout. If you have used any of the Nessy apps, I'd love to hear how they're working for you! Thanks for stopping by today. Keep fighting the good fight!

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