Why isn’t a baby cat a citten? Or an adult kitten a kat? Is this just somebody’s idea of a joke? A dirty rotten trick? Or is there a method to the madness?
In last week’s video blog, we asked you to come up with as many spellings as you could of the /k/ sound. The answer? There are at least 4 ways of spelling this one sound: “c,” “k,” “ck,” & “ch” (not to mention the “que” in “plaque”!). No wonder spelling is such a difficult thing to master, especially if your brain is wired at all differently. However, there are some tips and rules that can help unlock some of the mystery.
This week’s rule helps with when to use the “c” and when to use the “k.” Basic rule: if you hear the /k/ sound in front of an “a,” “o,” or “u,” you will normally use a “c.” Examples: cat, cob, cup, cast, comb, curl. Conversely, when you hear the /k/ sound in front of an “e” or “i,” you will normally use a “k.” Examples: kettle, kitten, keyboard, kite. It is fascinating how knowing a rule even as short and sweet as this one can take some of the guesswork out of everyday spelling. Especially for our students with dyslexia, hearing this /k/ sound in so many words–and not having any direction on when to use which one–feels like they are being set up for failure, and they can quickly lose hope on ever learning how to spell. Just this month, I taught one of my students this c/k rule, and you should have seen the sparkle in her eyes as she wrote some words with confidence, knowing exactly when to use that “c” and “k”!
Join us next time for another fun spelling tip!
In our video blog last week we started a conversation about the English language… Does it fascinate you or frustrate you? Regardless of which answer you gave, we have some tricks and tips for the English language that we’re excited to share! So to introduce this first tip, join us in pondering the following question:
How many different ways can you think of to spell the sound /k/?
Leave a comment on facebook or instagram with your answer and join us next time as we begin clearing up some confusion about when to use these different spellings. There *is indeed* a method to the madness!
The English language is definitely enough to keep you on your toes with all of its twists and turns, rules and exceptions. The question in our video blog today is this… which of the following statements do you most relate to?
1. I love playing with the English language. It’s fascinating, and I enjoy learning about all of its intricacies!
2. The English language is full of a bunch of dirty rotten tricks. About the time I think I understand something, the rules seem to change. I find it maddening and confusing!
We are excited about our next few blogs, as we think they will be interesting to both of the above people! We’re going to spend some time playing with the English language, learning some rules and tricks. For those of you who are fascinated by it, get ready to learn some interesting things you may or may not have heard before! And for those of you who find the English language frustrating and unpredictable, we are hoping we can put some handles on a few things that may never made sense to you before! Join us next week to get started! We look forward to interacting with you about this crazy language we speak, read, and write!
We heard from you with answers to our questions from last week:
“What’s your kryptonite? The one thing you’ve always wished you could learn but it’s always been a struggle or challenge for you? What would it mean to you if someone who cared about you took the time to figure out how your brain works in order to teach you that skill in a way you could master it?”
The answers varied from painting, drawing, and cooking, to word pronunciation and directional ability. But what is the point of the question in the first place? Whatever that challenging thing is for you, there’s a reason it’s challenging and a reason it would be meaningful to you if you could overcome the challenge.
Now put yourself in the shoes of someone with dyslexia… someone whose challenge is reading and writing–a challenge that significantly affects almost every area of life. What would it mean to you if someone took the time to help you master THAT challenge–figuring out how your brain works in order to help you learn those skills? What would it mean to you if you couldn’t read, and someone offered you the life-changing gift of overcoming that challenge? And to take it just one step further… what if you decided to become that person for someone who can’t read?
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and we are grateful you’ve taken the time to think through some of these things with us. Watch our video blog, join us at Facebook and Instagram, leave your comments and questions, and maybe even give the possibilities some additional thought as we spend time this month spreading awareness of such a common struggle with not nearly enough support!
What’s your kryptonite? The one thing you’ve always wished you could learn but it’s always been a struggle or challenge for you? What would it mean to you if someone who cared about you took the time to figure out how your brain works in order to teach you that skill in a way you could master it? Watch our video blog for this week, leave your comments, and join us next time to continue the conversation!
Constant busyness brings with it the temptation to skip over time-consuming relationship building and intentional kindness for the sake of accomplishing the “more important” things. When faced with so much to do, it is easy to prioritize tasks over time spent pouring into relationships—time that doesn’t have as clearly measurable “results.” However, as we all know, the “to do” lists never really end; therefore, recognizing that relationships need to trump tasks is significant. In addition, when we are willing to pour intentionally into relationships first, we can oftentimes accomplish those to do’s that follow more successfully and quickly. Check out our video blog to hear one story of how relationship building led the way for trust and success.
Memory tricks, mnemonics, multi-sensory tools, artistic visualization, and many other tricks for learning can make a huge difference for our kids and students–especially those who have some learning differences or reading struggles. The important key to effective tools for learning, as obvious as it may sound, is finding what works for each individual. A trick that works incredibly well for one student may actually be a hindrance to another student’s learning. All of our kids are different, and finding what works for each is a difficult but essential component to successful learning.
Watch our video blog from today to hear one teacher’s experience with these differences…
Body language can offer some really helpful cues when trying to stay one step ahead of our kids–whether in the classroom or at home. Being aware of what our kids’ body language is saying can tip us off to the need for a change in pace. Look for clues like excessive fidgeting, darting eyes, or blank stares. Upon noticing these or other body language cues, try incorporating some movement, throwing in an activity, or taking a game break. It may even be time to wrap things up for the day–while you can still do so on a positive note–praising your kids for their hard work.
Correction of our kids or our students is a very real part of life, but doing so in a constructive, encouraging way can be very challenging. In our video blog today, one of our teachers gives a few tips from the Reading Tricks curriculum on how to correct without criticizing:
1. When correcting is absolutely necessary, do so gently. Don’t be harsh, critical, negative, or condescending. Respond with kindness, patience, and understanding. Use a gentle tone, watch your body language and facial expressions, and patiently walk your student through the correction.
2. Pair correction with a complement. Find something to praise your student for—whether it’s working hard, improvement in a certain area, creativity, or even something as small as color choice—making sure you’re being genuine in your compliment (kids can tell when you’re offering fake praise!). Cushioning the correction with a compliment can help our kids be more open to the correction, while also protecting them from being too hard on themselves or feeling like a failure.
We’d love to hear strategies you’ve learned for correcting in a way that fosters growth rather than defeat. Join us at facebook.com/ReadingIsHard to join the conversation!
Life stays crazy enough even without the back to school chaos that arrives without fail every fall. In today’s video, one of our Reading Tricks teachers shares some important reminders she has learned to keep in mind as we jump back into the routine of school—whether you’re a teacher, parent, homeschooler, relative, or even just a friend of some kids heading back to school.
Join us at readingtricks.com if you’re looking for a learning community passionate about helping people learn to read. We’d love to hear how your school year is starting out!