The Writing and Spelling Road to Reading and Thinking
By: The Riggs Institute

The children have officially been taught all 71 phonograms! Woohoo!!! They will continue to be tested on 12-14 phonograms per day, along with their 30 spelling words. If your child is struggling with these newer phonograms, perhaps making some flashcards for him/her would be helpful. We also had a tougher spelling lesson (split into 2 days) that included the words: won, once, one, lone, alone, only & none. Please be sure that your child is reading from their Red Spelling Notebook daily. Also, all of the children are reading books in class and while they prefer to have us (teachers) read the instructions on their Math papers, they are reading! Please help inspire & encourage your child to read as much as possible!

The children have begun learning the remaining phonograms. In a few weeks they will have learned all 71 of the most common phonograms in the English Language! I also wanted to mention that I have seen MUCH improvement in the entire class on their Spelling Tests! They have been learning about plurals, rhyming words, homophones, synonyms and antonyms. I just love how the Riggs curriculum introduces all these concepts within the context of spelling in Kindergarten!

We are blessed to have the 6th Grade class join ours for 15 minutes each Thursday morning! Each Kindergartener has a reading partner that they read to. The kids get to show off their newfound reading skills on a one-on-one basis that wouldn't normally occur in a classroom setting. This also allows me the opportunity to sit with each child individually to listen, assess, and give direction when needed for an entire 15 minute segment. I love it and I know the Kindergartners are enjoying it also!

By the end of this week, the children will begin learning the remaining 16 phonograms in addition to their new spelling words. They will learn 1 or 2 each day. It is really important that they continue saying the sounds they hear as they spell their words and as they write the phonograms. This process is so important to their ability to spell as they continue to progress through the years!

Some of you may notice that your child's homework page was folded (I decided to do this later in the process, and therefore, didn't fold all of the student's papers). Rather than just simply copying the words, we want the children to think, sound out and then spell the words. Copying the words doesn't usually produce a good speller in the long run, though it may help a student pass a 10 word spelling test. However, as you know, we do things differently at Aletheia! We want our students to become thinkers! 

I haven't spent as much time in the classroom showing the children how I want them to complete their homework as I'd like but I have spent some time. A while ago, I introduced them to the phrase:
Read it,
Hide it,
Say it and write it!

One parent recently began cutting the new words off their child's paper in order to get their child to think and spell the words, rather than copying them. Another parent recently shared with me that she folded the section of the paper that has the words written on it. Both are good ideas! The folded paper just keeps it all together. :)

The idea is that the child will read the word on the folded side (read it), hide that section of the paper (hide it), say the sounds and write the corresponding phonogram to spell the word (say it & write it). The curriculum suggests that the students also use a red pencil to make the proper markings on the word. I don't require the students to do this, but it could be a good strategy for those who are struggling with spelling some of the words. 

Recently in Riggs, all 5 jobs of "Silent Final e" have been introduced. We will continue to review and practice these in the classroom.

Talk to your child about Silent Final e:
What does silent mean? (It doesn't make a sound)
What does final mean? (It's at the end of the word)
What letter do we use that doesn't make a sound at the end of a word? (e)

Silent Final e Job 1: "Jumps over the consonant and makes the vowel say it's name" (ex: name). I also taught that this follows the vowel, consonant, e pattern (v/c/e)

Silent Final e Job 2: "v and u, that's Job 2" English words do not end with a v. English words do not end with a u. (ex: have, rescue)

Silent Final e Job 3: "c and g, that's Job 3" This introduced two Spelling rules: /c/ followed by e, i or y says "s" & /g/ is followed by e, i or y may say "j" (ex: chance, large)

Silent Final e Job 4: "Every English syllable must have a written vowel" (ex: lit tle)

Silent Final e Job 5: "No job e" (ex: are). Job 5 means there is a Silent Final e in a word but it doesn't follow any of the other 4 jobs.