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Phonemes and Word Families to Support Struggling Readers


ELA: Reading MS/HS/College Strategy


Auditory Processing Verbal Memory Visual Memory

Phonemes and Word Families to Support Struggling Readers

If your middle or high school student is struggling with reading fluency

Teach It!

Objective: Provide older students having difficulty with reading fluency targeted instruction in a small group setting with a specialist, with focus on phoneme groups, word families, prefixes, and suffixes.

Areas of Focus:

a) Phoneme groups - There are 50 phoneme groups that make up the most common patterns in English words. Examples of these include ack, ain, ade, ale. Mastery with the most common phoneme groups or rimes will enable students to use these in conjunction with other strategies to decode unkown words.

b) Patterns - Help students see patterns in words by learning word families in a visual context. (-ight: light, fight, night.) Activities can include mapping words with same base phoneme group in a web or graphic organizer, or placing them in groups in a notebook or on the wall.

c) Take words apart - Teach students to take apart words by finding the root word, taking off the prefix and suffix and dissecting the root into its distinct phoneme groups.

d) Teach and practice morphemes, including prefixes and suffixes so students have automaticity with recognizing these and can more efficiently jump to dissecting the root word and then putting the whole word back together.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!g

Middle and High School students who are not reading fluently should receive focused instruction in a small group or individually by a specialist. Instruction should focus on learning and practicing word parts, families and seeing patterns, as opposed to strict phonics instruction that younger students receive.