Effective Reality

So there's teachers pay teachers, with its cute and normally inexpensive printables and games that cover any topic you want in almost any obnoxiously adorable theme. And then there is my reality of realizing the next day's reading lesson* involves teaching Lucy two different sounds of the digraph ea. My child - the loving reading but loving rules kid! I normally just write any new sight words on blue index cards, new  "sounds" (digraphs/diphthongs/blends) on a pink card, show them to her and move on. On occasion we'll do visualizing or word building  with magnet letters. I'm keeping it simple and she's doing great. But I thought in this case, I needed to do something a bit more so she wouldn't get upset that the ea blend is such a rule breaker. So I took a sharpie and 5 minutes and made this.

Isn't it gorgeous? No? Any words in which the ea made the long e sound, she colored in green (heat, each, beach, eat, peanut, bean, east, clean, leaf, meat and bean again because I made a mistake :-) and any that made the short e sound (feather, head, bread, and thread) were colored in red. She just read them both ways and picked which made sense. I tried to pick words that only worked one way (so I left off bead). Bean could have been an issue but she's lucky to have an Uncle Ben and she knows how he spells his name so it was fine and since I accidentally put it twice, we would have been able to practice it if it wasn't.

The result was the letter H which just so happens to be our letter of the week. What a coincidence! If I do it again with another sound, I can always make an L for Lucy or the number 4 or really almost anything. Now nobody is going to pin this or ask me to make it into a printable and its certainly not going to be accepted at the aforementioned teachers-pay-teachers. It's ugly! But she loved it and has no issues with ea sounds (for now, just wait until she sees the word steak) and everyone is happy. And sometimes, that's all you need!

*In case you're confused, we've taken a break from ordinary parents's guide to teaching reading although I'm still using it as a reference. We are just reading through the bob books sets, adding sight words and sounds as needed. I'm teaching more rules and less sight words than the books intend but she's handling it fine. We are on set 3 and she's still wanting to do some daily and a few nights ago I caught her sounding out words in a book on her own at bedtime. This stage is so exciting!

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