Monday, July 15

Welcome to Vowel Town

I'm returning for another Monday Made It.

At our school we have a phonics program called Pathways to Reading.

Pathways to Reading teaches vowel sounds and spellings using a visual called Vowel Town. The hill on the left is called Smile Hill because all the sounds on that side make your mouth smile. They are placed going down the hill according to how open your mouth is when you say the sound. As you go down the hill your mouth opens wider and wider.

The valley is called the Wide Open Valley because your mouth is wide open when you make that sound.
The hill to the right is called Circle Hill because your mouth makes a circle as you say those sounds. As you move up the hill, your circle closes more and more.
The hill in the background houses the R Apartment. The /ir/, /er/, /ur/ sound lives at the top on the curve. A pirate lives in the middle apartment. He often says /ar/. /or/ lives in the bottom apartment by the door.

The bottom sounds along the road are called taxi sounds because when you say them, your mouth moves from one position to another.

This last year we were introduced to these sound ladders. (Towards the end of the year, of course.) The ladders show all the different ways to spell each vowel sound. The most common is at the top; the least common is at the bottom. Underneath each ladder is a mini word list showing examples of each spelling.

My teamie and I decided it would be helpful to have the sounds on a portable board so we could move it to use with our tier 2 or small groups during RTI/MTSS time. We just used a tri-fold project board and painted the necessary scenery. We velcro-ed the ladders on so the kids can take them off.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out! It will be very helpful this year in Spelling and Phonics time, as well as working with small groups and as a reference during Writing.

Happy Monday! Enjoy your Monday Made It tour!