Vowels: The Long and Short of It

The Common Core states that in kindergarten, we:
K.RF.3   Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
K.RF.3b Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

Teaching long vowels can be tricky for some learners; especially those who are developing phonemic awareness.  Fortunately, there are some wonderful resources that help support student learning. 

For the past several years, I have used this resource from HeidiSongs with much success. Each day, we practice by saying the letter combinations, sound and motion.  After a few times, students begin to memorize them.  

Within the kit, is a reference sheet which I copy for each student.  Students keep them in their book box where they review the sounds during Independent Reading.  They also use them during guided reading, writing, and other times during the day.

Another favorite is this song. 

Click image for your copy of Two Vowels Together

I love to have my students act it out.  I pair them up and give them letter crowns to wear. We review who will do the talking and who will do the walking.  Then, we march around the classroom; some talking and some walking.  It is always fun.  We conclude the fun by watching this.  

My goal is to help my students develop an understanding about long vowels.  In kindergarten, I introduce the concept through reading and writing but over time (in first and second grades), they will have more opportunities to work with them.

Other related Common Core Standards:
1.RF.1a  Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
1.RF.3    Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
1.RF.3c  Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
2.RF.2b  Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.

On another note:
Have you heard that Google Reader is "disappearing" July 1st?  Here are some options to keep in touch with me.  You can subscribe by email or follow on Facebook.  If you read lots of blogs, like I do, I recommend Feedly. It work on your PC or mobile device.

Happy Teaching!
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  1. I love Heidi Songs. Her songs have made learning our phonics fun and engaging. My students love it when it's time to stand up, sing and dance along!

    1. Me too! She is such an inspiring and generous teacher. I have grown so much as educator because of her.

  2. Oh, what nice things to say! Thank you so much!!!!
    Heidi Butkus

  3. I just found your amazing blog. I am a new follower.

    Classroom Companion

  4. Thanks for the vowel song. I love anytime I can find a song to teach a concept.



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