How to Teach R-Controlled Sound Spellings
Bossy R: The True Story
Rumors are flying on the web about Bossy R and how he came to have that name. Because everyone has a slightly different version, I am here to set the record straight once and for all. Here is the truth about Bossy R.
Mr. R used to not be bossy at all. The truth is that he was a very nice guy. In fact, each time he would go walking with a friend, he would always let them go first. “After you,” he would say politely.
One morning in late March, Mr. R looked out and saw snow on the ground, and instantly felt grumpy. Instead of blaming the weather for his mood, he irrationally blamed his friends. “I am sick of always being last when I am with my friends,” Mr. R complained.
So before stopping to think it through, Mr. R texted all five of his friends and told them to come to his house at once. He shook his finger at them and said, “From now on when we go walking, I am going to go first!” But his friends had gotten used to always going first, so they argued with Mr. R about that. Finally they agreed on a compromise. “You will still go first when we go walking, but you won’t say a word. I will do all the talking,” said Mr. R.
From that day on, everyone called Mr. R Bossy R. And the name stuck – which is why all across our fair nation, Mr. R is called Bossy R to this day.
How to Teach Bossy R
Download the whole series of lessons on how to teach the sound of ER spelled five ways.
It is important to note that using this whole brain approach, the children will be relying NOT on memorization of sound spellings or phonics rules to learn and remember, but will be relying primarily on their visual cortex to store a picture of the learning piece. Let them look at the images, say the silly sentence, and then ask them to close their eyes and see the information in their minds. You can then ask them to draw what they saw in their imagination on a piece of paper to allow the learning to go into long term memory.
The same approach to learning and remembering how various sounds are spelled can be found in our book The Illustrated Book of Sounds & Their Spelling Patterns. All the sounds in our language are covered with sentences to be color-coded such as those that appear in the illustrations above. The lessons are illustrated with many cartoons that drive the meaning of the sentence home, and also tie together the list of words that use the same spelling pattern. We also have Sound Spelling Teaching Cards that teach 154 sound spellings. This resource teaches letter sound relationships, grapheme and phoneme components, phonemic awareness, and phonics blending, empowering learners to decode new words. Read more about our Phonics & Spelling resources today!
Sound spellings don't have to be hard! Using patterns, colors, pictures, humor, and stories makes the process fun, while helping students succeed! We are here for you; please contact us if you have any questions.