How to Teach R-Controlled Sound Spellings
(Or: Bossy R: The True Story)
Rumors are flying around the web about Bossy R and how he came to have that name. Because everyone has a slightly different version of the story, I am here to set the record straight once and for all. Here you will find 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, saw snow covering the ground, and instantly felt grumpy. Instead of blaming the weather for his mood, he unaccountably blamed his friends. “I am sick of always being last when I am with my friends,” Mr. R whined frowning.
Before stopping to think it through (which would have been a really good idea), Mr. R texted all five of his friends and told them to come to his house at once. He puffed up really big, 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. Finally Mr. R had to 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" until finally the name just stuck. And this is the truth about why Mr. R is called Bossy R to this very day.
How to Teach Bossy R
If you want the whole series of lessons on how to teach the sound of ER spelled five ways, go to Teachers Pay Teachers and find the download:
**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 liberally illustrated with cartoons that drive the meaning of the sentence home, and also tie together the list of words that use the same spelling pattern.