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I want to ask y'all for some help teaching little kids to read. Teaching the basics is not hard, but making the transition to fluent reading is a pistol. Somehow kids must make the transition from words like MAT,BAT, CAT, SAT to hard stuff like TOMB, COMB, BOMB, SNOWPLOW, HEIGHT, WEIGHT, etc. For the most part, the vowel sounds are the stinkers, They are just plain unruly.
One idea I have had can be found at www.geocities.com/carjug . It uses colors to help the munchkins make the spelling/sound connection. It has problems, the color can be hard on the eyes, and fluent readers generally hate it. Another idea that I had a few days ago was to make punctioation marks for all the vowel sounds in English, and stick them above the words. I tried it with scratch paper, and the result was promising. I started by designing 15 macrons, breves and bars, then sticking them over the words in a kid-book. The result was reasonableand inoffensive.
Of course I have no idea how to do this with a computer. That's why I'm here.
1) Fifteen vowel sound symbols that phonics experts won't poo-poo, AND that 1st graders will understand.
2) Some way to use a computer to make text with all these little squiggles, macrons, breves, acrostics, bars, and hoosits in it.
Any help, advise, free samples or hand-holding would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Chris Bogardus, firstname.lastname@example.org