Wondering how to help students who are “stuck” at the consonant-vowel-consonant level of decoding? Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure you are addressing any phonological weaknesses.
- Create your own stories using the student’s interests; research suggests we remember what’s more interesting to us.
- Provide associations for word families to improve recall. The -at family could be popular (“where it’s AT!”) and the -ot family could be the bossy one (“You ought to do this!”). Have students create images to accompany the stories.
- Consult with your school psychologist. Does a formal evaluation suggest that this student will need more time than most? Is there a related language issue? Cognitive impairment?
- Make sure your student understands the rules for CVC syllables. Film your student “teaching” that rule and share with other kids.
- Consider moving to easy open syllables.
- Provide online practice with a program like Explode the Code.
- Provide extra encouragement, because this has got to be frustrating for the student. Create a digital portfolio, including videos of the student reading successfully. Graph every little skill that led to your student’s current accomplishments (letter names, consonant sounds, vowel sounds. blending two sounds, etc.).