Scope & Sequence
We have used the Calgary Board of Education’s scope and sequence and cross referenced it with the research-based Orton Gillingham and LETRS suggested scope and sequences, as well, we have tried to align the teaching of phoneme/grapheme recognition and sound production with a developmental approach to printing and fine motor planning.
For many students, the summer break means a bit of learning loss. Since we haven’t been following a structured scope and sequence until now, it’s important to review the short vowels sounds at the beginning of the year. Many young children have a hard time distinguishing the subtle sound differentiation between the vowels, especially /a/, /e/ and /u/. Review the vowels and teach or re-teach the key words with a non-verbal gesture if appropriate. Pointing “up” for /u/ is very logical. Exaggerate the mouth positions for /e/ and /a/ and discuss the differences. Use mirrors to help children check themselves.
Teach each sound EXPLICITY
Your students should already know that <y> is a consonant but <y> is tricky because it is also a vowel and can make 3 sounds (/i/ - gym, /ī/ - try, /ē/ - candy). We only introduce the short vowel sound now, the others will come later.
Since we have reviewed the short vowels, it makes good sense to introduce the short vowel pointers or indicators which occur after a short vowel (except <y>). Add these to your sound wall <ck> <zz> <ff> <ss> <ll> & <tch> . Ensure that you are giving students opportunities to spell words with these patterns as well as reading them for reinforcement. Grade two students should know initial and final blends and so include these in your practice of short vowels!
Some students have not yet learned the proper formation for letters or have forgotten and are mixing in upper and lower case letters, this is a good time of the year to review, review, review! Proper placement of
letters, “tall letters are tall, short are short and descending are descending”. It’s important to insist on this, so bad habits are not formed in Grade 2 and continue into Grade 3. Make it a “printing bootcamp” review letters rapidly and expect students to be accountable for proper placement after the review.
As much as possible, integrate multi-sensory experiences when learning the formation of the grapheme and the sound. Large arm movements, skywriting uses your "elephant noses" or the use of other multi-sensory activities to practice the formation, letter name and phoneme helps to reinforce these concepts in the child’s brain. Try using; textured surfaces, shaving foam, pudding, sand, or other fun materials!