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A Multisyllable Method that Stops Guessing

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I just want to make people who visit here regularly aware of a program I designed a few years ago that uses a chunking strategy to decode multisyllable words. The strategy encourages a child to go left to right through a word, paying particular attention to the vowel spellings, and then testing the various options for those vowel spellings in a systematic manner.


I used this program, which is fully described on my site and is free, with nearly 200 children over the years, and it was amazing to see how fast they would gain confidence in their ability to actually decode a word if they just went at it in an organized manner. Within a few sessions they would usually discard their long-held guessing strategies, and start decoding left to right through any unfamiliar word.


Not only that, but because the method depends upon identifying the vowel spellings, and testing the possible overlap options, it did an excellent job of helping the kids build, and then constantly review, their code knowledge.


If you have a child who is reasonably comfortable with the various options a spelling can represent (for example, ow can be /oe/-grow or /ow/-plow), but is continually guessing at longer words, or not looking at the endings, or adding or skipping letters within the words, etc., this method will get them paying attention to each chunk within the word.


There are some preparatory worksheets to go through and then the method itself starts with 2-syllables, then moves to 3-syllables, and finally to 4-syllable and longer words, and is on my website, freely available with all the worksheets, starting at the page Multisyllable Method Overview.


I thought some of you might want to know of it, and perhaps give it a try if you have a chronic "guesser" on your hands. I'd be happy to answer any questions about it here as well. (I tried very hard to make everything clear and easy to understand on those pages, and questions help me realize where I might have failed to do so.)


Rod Everson

OnTrack Reading

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