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Phonics question - at what age do you cover harder suffixes?


SwallowTail
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If you have a struggling reader who needs to be explicitly taught each new phonetic fact and sight words, at what age/grade level would you introduce some of the stranger (for lack of a better word) suffixes, such as -tion, -sion, -ious, -ous, -cian, ?  (I don't have the list in front of me, which would have been helpful.)

 

This is not for a natural reader, but one who is struggling for fluency (probably dyslexic), still wrestling with (but making lovely progress) vowel digraphs, remembering silent-e rules, vowel teams, consonant blends, etc..

 

My personal instinct is to stick with the phonics rules we have worked on so far until we gain mastery, prior to adding these new rule-breakers.  Before I did those suffixes, I would probably do things like silent consonants, -gh, and various letter combos that yield a long vowel sound (-ay, -ey, ee, ie, ei for long e). 

 

Also, from what I can tell from searching phonics programs, these seem to be third grade suffixes anyway, but that is probably where my question lies. 

 

I suppose I am attempting to determine at what grade level my dd is reading and whether introducing these would be a terrible idea or a good one.  (Disclosure: She is receiving LiPS instruction from a speech therapist, who brought out this suffix list today, andit was farily shocking to me, really).

 

 

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I covered them in K with my daughter but will cover them sometime later this year with my son, who is a 3rd grader that needs a lot of repetition in phonics. So, when they are ready.

 

The suffixes sion, tion, cial, etc. actually make a lot of sense if you use I as y and say them faster and faster...the first 5 minutes of my phonics lesson 22 explains why and how to teach this, this is how I will explain them to my son, and how I explain them to my remedial students. I don't remember if I knew about this with my daughter or not, I learned this within the last 5 years, I think. My older students learn things faster and retain them better when they understand the reasons behind them. The explanations bounced off my daughter's head, but I told her them anyway. I reviewed rules and explanations like this yearly for the next few years in a spelling context with her.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/Phonics%20Lsns/lsn22.html

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I was just looking online at the program we use for spelling practice http://www.zaner-bloser.com/spelling-connections and I think those suffixes are found in the later levels. I really like the word grouping that this program has so far so I’m okay with doing them later even though it seems like they’re taught later than mentioned here.

I like the Zaner-Bloser program because it’s a strong spelling program, but it connects (it is called Spelling Connections for a reason!) everything together like context/recognition, phonics, vocabulary, reading, and writing in 5-day lesson activities http://www.zaner-bloser.com/zaner-bloser-spelling-connections-5-day-plan-spelling-success

I would stick with what you’re doing until you’ve mastered it before introducing anything new, especially if you already consider them to be “strange.†Because I think reading is a really important skill that goes along with spelling. I am glad to hear your DD is making lovely process though :) it’s always nice to see their skills improve after some struggle.

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I think your inclination to develop mastery/fluency with the topics you've taught is right on. All About Reading starts to cover these suffixes in Level 3, and a student would have fluency with the things you've mentioned before getting to that point (you don't want a child having to work hard at decoding every single word, but to be building up fluency as you go, if that makes sense). You could look through their scope and sequence links for each level (not the same as grade levels) to see the order they introduce topics. That could help you decide how/when to proceed. Merry :-)

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Suffixes and prefixes are more likely to be taught in spelling than in phonics.

 

R&S's Spelling by Sound and Structure covers them in its second-grade spelling.

 

If you were doing Spalding or one of its look-alikes, you'd be teaching phonograms such as ti-, si-, and ci- the first year. Of course, Spalding teaches children to read by teaching them to spell, so there you go. :-)

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