Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Explicit Syllable Strategy™

Holy Moly! This has been a year! I just finished up my 23rd year of teaching special education and it was a doozy! I am so lucky that I have spent all of my years at the same school and I don't plan on moving until I retire. Has anyone else there spent their entire teaching career in one school? I think if you are lucky enough to fall in love with the culture of your school you are a very blessed teacher.

I have been working on something exciting over the last few years. It is called The Explicit Syllable Strategy™. I have been using it with my students who can understand the content-specific vocabulary and skills but cannot decode grade-level text independently. Since I have been using this strategy in my classroom, I have moved several students out of my special education reading support group and back into their grade-level classroom reading groups.


I feel like I have hit that golden button for my students. When my kids no longer need my support, then my job is complete.

So, do you want to know my secret? You can implement The Explicit Syllable Strategy in less than two minutes and be on the way to unlocking reading for your students! This strategy should be used with a strong phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. The science of reading has taught us that the majority of students who are reading below grade level do not have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness skills and these skills are crucial for kids to read.

When students struggle with decoding multi-syllable words fluently it greatly impacts their reading. They need to practice decoding multi-syllable words in isolation but also use The Explicit Syllable Strategy to modify their reading texts by underlining the syllables in each word. This is an example. 

It will take less than a minute to mark up a text like this for a student, but it helps their brains ‘see' the different syllables. As they practice reading texts that have been segmented into syllables for them, their brains will begin to make the connection between syllables, sounds, and the graphemes that make them up and they will begin reading more fluently. This modification allows students to still read rigorous texts while working to master reading multi-syllable words. The combination of The Explicit Syllable Strategy™, teaching phonemic awareness skills, and the big word strategy will increase your students’ reading ability significantly.  

Want the materials without the hassle of making them yourself? I've got you covered! 

The Explicit Syllable Strategy™ is owned and created by One Room Schoolhouse.
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