Teaching the split e phoneme

This is a method I picked up from Sue Kerrigan at Let Me Learn. It’s simple but very effective and I have used it successfully with a group of children who were finding words like “cake” and “make” really tricky to spell.

I took two pieces of card and wrote “a” on one and “e” on the other and then I attached them with a bendaroo, leaving a letter sized gap between them.

a_e phonemeThen we sounded out some words: grape – g-r-a-p – and wrote the “gr” on a mini whiteboard, put our “a__e” sound card next, which left a space just big enough to write the “p” between them.

We did this with a few more words until they were happy with the idea that the a sound could be made by a split “a” and “e”. By the end of the session most of the children could spell split e words. The rest needed another session to reinforce the concept, but they did all get there.

What spelling tricks have you tried that have worked? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear about them.