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Mastering ‘Silent e’ and Becoming More Fluent with Michael, Third Grader

Mastering ‘Silent e’ and Becoming More Fluent with Michael, Third Grader

Reading expert Linda Farrell helps Michael master the ‘silent e’ pattern to help him become a more accurate and ultimately more fluid reader. She begins with making sure that Michael can distinguish between short and long vowel sounds in spoken words, then teaches him a multi-sensory way to recognize the short vowel and ‘silent e’ long vowel patterns in written words. Ms. Farrell emphasizes the need to practice each skill to the point of mastery.

Literacy terms

Multisensory instruction: Instruction that engages more than one sense at a time to help students learn. A multisensory activity can include seeing, talking, hearing, moving, and touching.

‘Silent e’ spelling pattern: A single vowel letter followed by a consonant and then an ‘e’ usually spells a long vowel sound. For example, make, theme, nice, bone, cute. The ‘e’ and the preceding vowel together spell the long vowel sound.  At the end of a multisyllable word, the silent e may spell a long vowel (e.g. parade, delete, beehive, remote, perfume) or a schwa sound (e.g., palace, cursive, lettuce).

About Linda Farrell

Linda Farrell is a founding partner at Readsters (opens in a new window), an Alexandria, VA-based firm that helps schools implement research-based reading instruction. She is committed to effective early reading instruction to help struggling readers become strong readers, and to ensure that strong readers achieve their full potential.

Linda works in schools throughout the U.S. training and coaching teachers and modeling effective reading instruction. She also has designed curricula in Niger and Senegal for children to learn to read in their local languages.

Linda is a former English teacher and she was a National LETRS trainer for seven years. She has co-authored assessments and curricula for teaching reading, as well as several other published works. Linda can be reached at: [email protected]