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Fairfield Community School District



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Multi-Syllable Routines; Helping Students Decode Big Words

Multisyllable Routines at the Elementary Level


One aspect of literacy instruction at the Elementary level is learning about syllable types and how to use that knowledge when decoding multisyllable words.  Students are learning the six syllable types, including closed, silent -e, open, vowel teams, vowel -r, and consonant -le.  Even kindergarten students can grasp open and closed syllables.  Teachers use hand gestures and a  series of 3 steps to teach the multisyllable routine.  

The first step is to help the children recognize the syllable type.  Students learn to recognize the pattern and gesture associated with the syllable.  For example, the closed syllable gesture is a closed fist and the open syllable gesture is an open hand. Students sort nonsense words until they develop fluency at recognizing the patterns of consonants and vowels of the particular type of syllable.  The second step focuses on reading the syllable type, and the 3rd step applies practice in reading nonsense multisyllable words.  The design of the multisyllable routine is to provide explicit, systematic, and sequential instruction to enable kids to read multi syllable words.