Check out the resources that I use with my students – now developed and created in a format that you can try them too – through Cee MK and Word Play & Letter Love.
During my 20+ years working with students who struggle to read and write, and who often use a lot of effort to try to motivate and pay attention – I have had to find ways to innovate on key concepts from direct instruction so that they land and stick with the learner.
It was essential for my learners to have tools that are playful, use narrative and visual memory in addition to auditory, as well as have interactive tasks for rehearsal and practice.
Reading word lists and staring at letter cards just wasn’t enough for them… so I designed my own characters, frameworks, and stories. Then I noticed it was easier to engage them more immediately and that recall was stronger more quickly.
We all became attached to the Vowel Pals™ and Letter Families™ – so I wanted to share them with others to try too! Now I am creating downloadable/printable versions and videos to share tips. Hope you find them helpful. As I have been known to say to encourage my students to hang in there, “You got this!”
Parents, teachers, instructors, educational therapists, practitioners, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, homeschoolers:
Check out the video collection that I am building to offer information on tools and strategies I use in instruction.
Word Play & Letter Love YouTube channel
Materials are now available for download – here or at Teachers Pay Teachers:
Word Play & Letter Love Store at Teachers Pay Teachers
FREEBIE: The Handy Hand
Anyone who has worked with me will recognize the Handy Hand! It is one of the first things that I introduce to all my learners, and is used for years of support. It’s a multisensory graphic organizer strategy to support speaking, reading, and writing while building executive function skills.
Download it for free:
The Letter Families™
Learning manuscript handwriting is much easier when students learn them in families.
It reduces the challenge to group the letters by their initial movement and builds automaticity (doing without thinking) to do them the same each time. When letters are in families, they take on personality and characteristics that make them more memorable. Creating this system and the stories around the letter movements made a huge difference for my learners! And it’s fun! Whether they are just starting on lowercase letters, have dysgraphia, or have been struggling to write fluently and legibly for some time – the Letter Families™ will ease the learning. It also helps students tackle the letter shapes independently, while gradually layering in learning the sounds. Love the letters with the Letter Families™!
Vowel Pattern Lane™ with the Vowel Pattern Pals™
Much like the Letter Famlies™ eased writing the squiggly assortment of symbols we call letters in English, the Vowel Pals™ have eased learning how to read the symbols to understand how they map sounds.
The key to decoding is the vowel patterns – “Vowel Unlocked, Reading Unblocked”!
Meet the Vowel Pals™ and see where they live on Vowel Pattern Lane™ to build fun into phonics.
Each detail on the map has meaning and a message related to the learning. The design is informed by Science of Reading and Structured Literacy practices. The tools can be used multiple ways over time and adapted to your instruction goals and style.
Multisensory learning is an essential component. “MiM: Make it Multisensory!”
Enjoy visiting the Vowel Pals™ on Vowel Pattern Lane™, using their Anchor Sentence to retain keywords for sounds, and reading their mini books, which are designed for differentiation.
PDFs/Downloads for Purchase
A full collection of materials to teach vowel patterns will be available for download. The system will include: Vowel Pattern Lane Map, Anchor Sentence for each pattern/character, Mini Anchor Sentence Story Book, foldable Mini Books to practice reading the patterns set up for true decoding practice (not reading pictures or guessing!), interactive notebook pages, wall posters, and games ideas.
Want to support this Literacy work?
Cee MK is just me, an educational therapist with a solo practice, with a bit of coaching and care from a few local experts to help me learn some technical tools! Want to help a creator out? Feel free to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, FOLLOW, SHARE, purchase materials, or Buy me a Coffee!
This work has taken untold hours of development, years of training, and lots of love – so thank you for your care and support! I believe these strategies can help English learners everywhere. And I hope to have the time and support to share more of what I have found works and helps our struggling readers and writers.
Thank you to all who have trusted me to help their learners and worked with me through the years!
Love, Cee MK
This is Nymph. Her name is the key word for the short sound of “y” in the Closed Vowel Pattern.