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Morgan Dynamic Phonics: What's New

Since the Instructional Manuals are often being added to, I put additions to the manuals and new good ideas on my "What's New" page. Some strategies for teaching comprehension, vocabulary and fluency are in the comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency section.

1/30/02 Roots
We generally teach morphology after a strong phonics base has been laid, but Reid Lyon for the National Institute of Health says, "Morphological awareness training may allow older dyslexic students to more efficiently use phonological knowledge (phonics) they have acquired from training but have not been able to apply." - IDA conference 2001.

1/30/02 Alternative ways to use Dynamic Roots materials:
Instead of always doing a whole lesson with all the words from a root at one time, you can use these materials as quick reference to a word before, during or after reading a passage with your students. You can look ahead in a passage that you will be reading with your students and be prepared to do a quick review of the root and some of the more common derivations of the roots from which it comes. You can do this before reading the passage, during the reading, or after the reading.

While reading a passage with your students you can be thinking: Do I have the opportunity to teach a root or affix that I think my students need to know. After the reading put the word on the board to look for word parts and related words. For example, if you find the word "intelligent" in the text, you can discuss the origin of this word - one who can choose between (answers) and understand - and relate that to words from this root that have to do with choosing, i.e. choosing laws: legal or legislate, choosing together: collecting, making refined choices: elegance, choosing a leader: election, able to be chosen: eligible, not choosing: neglect or choosing to set apart: selecting.

You could also emphasize the prefix: inter (between) at the beginning of intelligent, and refer to words like interception, interruption, interact, interfere, intermission, intersection, or interview. (prefixes are particularly easy to reference because of the alphabetical lists of all the words covered in to program at the end of each book).

1/22/02
Starting with lesson 34 you can play: The Syllable Game: You can play a game with syllable division if you have more than one student. Write a word down and have one student or team member tell you where the word divides. Ask him to tell you what type the first syllable is, what type the second syllable is and finally have him read the word. A player loses his turn or his teams turn when he answers incorrectly or when he finishes a word. Award points to the players or teams for correct answers. These are the same skills that they used to do the syllable division and labeling worksheets for lesson 34.

1/12/02
With students who have poor handwriting or who are slower learners, it is recommended that you teach them cursive writing using a program in which every lower case letter starts on the line. There is some evidence that cursive writing may have a positive effect on decoding and spelling acquisition because it draws on kinesthetic memory. For handwriting and written language instruction see: Writing Skills for the Adolescent and Cursive Writing Skills by Diana Hanbury King at (EPS - 800-225-5750) as well as the chapter on written language (pp. 281-298) in Birsh 1999.

1/12/02 Sound blending - decoding
Try having the student sing the sounds as he tries to blend the sounds them together. Make sure that he does not use his voice to pronounce non-vocal sounds like: /s/ or /t/.

1/12/02 Phonics ball game
You can also use the ball game for developing higher level phonological skills such as:

  1. What is the first sound in "fat"
  2. What is the second syllable in "Batman"
  3. What is the first sound in the second syllable of "fantastic"
  4. What is the vowel sound in the last syllable of "secret," etc.

12/18/01 Give Kids a Way with Words
Ken Morgan Interview in the Washington Post, December 18, 2001

August 2001 Third Edition.
New versions of the Morgan Dynamic Phonics 1 and 2 and Dynamic Roots materials are now in stock. We have edited this new version of our programs since the adoption of our zero tolerance for violent content policy. Luckily, we were able to edit the text without having much effect on the humor.

Most words that end with a long "i" sound followed by the sound to "t", are spelling "ight."

Note: When pronouncing the short vowels, the mouth gets progressively more open with the sequence "i, e, a, u, o."

When you get to words with two or more syllables, you will probably have to help your students with pronouncing accents within words. Tell your students that when pronouncing an accented syllable the mouth opens wider and the voice is louder and higher.

It is also sometimes useful to ask a student who is struggling to read a word to tell you the letter names in the word from left to right.

The letters "wor" are always pronounced like "were."

The sound /shun/ is usually spelled "tion" or "cian" when refering to an occupation or a person.

Lesson 69. You may want to make a pack of flash cards with VC/V words from this lesson, and V/CV words from lesson 53, to get students to look at both options when decoding words with this pattern.

Lesson 68. Another activity you can try is to make a chart with the three different sounds of "-ed" (/id/, /t/, /d/) on the top of the page and have students list "-ed" words under one of the three headings.

July 2001 - Syllable Go Fish.
This game comes from Jeanne Calloway from the Skank School in Atlanta, Georgia. Create a Go Fish game from syllable cards. Make up a deck of cards (could be the same syllable flash cards that were suggested for concentration and syllable identification in this lesson). You need eight of each of the six kinds of syllables. You can play this game with your student or with a group of students. Create nonsense syllables also for this game. Players will say to each other , "Give me all your open syllables? or Give me all your magic e syllables?" A match is four of a kind. "cle-" will be an open syllable, and "-cle" will be a consonant, l, e, syllable.

lesson 92 The letter "o" is usually pronounced as /u/ before "th", as in "mother."

lesson 31 - Note: an "s" that is surrounded by vowels usually says /z/.

Lesson 63 - To the tune of: The Wheels on the Bus, you can sing: When "c" is followed by "e", "i", or "y"; "e", "i", or "y"; "e", "i", or "y"; when "c" is followed by "e", "i", or "y" it says its soft sound /s/. You can adapt this song to lesson 64 also.

Dec. 2000
Note of caution: If your student or students are not accurate and fluent word readers, do not spend a lot of time teaching reading comprehension skills because you are taking valuable time away from decoding practice. Comprehension problems may be caused primarily by problems in decoding words. You can , although, use these comprehension strategies to develop listening comprehension and vocabulary skills for materials which you read out loud to your students. Fluency training can be more valuable early on, because quick and accurate word reading can radically effect reading comprehension.

Dec. 2000
With students who are having a difficult time learning to distinguish and produce certain sounds (like short "i" and short "e") find some kind of pipe or similar device that will allow the student to talk into one end and hear himself clearly through the other end. One end is placed near his or her mouth and the other end should be near one ear. Having the student use this while working on the sounds that he or she is having trouble with can be very beneficial. The author just uses a pipe shaped like a "j" for this purpose. When the student says the target sound correctly, the teacher immediately gives positive feedback so the student will know what it sounds like when he says it correctly.

Dec. 2000
Starting with two syllable words in lesson 26, you can make two syllable flash cards as a supplemental and beneficial drill. For the word "subject", you put "sub" on one side of the card, and "ject" upside down on the other side. First you show the first side to the student for him or her to read and then flip the card over so the other syllable is read by the student and then put together to make the word. This can be particularly beneficial for students having some trouble reading two syllable words. In lesson 53, you can make a card with "ro" on one side and "bot" on the other.

August 2000: MDP 1 & 2:
You can make flash cards with syllables on them. After lesson 53, you will have covered all six syllable types so you can put your syllables on flash cards from the two syllables words that you have already covered. With these cards you can do sorting games, use in a board games, use in concentration or bingo or just use as flash cards - having students tell your what type of syllable it is and then reading the syllable. You may also continue to use these cards after you have finished the program to help students improve their ability to spot these syllable types in other words that they come across in daily reading.

August 2000:
As you certainly have noticed, there are lots of blank spaces in the reading books and in the homework for you to put your own silly sentences in as you wish. Here is a new kind of humor that kids will love. Instead of asking the question, "Did you have a date with Godzilla?" you can ask, "Did you have fun on your date with Godzilla?" This way no matter if they mark "yes" or "no" it's still funny.

August 2000:
One teacher who is working with extremely hyperactive students uses this method. She has the words written large and pasted on the wall. One student will throw a bean bag at the wall, and which ever word he hits is the word that the next student has to read.

April, 2000. MDP 1 or 2.
The author will teach new phonetic elements when every student in a group is present. When one or more students are absent, he will have the students read in books, play phonics games or do review. That way no student will miss any important phonemic elements. If you have a student who misses many days of school, you will probably have to put him in his own group. If you a fortunate enough to have students in a group who very rarely miss days of school, then you can read in other materials while they are all present.

April, 2000. About the Humor in Morgan Dynamic Phonics 1.
If, in the reading process, the student does not want to read a particular sentence, I do not make him or her. I might say, "it's a lot funnier if you read it." or "who wants extra credit for reading this sentence." If I get no takers then I read the sentence myself and ham it up a bit i.e. "I like to eat bugs. I like to fry them up with a good white sauce. They are best served hot on whole wheat pasta."

All sentences that contain the word "you" should be taken personally by the teacher and responded to in that way. The rule in my class is that the teacher can tease the students, the students can tease the teacher, but the students are not allowed to tease each other.


Send comments, suggestions, or questions to: Ken Morgan at kmorgan@hubwest.com or (505) 254-0533
Copyright Morgan Dynamic Phonics, Inc., 3811 Hannett Ave NE, Albuquerque NM 87110
Updated: April 17, 2009