Morgan Dynamic Phonics


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What's New -- New Teaching Ideas

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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 here on this page. Some new strategies for teaching comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency are in the Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Fluency section and were added to the Manuals in April 2000.

If you are using MDP materials and you discover an interesting new way to use the materials, write to me and I will put it on the internet so other people can see it.

Kenneth Morgan, President, Morgan Dynamic Phonics

May 2009: Comprehension - Give the student an easy passage without illustrations. Also give her a paper with empty boxes numbered 1-8 (or how many you need). Have the student read the passage independently and draw a picture in each box for each sentence in the passage. Then have her retell the passage using the pictures she has drawn. Go through the passage and give help where there are misunderstandings. She could also rewrite the passage using only the pictures she has drawn.

April 2009: Comprehension and Fluency - It can be very affective to have students scoop the phrases in the sentences or passages that they read with their finger or a pencil eraser. You can draw scoop lines under the text or let your students phrase the way it feels comfortable to them as they read -- since there are usually more than one way to make phrases in a sentence. Some students will need you to draw scooping lines under the sentences (you have permission to copy pages from the reading books for this purpose) and some will be able to figure this out themselves. This will aid comprehension as well as fluency. The author is presently drawing phrase lines on one sentence page for almost every lesson and using it after the rest of the lesson is complete and before having the students do the question sheets.

March 2009: Comprehension and Fluency - Have the student read a passage or sentence silently and do a retell before having them read it aloud. With the sentences in the program, you can also have students read silently and draw a picture of the sentence before they read them aloud.

January 2009: Comprehension and Fluency - Have the student silently read a passage and produce an accurate retell of the passage before having them read it aloud three times to build speed.

October 2008: Sentence Reading: For a change of pace, give each student a sentence that they have not read before, and have them draw a picture of it. You want to make sure that students can comprehend sentences and passages that they do not read aloud.

April 2007: MDP: Spelling irregular words. Here is a method you can use to help students learn the spelling of irregular words. 1) have the student circle the letter or letters in the word that are irregular. 2) have her trace a model of the word three times while saying the letters. 3) have her write the word three times while saying the letters. 4) have her spell the word three times with her eyes closed. 5) have her write the word three times from memory (Gillingham and Stillman, 1997).

April 2007: Vocabulary: Often students, especially young students, do not know the meaning of the words in the program. Since these are all common words, teachers may want to use these words to do direct instruction in vocabulary.

April 2007: Red Words: It is a good idea to put the sight words for each lesson (from the red cards) up on a word wall as they are learned in the text so the students can use them in their writing. If you do this, be sure to make a distinction between words that can and cannot be sounded out and change them as their knowledge changes. The word "see" in a red word (sight word) in lesson 4 but becomes a decodable word after 'ee' is learned in lesson 40.

March 2007: Assessment: There is much explanation about what students should be able to do to master a lesson and move on to the next lesson. Here is a quick assessment that you can do in every lesson and keep as a record of progress for each student. Before you pass out the yes/no question sheet or sheets at the end of each lesson, go over the vocabulary on the sheets to make sure your students understand the words. When they have completed these sheets independently, mark how many they got wrong on the top of the page (for personal questions, you may have to question them to see if they understood the question). If they have one or two wrong, consider the lesson mastered. If they have more than two wrong, they will need some additional work on that lesson.

March 2007: Fluency: After your students have read the sentences in a lesson one or two times, you can sometimes have them do echo reading with you. This is where you read a sentence and a student reads it right back to you. Make sure that the student uses proper expression when he or she reads it. This models good reading to your students and gives them practice in reading with expression.

March 2006: Phonics: Elkonin boxes and Block Spelling When students are having a difficult time segmenting words in Elkonin boxes or block spelling, ask them to try to hear the sounds in their heads.

January 2006: Phonics: Pre-reading Strategies: The author will start to train sound- symbol correspondences with the picture letter cards while doing the other pre-reading activities. You can use the letter cards that you have taught immediately for a version of the Phonics Card Game. Put out the seven consonant cards and one of the two vowels from lesson one on the table. Make words by changes letters for the students to sound out, i.e. hot, not, pot, got, lot, etc. You will probably have to model sounding out for your student as you help them obtain the skill. Have the student use the finger tapping method to help sound out words (see section on word reading). Next, you can have the student or students make words or non words to read by changing one letter at a time. You can read the word or non word yourself, have the student who makes it read it, or have another student read it. This game can be done with individual students or with a group of students. They love it and it gives them advanced practice with the words in the lessons to come. You can add other cards as you teach them. The author will play this game a lot with students who have not caught on to the Elkonin box activity. He does not want to start formal reading lessons in the books until students can segment and blend three phoneme words in the above exercises.

January 2006: Phonics: After lesson 33, you can use a white board or a chalk board to reinforce the difference between closed-syllables and magic "e" syllables by having students read words and nonsense words as you change them letter by letter (I give about 3 or 4 to each student at a time): made, mad, mod, mode, mide, mid, lid, lide, lode, lod, fod, fode, fade, fad, etc. You can also use this procedure later with other syllable types.

January 2005: Oral Reading: As you know, it is almost never a good idea to let a student misread a word and go on without having him or her correct it. When a student misreads a word, try snapping your fingers. You can also have other students in the group snap.

May 2004: Dynamic Roots: Corrections have been made to three pages of the Fill-in the Blank worksheets for Dynamic Roots. We have sent these corrections to most of you. Lesson number 17 - sentences one; lesson 23 - sentence ten; and lesson 50 - sentence ten. If you need these corrected pages, please send you name and address to us.

May 2004: MDP: New Comprehension strategy for groups After having a student read a page aloud, have one or more students in the group ask questions from the information on that page and have the reader ask questions of other students about what he or she has read. Either questioners or answerers can be asked to find the place in the text that supports the information they are giving. This strategy benefits the questioner as well as the person answering the question, and generally keeps the whole group more focused on the meaning of the passage while it is being read aloud.

April 2004: MDP: Phonics card game: Is best used for the first nine lessons but can be used with the blend cards later on also. Using the picture phoneme cards, lay out the consonants learned so far (in lesson one you will have seven consonants) and one vowel. The first student picks out two consonants to put on either side of the vowel to make a word or a nonsense word. The teacher must make sure that letter patterns in the word or nonsense word are allowable in English. For instance, words cannot begin with 'ck' or end in 'qu' in English. The second student must read the word or nonsense word made by the first player. Each player gets three points if he makes a real word, two points if he makes a real word that is spelled incorrectly, i.e. 'suc,' for suck, or 'kup' for cup, or 'kap' for 'cap', and one point if he makes a nonsense word. Beginning readers like this game very much. You can also play this game in later lessons with the picture phoneme cards added in with the blend cards.

2/24/04 Dynamic Roots Important Information - The word/definition worksheets for each lesson are usually difficult for students at first. There is one thing that you can do to make this easier. Pick some of the prefixes and suffixes used in the words of a lesson and make a backwards meanings list on the board. Since many prefixes and suffixes have more than one meaning, we could not make a master list to use with all of the lessons. If working in lesson 6, try these:

together = con-
near = at-
away from = dis-, de-, abs-
out = ex-
forward = pro-
back = re-
below = sub-
one who or that which = -or
the act of = -tion
easily done = -ible

2/29/04 Dynamic Roots - We have just added another reproducible worksheet for each of the 55 lessons in this program. These sheets are made up of words at the top of the page, and sentences with blanks spaces to fill in with the words at the bottom. You can get a copy of these pages by sending $15 to us - shipping is included.

12/31/03 - "When two vowels go a walking, the first one does the talking" is correct only about 37% of the time.

12/30/03 - The contraction "won't" is the only irregular contraction. An early form of "will" was "wol", and that is probably the reason for the spelling of "won't".

12/31/03 - Vocabulary - Andrew Biemiller, at the 53rd meeting of the International Dyslexia Association conference describe what one kindergarten teacher did with her class. She read them 12 books, 9 times each during the school year. She used repeated reading to discuss vocabulary meanings and comprehension. According to Mr. Biemiller, the students in this class made extraordinary gains in vocabulary knowledge.

12/22/03 - Spelling hints - The short /a/ sound as in the word 'apple' is spelled with a single "a" almost 100% of the time. The short /o/ sound as in 'hot' is spelled with a single "o" more than 95% of the time. Similarly, short /e/ is spelled with a single "e" 93% of the time, short /u/ is spelled with a single "u" 88% of the time, and short /i/ is spelled with a single "i" 73% of the time. (Hannah et. Al. 1971)
Hannah, P. R., Hodges, R. E., & Hanna, J. S. 1971. Spelling: Structure and Strategies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

12/22/03 - Lesson 53 - for the teacher - Stanback (1992) found that closed syllables make up 43% or the syllables in English and that closed syllables and open syllables together make up almost 75% of English syllables.

11/15/03 - Dynamic Roots - We have added a new section to the Dynamic Roots Teacher's Manual. This new section is about 60 pages long and contains an additional 1,100 fascinating word and phrase origins. If you have the Dynamic Roots program, send us $20 and we will send you a copy of these pages. Price includes shipping and handling. Also, check out our new section called Word or Phrase Origin of the Week.

See more news in our archived news section.

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