The Escape (The Letters “ai”)

The spelling of English words is a problem. I think a splash of color can help kids and adults make sense of the spelling code.

 Secret Police 5

“I bet you’ll never do that again,” said the captain of the secret police.

“No sir,” replied Blaine as the pain in his back got worse. Repairing the main stairs of the police headquarters was not his idea of fun.

But a smile graced his face as he was certain his plan would work. Grandpa would have a chance to escape and head to the safety of the mountains.

 

How many different sounds does the letter combination “ai” make?

Can you sort these sounds?

The Letters “ah”

The spelling of English words is a problem. I think a splash of color can help kids and adults make sense of the spelling code.

girlandcat

 

Sarah was having a blah kind of day. The challah bread recipe she tried to make for lunch didn’t come out right, so she went to her backyard to sit down. Out of nowhere, her pet cat, Jonah, ran across the grass like a cheetah sprinting through the savannah. Sarah laughed as she cheered on her cat with loud shouts of “Hurrah!”

 

How many different sounds does the letter combination “ah” make?

Can you sort these sounds?

The Letters a+e

The spelling of English words is a problem. I think a splash of color can help kids and adults make sense of the spelling code.

pond5

 

Late one morning, Amy woke up. After breakfast she left her village as the sun hovered high in the sky. Amy clutched her rake and headed down the road. When she got to the lake she noticed that the surface of the water was calm. Amy raked leaves all afternoon. She needed to take a break, so she sat down and ate a chocolate bar. Amy threw the wrapper in the garbage and went back to work.

 

How many different sounds does the letter combination “a+e” make?

Can you sort these sounds?

The Letter a

The spelling of English words is a problem. I think a splash of color can help kids and adults make sense of the spelling code.

blog.a

 

Once, long ago, Amy and her grandfather were in the kitchen. Amy was hungry but there wasn’t anything she wanted to eat. Grandfather looked at some apples and decided to make a pie. He put his hat on the table. On an old piece of paper he found a recipe. Amy watched as a parade of ingredient marched into the mixing bowl. Grandfather put the pie in the oven. When he was about to drink a tall glass of water the timer went off. Amy and her grandfather waited for the apple pie to cool off. Then they sat at the table and enjoyed their dessert together.

 

How many different sounds does the letter “a” make?

Can you sort these sounds?

Phoenix and Blaze

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            “Phoenix and Blaze” is a new ebook series I designed for elementary students. As a reading specialist, I’ve noticed that kids have a hard time identifying the letter clusters that produce individual sounds. The boundary between one sound and another is often lost. I wanted to come up with a way to help young readers quickly recognize different sounds and their boundaries. The 13 books in the series will focus on 3 sounds in each book. Color and shading are used to help readers “see” the sounds. Each vowel sound has its own distinct color. Consonants make use of bold print or shading.

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I used Lego™ bricks to illustrate the books because they are something kids enjoy and they help build interest in reading. Children love playing with Lego™ bricks and they will love reading books with this unique toy in the illustrations.

 

blazewheel 3            Every couple of months I will be publishing a new book in the series. If you would like to be notified when a new book has been released, please type in your email address in the box on the left.

 

Thanks,

Michael

Molly Miscue #5 Story Finale

        “Molly, this is your fault!” said Chris as she jumped up from the rug.

            Touching the page with her finger, Molly looked toward her friend. Some of the students in the room heard what Chris said and they stared at Molly.

            “Come again?” Molly asked, not sure what this was all about.

            “You have to reread this story. If we’re lucky, that will fix everything,” Chris said.

            Molly turned back to the beginning of the story and carefully started reading.

           “The little girl picked up a piece of pepper – I mean paper – to write.”

            Nothing happened.

            “Keep reading,” said Chris.

            “The little girl wrote a myth about m-kittens landing in their rocket ship.”

            “You’re not done,” said Chris.

            “The kittens launched – no, lapped – up the milk from their saucer.”

            “Perfect,” said Miss Cabton

            The class looked out the window to see if anything had changed.

            “The mittens are still out there!” yelled a boy who ducked for cover again. Another student sneezed.

            “I have one more thing I need to do,” said Molly as she got up to go to her desk.

            She reached into her desk and pulled out the birthday pencil she received from the office several months ago. She dusted it off and handed it to Brad.

            “They’re gone!” said one student at the window.

            Everyone looked at Molly and Miss Cabton said, “You really have to spend more time practicing your reading.”

            Molly just laughed.

 

Molly Miscue #4

             As Miss Cabton quickly walked over to the window, Molly just kept on reading.

        “The mittens launched up the milk from their saucer.”

        Molly’s classmates watched as one mitten brought a container of milk out of the rocket and prepared to launch it into space. They saw the other mitten light a match and touch its hot flame to a cord dangling from the milk container.

        “Look out!” shouted Brad as he ducked behind a tall cabinet.

        All the kids (and even Miss Cabton) screamed when the milk container blasted off from the playground.

        Molly ignored the chaos and turned the page to read more from the story.

 

*To be continued*

{Make a prediction or ask a question about the story in the comment box below.}

Molly Miscue #3

 

        Molly ignored the sneezing of her classmates and kept on reading.

     “The little girl wrote a myth about mittens landing in their rocket ship.”

     Miss Cabton took a long sip from her extra large coffee cup. As she set the cup back down on her desk she said, “Molly, the word mittens rhythms with the word that is really in the sentence.”

     But before Molly could correct herself, her friend Chris shouted out the answer, “kittens!”

     Miss Cabton was about to reprimand Chris but she stopped. Several students by the coat closet were pointing out the window, yelling, “What’s that!”

 

*To be continued*

{Make a prediction or ask a question about the story in the comment box below.}

 

Molly Miscue #2

       When the class came back from recess, the kids got quiet as they waited for Miss Cabton to start reading centers. Molly didn’t have to wait to see what group she would be reading with. She knew she would be reading with the “Kind Cats”, the lowest group in the class.

     As she swept the crumbs of her sweet bread snack from her desk, Molly heard her reading group being called over to the table.

     Of course, Brad was upset as he looked at his Birthday pencil. And the magic waited for its chance to pounce, a broken birthday pencil had to be avenged.

      “You may go first,” Miss Cabton said to Molly. Her friend Chris looked relieved.

      Molly opened a book and started reading out loud.

     “The little girl picked up a piece of pepper to write.”

     “Molly, take a look at that word again,” said Miss Cabton.

     But before Molly could see she should have read paper instead of pepper, the little girl beside her started sneezing

     “Hey! Who put pepper on my desk?” asked a boy.

 

*To be continued*

 

{Make a prediction or ask a question about the story in the comment box below.}

Molly Miscue #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly sat by the window and looked at the kids playing baseball. Her classwork was still barely started but she didn’t care. Miss Cabton kept giving her more and more reading to do because she was always getting the words wrong. That’s how she got her nickname, “Molly Miscue”.
Molly skimmed over the pictures in her easy reader, “Barn Animal Friends”, and looked out the window one more time. She quickly wished she hadn’t because she saw Brad the Birthday boy pointing up at her, laughing.
“I’ll show him!” Molly said as she got up and hurried over to Brad’s desk. Picking up his brand new brown Birthday pencil she snapped it in half.
“Take that, Birthday Boy!” she said out loud.
That’s when the magic began.

 

*To be continued*

 

{Make a prediction or ask a question about the story in the comment box below.}