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Best Practice Video Reflection #17-Vowel Pattern Word Sort

Best Practice Video Reflection #17-Vowel Pattern Word Sort

Word sorts are instrumental in increasing a student’s thinking capacity and development of learning skills. Word sorts help students identify and categorize word patterns based on similarities. Students can group the words based on their consonant, vowel, or syllable-construction patterns (Foorman et al., 2016). Word sorts also help students to improve their spelling skills. Further, word-sorting activities expose students to repeated patterns of certain words, which increases their understanding of the similarities and differences of words in a given set. Students can associate different words effectively based on their sound-spelling patterns.

Teachers can use word-sorting activities in class to guide students in categorizing common sound-spelling patterns. They can demonstrate how different letters combine to form words with the same sound patterns. For instance, rain, main, aim, and paint can be categorized as words with long ‘a’ vowel patterns (Institute of Education Sciences, 2016). The teacher can give students letter combinations, making specific sounds at a time and giving them enough time to internalize and understand their pronunciation. The teacher can also provide numerous familiar words to each category, enhancing students’ understanding and appropriate pronunciation. Further, teachers can encourage students to give words with similar spelling patterns and pronunciation to assess their understanding. Notably, students demonstrate their understanding by appropriately grouping word cards with similar patterns.

Teachers can integrate word-sorting activities starting with consonant patterns. Once students attain the desired skills, the teacher can move to the next category of vowel pattern, then later to the syllable-construction patterns. The chronological steps in pattern recognition and effective pronunciation help students pronounce complex words effectively by reading through smaller parts. The teacher then guides the students through word mapping using Elkonin sound boxes to help them present each sound pattern in each box. Also, encouraging students to write the words in each pattern extends their understanding and familiarity with the patterns.


Foorman, B., Beyler, N., Borradaile, K., Coyne, M., Denton, C. A., Dimino, J., & Wissel, S. (2016). Foundational skills to support reading for understanding in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Educator’s Practice Guide. NCEE 2016-4008. What Works Clearinghouse.

Institute of Education Sciences. (2016, September 14). Video 23: Vowel pattern word sort (REL Southeast) [Video]. YouTube.


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Identify practices you have observed in a practicum setting that focused on building students’ knowledge of common sound-spelling patterns, and describe how the observed practices are similar to or different from those reflected in the videos on common sound-spelling patterns.

Best Practice Video Reflection #17-Vowel Pattern Word Sort

Best Practice Video Reflection #17-Vowel Pattern Word Sort

Describe what you would do differently in your own future classroom to build students’ knowledge of common sound-spelling patterns. If you did not observe instruction that focused on building students’ knowledge of common sound-spelling patterns, explain how you could have incorporated the practices for students in need of more support in developing these skills.

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