Monday, February 11, 2008

Fuh-ood for thought

Here's a little phonics lesson from your friendly neighborhood teacher...
"M" does not go muh, it goes mmmmm.
Likewise, "B" does not go buh, "D" does not go duh, "C" and "K" do not go kuh, etc.

It's about isolating the sounds more. Let's use M as an example. Pay attention to your mouth as you say mmmmmm. See how your mouth stays closed through the whole sound? Now say muh. Your mouth opens at the end of the sound. Now think about words that have the M sound, but AREN'T followed by the short U. We don't say muh-oon. And how about words with M at the end? We say Tom, not To-muh.
Other sounds are harder to isolate. "H" is just a huff of breath. "C" and "K" are almost clicks of the tongue. Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? Probably not, but it makes it so much easier for early readers to sound out words. Which is why, although I'm so proud of my Boo for knowing letters and sounds, I cringe a little when she corrects me to tell me that "M" goes muh and NOT mmmm, because that's what she learned at preschool.

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