How to Teach the OO Spelling Rule

OO is a vowel team that has two sounds. We use the key phrase Look at the Moon to help our students learn.

Vowel teams can be a tricky concept for our students. Sometimes multiple vowel teams will all say the same sound, other times, you find a vowel team that can say multiple things.

Today, we are going to dive into the “oo” vowel team.

We use the key phrase “Look at the Moon” to teach this phonogram because “oo” has two sounds. I have noticed that students can typically recognize the “moon” sound, but struggle more with the “look” sound.

When we teach vowel teams that have two sounds, we try to scaffold the instruction as much as we can.

We always start by having the student write the vowel team and say the sounds 3 times. By writing it, hearing themselves say it, and seeing it, you are pulling in a multi-sensory component to your lesson. You can also have your student trace the phonogram on glitter paper (or something else textured - the carpet, a grid, etc.). Click here to read more about how we incorporate multi-sensory instruction into our lessons (and the mistakes we made when we fist started!)

OO word lists - Our oo games, activities, worksheets and anchor charts help cement the strategies for our students.

Then, we will have students practice decoding words with only one of the sounds at a time. For this lesson, that means that we will work through a “moon” list as well as a “look “ list. Once they have gone through both lists and are more comfortable with the phonogram, then they can move on to combined lists, where, they may have to try both sounds in order to figure out an unfamiliar word.

The rest of our lesson looks the same as all of our lessons do. We ALWAYS start with our sound drill, move through the decoding portions outlined above, and then complete phonological awareness activities, an auditory drill, review spelling, new spelling and sentence dictation. We also include layers to fit our students individualized needs, including morphology, red word work, reading fluency and comprehension or more advanced writing.

If you are looking for activities to supplement your vowel team instruction, or, extra practice for your child, check out our “oo” activities on our Teachers Pay Teachers store. For more information on effective reading instruction, sign up for our FREE online training: 7 Steps to Reading Instruction that Works! >> Click here << to sign up!