I was recently working on spelling with a third grade student who cannot hear the difference between the phonemes: /t ɺ/ and /ʧ/. He is not alone, as many of my students struggle with these phonemes. For example, when given a word beginning with /t ɺ/ as in <trap>, my student will write the graphemes <chr>. So, <truck> becomes <chruck>*, <trip> becomes <chrip>* and so on. I decided to use Word Searcher to find words that start with <chr> and here is where I found a way to help him (at least, I think I have a helpful solution.) Many of the words beginning with <chr> can be traced to Greek and have the pronunciation /kɺ/. We discovered words like <chrysalis>, <chrome>, <Christmas> and <chromosome>. With this new awareness, my third grade student is now watching out for the <chr> graphemes which he now understands will be /kɺ/. When spelling, he has been able to self correct and write the correct <tr> graphemes instead of the incorrect <chr>. Please offer feedback if you see an error in my approach!
Alleviating A Spelling Trap