Our Phonics Patent

Even as we rolled out SpellingCity, teachers and literacy coaches asked us to provide the same flexible practice tools to focus not just on spelling but on recognizing and working with sounds.  They asked for help not just with the spelling of words but with learning phonics and building phonological skills. So we decided to help students construct and decode words by working with the sounds and the letter blocks that represent them. 

The idea was simple: We wanted to treat words like “tooth” as three blocks of letters which correspond with the three sounds: T, OO, and TH. But, as we searched, we could NOT find a system which mapped the sounds in words to the way the words are spelled. At first, this seemed unbelievable. Surely, in some university or research center, somebody had created a mapping which connected all the common English words into their sounds and mapped those sounds to the letters used to spell the words.

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