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Sticky Units of Sound: Long I and Mixed Review

Sticky Units of Sound: Long I and Mixed Review

It may seem wILD, but we are in the last phase of our learning regarding sticky units of sound. Today, we will discover our final, and smallest, unit family, and if you don’t mIND, we will add in a bit of sticky unit review.

Photo by Charles Wright on Unsplash

If you’re reading this and feel kIND of confused, don’t fret! You can catch up by checking out our introductory blog about sticky units of sound. Don’t forget to rejoin us here once you’ve gotten the basics!

Before You Begin

Before teaching these new units to your student, make sure they can…

  • Understand what a syllable is and how to distinguish between single-syllable and multisyllable words
  • Understand the differences between long vowels, short vowels, and consonants.
  • Know how to divide multisyllable words into individual syllables. For strategies on multisensory spelling, check out our video here. For strategies on multisensory reading, check out our video here. Our syllable division rules guide can be downloaded here.
  • Know how to read and spell most closed syllable words
  • Understand what an open syllable is and its corresponding vowel sounds

A Review of Sticky Units of Sound

You may remember that sticky units of sound have the following qualities:

-They’re composed of a three letters that make an unusual sound

-They cannot be broken apart into individual sounds (they stick together)

-They form they’re own type of syllable

For the full introduction on sticky units of sound, visit my previous blog post.

Now that we are nearing the end of this sticky situation, I want to review the sticky unit “families” that we’ve already learned before introducing our final family! Check them out in the table below:

Now, at this point, you’re probably thinking, “Gosh, I just wish I had a resource—maybe even a game—to help review these units with my students!” Well, call it a coincidence, but I’ve provided that for you. Keep reading, and you’ll be rewarded with a super cool game to review all of these units at the end of this blog. And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…the FINAL and smallest family of sticky units!

Meet Our New Family



You may notice that this family is not only small and mighty, but both units start with a long I sound. Remember, it’s important for information-retrieval that we point these commonalities out to our students. Then, it’s essential that we practice, practice, practice seeing, reading, and spelling these units as a part of a larger word like this:



Along with reading them as parts of larger words, begin to build that automaticity of the unit sound by asking your students to “box off” the unit like this:

…while tapping one finger for each sound like this:

Important Tips to Consider

  • Practice, practice, practice!

The key to building automatic recognition of units is to use repetition. Practice reading and spelling words with these units in as many situations as possible. Also practice reading and spelling these units in isolation. Consider practicing by creating rhyming words with the same units!

  • Provide your student with a resource that has a keyword for each unit.

Make sure ALL of your students have their own student pack of resource cards so they are able to create their own personalized keyword for each unit using the Doodle-a-Rule cards from Set 2. These work well for reinforcing memory pathways.

  • Teach with both auditory and visual activities. Involve the senses!

Your student may struggle to build automatic recognition of these unit sounds right away. To practice this, practice saying words out loud, and ask your student to either write or point to the unit they hear. Then, try the reverse! Point to a word containing a unit, and ask your student to read the word aloud, placing a box around the unit.

Time to Say Farewell

Whew! We’ve done it! We’ve covered our final set of sticky units of sound. Together, we’ve learned how to create order where there once was chaos, and learned some great strategies along the way. And so, I leave you with one final parting gift: FREE resources that can help you and your students work together to review and refine your sticky unit skills. Simply click and download below:

Sticky Units of Sound Long I and Mixed Review Reproducibles

As always, if you found this blog helpful, please share it with your fellow teachers, parents, and interventionists. Interested in learning more? Check out more of our blogs HERE, and don’t forget to check out our complete guide to spelling at

Happy Teaching!

Written by:

Kate Wagner, BSE

Reading Interventionist, Remote Learning Coach

A Division Of: