Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Syllables?! Help!

Okay, teacher friends. I need your help today.

Recently I came across this sweet blog called Two Can Do It.
It's awesome! They have a ton of free resources that I have been downloading like crazy.

I just downloaded their super cute Class Syllable Tally activity, which I'm planning on doing in the first week of school. I love that it is cute AND it focuses on syllables and tallies!

But I have a problem.

How many syllables are in the name Miles???

I had this amazing little guy last year in first grade and I will have him again in second. We legit had the SAME syllable conversation like 10 times over the course of the year when I'd call kids to line up by syllables.

You know... "If you have 2 syllables in your name, line up for P.E. If you have 4 syllables in your name, line up for P.E."

But every time Miles and I would talk back and forth about whether he had one or two syllables.

Miles? Or Mi-yuls?

I would love for you to vote on the sweet little poll I just made. Here it is!

How many syllables does the name "Miles" have? free polls 

My first week of school activity needs your help! :)


  1. I see the problem. And I'm clapping and counting in my room. And I think two because there are two vowels. But I think one because the e is silent. I am afraid to vote. You don't have a choice that says, "Not sure."
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

    1. O.k. it kills me as a teacher seeing how incorrect educators are and say that words like little, miles, table, fable files, etc... only have one vowel. If people knew phonetics and how to properly teach the English language (see the program THRASS) this would not be an issue. THRASS is taught in England, Australia and Canada. I don't think the U.S.A. has it yet, but maybe someday and we can throw out teaching the magic e and irregular words since in THRASS that is a bunch of hog wash. I have taught in the U.S.A. for 15 years and then moved to Australia. THRASS is the best reading and spelling approach I have ever used before and I teach children who struggle with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. Now, let's take the word Miles: M as in mouse i like in ice. The L becomes a vowel graph (I know sounds different than what most people have been taught but that is how it works). Hear the /u/ sound? The e becomes a consonant graph /l/. Then /s/ as in sun. Hope this helped.

  2. Interesting post . . . I'm saying that the Texan in me says ONE but the Wisconsin native says TWO, so it might be a geographical thing.

    The Corner On Character

  3. O goodness. I literally just sat here saying it over and over again, clapping and doing the chin drop trying to figure it out... My husband was like "what the heck are you doing" bahaha. Im gonna go with 2!
    BakingCraftingTeaching Oh My

  4. I say one. Miles. The I and e go together (the whole silent e thing) so I vote one syllable. I do agree that it is probably a regional thing though as to how you pronounce the word.


  5. That's tough! I'm thinking 2. But your results are almost dead even.. tough one!

    Third Grade in the First State

  6. Ok...I've been thinking about this and trying to come up with another word like Miles to apply to the situation. So I've been saying things like piles, files, tiles, while...and then I realized that wasn't helping so I started to think of other long i words - nine, kite, line..and realized that really doesn't help much either. Soooo what about the word "crocodile" - 3 or 4 syllables? It's the "ile" chunk that's causing trouble. my first instinct is 2, but then the more I think about it, I second guess myself! See you tomorrow :)

    Ms. Alley's Class

  7. Oh, how you have made me laugh! You see I have the same problem with my name: Camille. When I was in school, I always thought my name had three syllables: Cu/me/ul. Three! Of course! But then when I started teaching, I was told by other teachers that my name only had two syllables. TWO? What happened to my third syllable? I was told that the /mille/ part only counts as one syllable. So, boo hoo, I guess the correct answer is 1 for Miles and 2 for me. BUT instead of correct, I would say that if Miles wants to have 2 syllables, let him. I really prefer people to stretch out my name and say it as three syllables.
    Camille (say it: "cu ... me ... ul" and I will be soooo happy!)
    An Open Door

  8. Hello! I am a Wisconsinite (long I at the end...) and I think Miles could have 1 or 2 depending upon how long you stretch out the word (meaning like a slinky). I hear both one and two syllables and my jaw drops once or twice depending upon how I say it. (while and hide or smile and shine) Is this a ruler breaker? GREAT POST!!! (check out my Blog if you have not done so already). THANKS!

  9. I love Two Can Do It blog too! I am pretty sure it Miles has 2 syllables. I was comparing it to smiles which I know have 2. I am a Michigander is that has any influence.

    Apples and Papers

  10. Haha! I see the dilemma. I voted for 2. Just out of curiosity, what did he think? 1 or 2?

    The Teaching Thief

  11. Jill,
    Me again! I think the issue is with the sound that the letter "l" makes when it has a vowel in front of it. When you put a vowel in front of it, it sounds like it makes its own syllable.
    Check this out:
    mine ... one syllable versus mile
    mean and meat ...1 syllable versus meal
    Jain ... 1 syllable versus jail
    main ...1 syllable versus mail

    I think all of those words are officially one syllable ... but as I said before, maybe Miles can decide. Regardless, your kiddos are going to know how to count syllables so well. Thinking about Miles name is much higher on Bloom's taxonomy than just counting syllables in an obvious word.

    Suoer fun discussion!!!
    An Open Door

    1. The le makes it two syllables. The letter L becomes a vowel graph /u/. The e is a consonant graph /l/. That is phonetics. Look up the THRASS program. Every teacher in the U.S.A. in my opinion should know it and then this would not be a problem. Cheers

  12. What a funny yet totally legit problem, haha! I think Miles would technically be one syllable.


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