I was assisting a 2nd grader with her spelling words today. We were working on a list of "-tion" and "-ture" words. We talked about the endings and the sounds that they each make. We talked about how, for the most part, you could hear all of the sounds of the letters that come before the endings too. So, basically, once you knew how to spell the ending, you should be able to figure out the other letters in the word by listening for their sounds. Here is the conversation that followed...
Me: "Spell 'future'.../f/ /yoo/ /chur/...remember that you can hear the 2 letters in front of the ending../f/ /yoo/.../chur/."
The student proceeded to write f-o-t-u-r-e.
Me: "Good job, you got the ending! Now let's look, remember I said that you can hear each letter before the ending. You wrote 'foture.' What letter needs to change to make it 'future?'"
Student: (smiles) "Oh Yeah! Well, at least I smelled foture right!"
Me: (hesitantly) "Umm...yes, you did."
Student: "Oh wait, foture isn't a word, is it?"
She smiled again and then changed "foture" to "future" :)