My daughter has been really struggling to decode words with 2 consecutive vowels. I kept repeating the phrase from the Letter Factory, "When two vowels go walking the first one does the talking." For some reason this was meaningless to her.
A few weeks ago she was trying to read something in the car. And she stumbled upon one of these blasted words. I was really frustrated and this analogy came to me, so I told her in my gangster voice , "The first vowel tells the second vowel to shut up and let me do the talking....yo....my name is letter A".
Ethan and Hannah were hysterical after I told them this.
Hannah no longer has trouble remembering the rule. It's not the most delicate way to teach the rule but it works.