An alternative to scripted teaching

Direct Instruction, the umbrella under which scripted teaching sits, is set up as the antidote to Discovery Learning, the Traditional answer to Progressivism, the Behaviourist reply to Constructivism. What one side has done for the word “phonics”, the other has done for the word “script” but, at the risk of coming across all 1990s, there is a Third Way and we’ve been walking that alternative path with all sorts of educators for many successful years. I think we’ll call it … Read More

Spelling words with ough

This is a slightly modified excerpt from That Spelling Thing, a book of spelling strategies for the classroom, offering an alternative to look/say/cover/write/check. It’s written for teachers of any subject from middle primary to adult education and doesn’t require any literacy expertise. However, I’m assured there’s lots of content for teachers who are already teaching spelling. The book is due for publication in January. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words … Read More

The Importance of -tion

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Whenever I get talking to a teacher about spelling, I offer them my brilliant idea that every school should, in the first couple of weeks of the first term, have a “-tion Day” when each first year student and teacher will adopt a useful word ending in -tion. By the end of the day they will know what it means, how to say it naturally, say it for spelling, and, of course, spell it accurately. I always end that conversation … Read More

Conquering the “Dirty 30” Misspelled Words #3

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Post #2 dealt with the 22 straightforward words on the “Dirty 30” list and now we have to get real about the trickier ones. Words are tricky to spell – or behave unpredictably – for a couple of reasons. Pronunciation/Diction This might be un-pronounced sounds like in government mispronounced or mixed up sounds like in environment (we say enviernment) or whole syllables which seem to have disappeared like in business or a combination like in Wednesday. On the Dirty 30 … Read More

Conquering the “Dirty 30” Misspelled Words #2

In this post, I’m going to talk about spelling, but for more difficult words or working with weaker students, you’d do them as puzzles. Also, your students may prefer another way to split the syllables but I’m doing it the way I prefer. There’s more on puzzles and syllables in TRT for Teachers, the little e-book of strategies for classroom teachers. (cheap & short!) (now only £1.99 – link takes you to the website.) You can also go here for … Read More

“Dirty 30” – most misspelt (or misspelled) words at GCSE #1

  NEw book coming in January! That Spelling Thing – lessons and resources for classroom teachers in secondary, college, adult education and upper primary.     At That Reading Thing (despite our name) we believe every single secondary teacher, no matter what their subject, should have an easy to implement strategy for spelling in their classroom. A good strategy should capitalize on what students already know and remove the need for remembering every word by sight. Our unofficial motto is No … Read More

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