Literacy Conversation – start with spelling

What shared language do you use with your students to talk about a word they’re struggling to spell or read? We’re limiting this post to four terms: sound & spelling phoneme & grapheme Because of changes to the curriculum, your students might need phoneme and grapheme. However, I prefer to start with the familiar because older students who’ve struggled with reading and spelling in the past can feel anxious about learning terminology and recalling terms can waste precious memory in … Read More

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. This little post seeks to clarify how we use the term, ‘script’ and assure you (at the risk of coming over all 1990s) that there is a 3rd Way when it comes to literacy lessons. I think we’ll call it Directly Indirect Scripted Discovery Learning. Suggestions for pithier titles are welcome.   Here’s what we don’t mean … 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. Buy the book – takes you to thatspellingthing.com. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words … Read More

The Importance of -tion

posted in: Spelling

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 by … Read More

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