Teaching Reading

SWR Spelling Rules – Part One

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We’ve probably all heard the rule: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” Unfortunately, this rule only works 27% of the time when you hold it up to the English language as a whole. Why do we teach rules like this if it’s so incompetent? Wouldn’t we want to teach rules for the language that actually work?

A typical approach to ...

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10 Errors I made as an SWR Newbie — Part Two

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Today I’ll continue sharing the last five errors I made as a newbie SWR teacher. You can read Part One here.

6. I didn’t have the kids “say it while you write it.”

The “sight word” approach to teaching reading involves showing the child a card, saying the word, and expecting the child to visually memorize that word by seeing it repeatedly. Part of the ...

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10 Errors I Made as an SWR Newbie — Part One

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The year was 1991, and I was teaching in a Special Education classroom for children with speech and language delays. When I considered how my K-3 students were doing in reading, I shuddered. The Whole Language approach our district had adopted was failing not only most of the students in the school but especially my precious language-delayed students. I desperately ...

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6 Tips to Encourage Reading Over the Summer

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With summer comes a change in routine from your regular school year. How can you encourage more reading in your household during this special time? What will help change things up a bit to get everyone on board? We’ve got SIX tips to help you meet those “Read More” goals.

VISIT THE LIBRARY

Spend time at the library, letting the kids explore different genres of books ...

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End of the Year – Part One

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Ah, summer sun, popsicles, time at the pool, and school books set aside for the summer. It’s that time again when teachers are preparing to wrap up their lessons in anticipation of the much-needed summer break. How does an SWR teacher know she’s covered enough material? What kind of assessments can she use to measure the student’s progress for the year? Let’s look at ...

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Making the Connection Between Spelling and Reading

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We are commonly asked, “Why is Spell to Write and Read called a reading program if we’re just teaching spelling?”

It’s important that you help your student see the direct connection between spelling and reading. These are the two ways we interact with our written language. Reading involves pulling the language out of the written code while spelling involves putting our language into the ...

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Spelling Dictation Faux Pas – Part Three

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Today’s post finishes our Spelling Dictation Faux Pas series.

Read Part One and Part Two here.

Let’s examine the last of the common teaching dictation errors that can slip into our presentation of new spelling words. To follow along, see your SWR book p. 75.

Faux Pas #11: Doing all the mental thinking for the student.

Engage him fully: have him identify syllable breaks, drive the ...

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Spelling Dictation Faux Pas – Part One

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The dictation process for teaching new spelling words is a critical part of the SWR method.

New spelling words are best put into the brain in the same manner they will be retrieved: drawing words from our brain to the paper. Most programs teach new spelling the opposite way: from paper (or tiles, magnets, etc.) to our brain. In SWR, however, the teacher guides the ...

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Six Tips for Learning During the Holidays

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Has the holiday rush put learning on the back burner? Here are six ways you can make sure your young student doesn’t lose momentum with his Language Arts skills while on a holiday break.

  1. Involve the Kids in Holiday Preparations — Young children can help with the cookie baking, setting the table, addressing envelopes for Christmas cards, and so much more. How special for Grandma ...
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How Penmanship Helps Phonics Learning

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“I know penmanship is important, but how does it tie into phonics instruction?”

English is a phonetic language. That means that the letters and groups of letters in words represent the sounds of our speech. When a child is taught to instantly recognize and to write the symbols (alphabet letters) that represent the sounds in his language, he can master the code we call written ...

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