Words within words – an ineffective spelling strategy

Words in words blog post

It is not uncommon for reading interventionists to encounter students who try to use words within words as a spelling strategy. Some teachers may think that helping students remember how to spell a word that they can already spell, e.g., the word ‘hat’, may be useful to teach the word ‘that’. They then teach the […]

Read More

What’s in a name?

Ch ar l ie

If asked, many early years and special school teachers would probably say that one of the first things children should learn is to recognise, and later write, their name. One single word, yet many children seem to find this difficult and it can take a surprisingly long time to achieve. The main reason for this […]

Read More

Making good use of spelling tests

Spelling test

“My child gets 10/10 on their spelling tests but then forgets their spellings when free writing.” This is a statement that I often hear from parents. In schools, children typically get a weekly spelling list which they practise and then get tested on at a single word level. The next week, they receive a new […]

Read More

Homophones – what to do about them?

What are homophones? Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. The word ‘homophone’ has a Greek origin: ‘Homo’ meaning ‘same’ and ‘phone’ meaning ‘sound’. So, the word ‘homophone’ means same-sounding words that have different meanings. Some homophones have the same spellings: for example, the words ‘row’ as in ‘to row a […]

Read More

What is a schwa sound?

What is a schwa sound? And, did you know it is the most common sound in the English language? A schwa sound is a weak vowel sound in an unstressed syllable. Here is an explanation: Most multisyllabic words in English are pronounced with a stress on one syllable. Take the word ‘chicken’ the stress in […]

Read More

The reversible code

There is nothing as rewarding as seeing the grin on a young reader’s face when they have just written a word that they can read and what’s more – you can read! The discovery that the squiggles on the white board can always be read by anyone at anytime is a huge “Ah ha!” moment […]

Read More

Should we teach spelling in the digital age?

Teaching spelling in the digital age

Many children struggle with spelling. Is it important to teach them how to spell in the digital age when ‘Spell Check’ is there to help? The answer is ‘yes’. Why? Firstly, because at present Spell Check makes errors, as do voice recognition tools. Spell check may offer homophone or spelling options – but can students […]

Read More

Thumbs up for READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK!

So, we are resuming our campaign to change the way teachers send home spelling lists every week using the LOOK, WRITE, COVER, CHECK approach. Why doesn’t it work with so many children? Many children have a poor visual memory and as hard as they try, they cannot remember the shape of the word. This is […]

Read More

READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK – a better way to teach spelling

This year I have a number of students in Years 5 and 6 who are fluent readers. Their problem is spelling. Typically they may spell a word with all the correct letters that are in the wrong order, e.g., ‘nitgh’ for ‘night’. Children in Years 5 and 6 in the UK are expected to be […]

Read More

UK schools & organisations wishing to order by invoice, please read the information regarding our new process. Dismiss