Spelling and the science of reading

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Today’s guest blog is from Georgina Mavor, senior That Reading Thing trainer from Western Australia. Her background in psychology gives such depth to her work with students who struggle to read and write. I’m thrilled to be able to share her wisdom here. In That Spelling Thing workshops, most of our discussion … Read More

Everyday spelling in KS2, Secondary and Post-16

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That Spelling Thing is an evidence-based method using the ‘bones of English’ to support memory, ensure accuracy and increase vocabulary. Here are the steps to creating a classroom or even a whole school where everyone participates in spelling across the curriculum. As far as possible, let spelling words arise naturally from lessons. … Read More

Evaluating spelling strategies

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As so often, it started with a tweet when a teacher asked Does anyone have any tips or tricks for teaching pupils (read: me) how to remember the spelling of camouflage? At last count there were over 30 replies given by people self-described as KS3/4 teachers of physics, maths, English, French, science, … Read More

How to spell a final ‘ee’

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I asked some teachers what kind of errors their students make and this answer grabbed my attention: Forgetting simple rules – e.g. /ee/ at the end of a word is ‘y’, etc. My first thought was that some students might know words like ‘agree’ or ‘tea’ or monkey’ but lack the language … Read More

two, to, too – and what we can do about them

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Did anyone else have a poster like this in their earliest school experience? I can still remember gazing at it in Mrs. Churchland’s grade 1 classroom but it took me well beyond grade 1 to master the difference between ‘to’ and ‘too’ and to spell ‘two’. Today there are a lot of … Read More

How to teach spelling

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There is a big gap between sending home spelling lists and teaching spelling, but taking the time to close that gap is worth it in so many ways, not least for those students who will otherwise go through life saying “I can’t spell”. This photo, used by permission, was posted on a … Read More

Spelling Game versus Spelling Challenge

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Do you play spelling games in your classroom? If yes, do you use Scrabble tiles or similar? If you’re trying to help your students create a consistent spelling strategy which also supports word reading, be cautious with spelling games. If you’re playing games with letters rather than graphemes, you’re unlikely to make … Read More

Syllables and Spelling

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When you hear ‘syllables’, do you think about how a word appears in a dictionary? Or split across the lines in a book? Or do you think of ‘6 types of syllables’? In That Reading Thing we usually go with the descriptive syllable method with a slight tweak in favour of suffixes … Read More

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