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’ – phonics and morphology – to support memory, ensure accuracy and increase vocabulary. Below are the steps to spelling that frame our CPD sessions. Spelling is a vast subject which, if taught on a word-by-word basis, can feel overwhelming. Instead, … Read More

Evidence informed spelling

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What follows is for professionals who are offering phonics advice to parents and/or teachers. Please check all your content, especially when stated as ‘rules’, against a credible source, i.e. make it ‘evidence based’. Errors happen and I depend on people to be gracious when they spot mine, but the example below is … Read More

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

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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Note: This is something to try only with older learners who have struggled for years to remember the difference between ‘to’ and ‘too’. It’s not an initial introduction! It’s quite beautiful when it works but requires a good long discussion and lots of testing out together. It absolutely must be done out … 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

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