tion sion ssion cion cian

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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 … Read More

Creating a culture of spelling in your classroom

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There are two reasons for teaching spelling through a consistent approach like TST. The first is obviously to make sure students are spelling accurately but the second is equally important if not as obvious. It helps to create a culture of spelling in your classroom. It becomes a conversation rather than a … Read More

Spelling Test Advice for Parents and Teachers

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This post is based on a long twitter post @spelling_thing. If your child has a teacher who is sending home illogical or overwhelming spelling lists, please point them here. I’m happy to answer their questions and yours! ***************** A parent has asked me for some advice on what to do with a … Read More

Spelling words with ough

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This is a slightly modified excerpt from That Spelling Thing. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words and it worries people because <ough> words look so similar. However, by thinking in sounds and using the TST script, anxious spellers no longer have to … Read More

Spelling Complex Secondary Science Words

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Struggling spellers tend to think of short words as easy and long words as hard when it’s often the little words that require more memory. The best way to convince a student of this is to use the TST ‘building with puzzle pieces’ lesson rather than going right into spelling. Building is … Read More

Spelling Maths Vocabulary

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Leading a session with a group of secondary teachers from various departments, I boldly ask for words their students struggle to spell so I can show them how our strategies work. The maths teacher says, ‘isosceles’. Oh, super. Have I mentioned that I’m a normal speller? That Spelling Thing doesn’t come out … Read More

Spelling Mnemonics – how to spell ‘because’

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Here’s the second part of thinking about making up sentences as a way of remembering how to spell words. ‘Big elephants can always understand small elephants’ is by far the most popular one I’ve heard at all levels. What’s the alternative and why is it better? When you’ve got a word that … Read More

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