Word Study Activities:
Bringing Spelling Research into Practice
For Kindergarten Teachers
For Primary Teachers
For Junior Teachers
For Special Ed. Teachers *separate workshops
In a recent study on teacher knowledge about phonics*, many teachers could correctly answer only about half of the multiple-choice items (e.g., how many phonemes are in the word box - answer: 4). However, the better teachers did on this assessment, the more effective was their explicit decoding instruction.
For teachers who answered about half of the items correctly, their decoding instruction had no effect on students’ reading skills gains. Unfortunately, when teachers answered less than half of the items correctly, the more they taught explicit decoding, the worse were their students reading skill gains. This is because they were teaching the concepts incorrectly.
In another study about Early Childhood Educators' knowledge of early literacy development"**, identification of phonemes also proved to be problematic with inaccuracy rates ranging from 40-85%. These basic literacy skills link closely with reading achievement. It was recommended that teachers receive systematic and ongoing professional development to increase their knowledge of phonological awareness and its crucial role in literacy development.
In this workshop, Martha will help teachers turn what is often our greatest weakness - word study - into our greatest strength by demonstrating how to teach the following word study skills through play-based activities that incorporate differentiated instruction:
Phonological Awareness Elements
Individual Sounds (Phonemic Awareness)
The Structure of English - Basic Elements
The Alphabet: letter names/sounds, consonant digraphs
Short Vowels (cvc)
Closed Syllables with initial and end blends (ccvc, cvcc, cccvcc, etc.)
Closed-Closed Syllable Division Rules
Patterns ending in ...ng, ...nk
Silent e Syllables
Vowel Team Syllables
More Syllable Division Rules
Y as a vowel (long e/i/short i)
When to use ck, dge, tch
Soft/hard 'c' and 'g'
1-1-1-v Doubling Rule
Take off the e Rule
y to i Rule
Greek Combining Forms
*Piasta, S. B., Connor, C. M., Fishman, B., & Morrrison, F. J. (2009). Teachers’ knowledge of literacy, classroom practices, and student reading growth. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13(3), 224-248.
**Crim, Hawkins, Thornton, Rosof, Copley, & Thomas (Spring 2008). Early Childhood Educators' Knowledge of Early Literacy Development. Issues in Teacher Education, 17-30.
Morphology: The study of the meanings of
larger chunks of words
Note that Word Study is more like training, rather than a workshop format as ongoing sessions are required to cover the material.
"We are gathered here because this is a very special celebration, and a season that makes us helpful - a season that grows fruit and trees."