Friday, July 26, 2013

Why can't my kids spell?

It's a problem.

 We all know how education swings up and down, left and right. Phonics. Whole language. Balanced reading. It's a wonderful thing to rethink, reinvent, and reevaluate how and what we teach. But happens in between the swings? What happens at the apex when we realize that things may have gone too far in one direction and we haven't turn back in correction?  Groups of kids miss whole blocks to their learning foundation.

 My daughters can't spell.

They have had amazing teachers, both of them every year. I know how amazing they are because I teach in the same district. I know their teachers as professionals as well as colleagues and friends. I also know the curriculum. I know why they can't spell.

 Our job is to fix holes, right? I'm starting to fix my holes my summer. The first step was to look at the very basic elements of my own spelling program. Our district does not have a good one. I've used bits and pieces, just like everyone else. No more.

A friend made me laugh the other day. A group of co-workers were having a beverage together the other night and she told me that she always thought that teachers had to know everything so that they could teach everyone. I giggled. Wouldn't that make us geniuses or something? We're regular people who have to keep brushing up and relearning the things we get rusty at.

I've created a ground-up series of lessons that address syllables and how to divide words into their basic chunks. Guess what I found out? I couldn't teach spelling very well because I didn't understand the rhythms of it myself. Now I'm starting to. I hope this might be able to help you, too. If not the lesson kit, then the admission that sometimes we don't know what we are doing and can't live up to our own standards. It's time to fill those holes.

Rules of Syllables has everything you need to teach dividing words into syllables for 3-5 grade.

 Each of the 11 lessons comes with an "I can" statement mini-poster (8.5 x 11), mini-anchor poster, large anchor poster components, practice activities and a guide for the lesson.

126 pages of pure syllable heaven! Each lesson is made to fit into a 15-30 minute word work block. 

How about you? Have you ever had a moment like this? Please share how you've fixed some holes in your own teaching. 

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