Category Archive: spelling

Spelling in a Writing Workshop

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The truth… I’d rather not talk about spelling. There are more important things in a writing workshop, than to talk about spelling. Spelling well is a good thing. When we edit what we write, it is profusely important, but it has nothing to do with growing a writer.
When we focus on spelling or grammar correctness, the growing writer becomes stifled.

Talking to Caregivers about Conventions and Spelling

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More than other skills, most caregivers tend to worry about spelling and conventions when it comes to their child’s writing. I get it. Those skills are right there at the tip of the writing iceberg. Those skills are concrete and obvious. Those skills are the ones that they recognize and know how to fix when they sit with their child. So how do we talk to caregivers about spelling and punctuation? Here are three ideas that you may find helpful. 

Words Don’t Make a Writer: Supporting Emergent Writers Who Are Not Yet Writing Words

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Are we putting additional stress and pressure on kids to write words? With purpose and joy, kids can go from compliance to engagement and become the kinds of writers who add words as powerful information to their books.

How a Portable Word Wall Can Help Your Students with Spelling

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Do you differentiate your students’ spelling lists by giving them personal spelling words? If so, you can take those lists a step further by providing them with portable word walls for their writing folder and/or for at-home use.

Three Reasons Spelling Lessons Aren’t Transferring into Writing Workshop–and What You Can Do

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The same kids who are successful with spelling patterns during word study time are sometimes not applying that spelling pattern to their independent writing. Why?

Super Spellers: Review + Giveaway

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How do you approach teaching writers to spell? Mark Weakland’s book Super Spellers: Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction might have some new insights for you!

Strategies to Support the Spelling Perfectionists in Your Classroom

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Many kids go through a perfectionist stage. They will sometimes freeze up, choose not to write, or select different, easier words to spell. Here’s what you can do.

Conventions & Presentation: Solving Predictable Problems

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Proper use of conventions and the aesthetics of writing pose unique challenges in an elementary writing workshop. Here are solutions to eight predictable problems you may be facing with your students.

Three Favorite Word Wall Games

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  A well-planned word wall allows students to quickly access familiar high frequency words from word study instruction. As they are writing, they can simply glance up, find the word, and continue to write. With… Continue reading

How to Use the Word Wall: From a Student Point-of-View

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A short and sweet reminder, from a student point-of-view.

Brave Spelling

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How can we encourage our youngest writers to use brave spelling? How can we help them overcome their fear of getting it wrong?

Give It Your Best Try…And Move On!

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If you are a young kid, and you are trying to spell a word, what do you do?

Spelling + Drafting + 2nd Grade Writers

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My oldest daughter is a second grader and a whiz at spelling.  Every Friday she brings home a list of “Word Wall” words for the upcoming week and asks me to “quiz” her.  She… Continue reading

Professional Talk: Differentiation in Word Study

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I recall hearing about differentiated spelling words, for students in Word Study, the first time I visited the school I taught at in Rhode Island.  I was unsure of how it would be… Continue reading

Personal Spelling Words

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Sarah wrote: I’m a little behind in your posts, but I was wondering if you would be willing to share the type of spelling program you use with your students? We have a… Continue reading

Fixing-Up Spelling in a Writer’s Notebook

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I created another video about one more spelling strategy a colleague told me about to help some of my struggling spellers with the words they frequently misspell in their writing. (I’m only going… Continue reading

Spelling Help

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Need to assist a student who has trouble spelling while writing? Watch this video for a practical tool/tip entitled “My Fast Word Fixer.”

Spelling Sites

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I tend not to focus much on spelling when I write about the teaching of writing. However, I’m well-aware that using conventions properly is extremely important. Each week, my students have eight personal… Continue reading

Instead of fixing my kids’ spelling errors…

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Minimal Marking Originally uploaded by teachergal I’m trying a Vopat Editing Technique called “Minimal Markings.” It’s basically where you put check marks in the margin of a student’s paper, which signals them that… Continue reading

Answering Questions

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You asked… we answer! Often when someone posts a question on a post, Ruth or I write back to them individually. However, we’ve received six questions in the past few days whose answers… Continue reading