Currently I privately tutor students who struggle with reading and spelling. Up until six months ago when I first learned about Real Spelling, my tutoring practices revolved around a phonologically-driven program. With a new student beginning tutoring and his mother on board with a Real Spelling approach, I can share with this bright, garden-plotting, pond-digging boy words like <garden>, <gardenia> (Thanks Gail!), as well as <gardener>, and <gardening> from the beginning rather than first slogging through lessons limited to monosyllables. When he comes, he can choose the book I read to him (Curious George is his favorite.) and the text will provide words to investigate with a word web, matrix, word sums, homophones, and dialogue.

At this point in the thought process, I begin to panic as I question myself, "Then what? How do we practice specific concepts?" In the past, my tutoring typically would consist of introducing a concept, the student reading and spelling words, (and doing the same with nonsense words, although not anymore!), and then reading and spelling phrases and sentences with the lesson winding up with the student reading a brief "story" to me--all of this leveled text.

How might a tutor working one-on-one with a student using RS/SWI enable the student to solidify the concept(s) and show they have a real understanding in that they can apply their understanding to other reading and spelling situations?

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