Click here for a document sharing ideas for school-wide structured word inquiries.

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Background

There are two launching pads for school-wide structured word inquiries that I have long pointed to at my workshops. One was created and modelled by the great Jen Munnerlyn at her school in Abu Dhabi which used the Real Spelling Theme "Learning from Love". She has created videos of her lessons from K-5 based on this same theme.

After a hearing a crushing story about a teacher trying valiently to help a Grade 4 student make sense of the spelling of <know>, but having no training to support understanding of this spelling, I was determined to create a series of lessons that build on foundational orthographic concepts that can be taught via studying this spelling.

Each of these resources support schools that might consider having an entire elementary section study spelling from the same word at the same time. 

A different but related type of investgation happened organically at a Riffa Views International School when a Grade 2 student asked about the spelling of the word <come>. The teacher made use of her lack of understanding of this spelling to turn this into the spark for a brilliant inquiry-led teaching episode that resulted in rich discussions here in Real Spellers. It also resulted in a presentation to the entire school community about their findings through the scientific learning that this team of student and teachers took as a result  of a simple question from a Grade 2 student about such an every-day word. 

Sparked by the fact that many educators have recently been introduced to structured word inquiry at a series of school workshops and conferences, I have created this document to help schools get started with the process of building their teachers' and students' understanding of English spelling and how it can be taught. 

If you find these ideas prompt interesting work and/or questions in your school, please share in the comments on this post!

 

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