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Hello Real Spellers!

I'm preparing for an on-line workshop and this great question from a teacher in Istanbul arrived in my mailbox. I'd like to show that we have a wide community of learners out there who I'm sure can help Greta with her quest to provide accurate instruction to her students. I'm offering a few quick thoughts, but please add any other ideas you can to help these word scientists.

By sharing our responses here, more teacher/student learners will be able to gain from the knowledge of the group. 

Here's Greta's question...


Dear Pete,

My Grade 1 class has been inquiring into words with single silent e. We have been creating hypothesis about the many jobs of the single silent e. They have been looking at no words ending in /v/ and each syllable having a vowel.

I am stuck on the explanation behind these words and I was hoping you could shed some light for me.. :

(Is it because some is a homophone for sum?)

Comment from Pete: Excellent hypothesis! You have certainly found a good reason for a distinct spelling. You are likely to find some useful information at this link of a similar question.


(is it because here connects to them?)

Wonderful! You know to think of related words when you are not sure and it has started you down a very productive path. Notice that these words here, there, where, are all about place and they all have homophones. Thus they all need a spelling to distinguish them from their homophones while it is also useful for them to share a spelling in common as they all link to the idea of "place". It seems to me that this is a perfect time for your class to explor the "early etymology themes" in Kit K of the Real Spelling Tool Box. 

Thank you,
Grade 1 , Istanbul


So glad to see you are not only exploring these questions with your Grade 1s, but that you are doing so with such good instincts! Don't forget to look in your Tool Box for cues once your hypotheses give you an idea of what to look for. If anyone has done some good lessons on these topics, please consider sharing them on this thread. 

If anyone needs help knowing how to share files, images from classrooms etc, I know Matt (Real Spellers host) is happy to help. Matt Berman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The more we share our learning, the more the group learns!



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