Here’s a new method for writing sheet music for piano that makes it easier to learn to play everyday songs. Traditional sheet music relies on symbols, scales and memorization, and can be difficult to learn and read, so this new notation uses visual cues by showing “fingers and hands” on keys.
For decades, more people seem to have considered themselves poor spellers than good spellers, despite the fact that most of us spell correctly the vast majority of the words we write. With spelling, we seem to expect that all of us should spell one hundred percent correctly, even on first drafts, and even as young children.
This article addresses teaching a student how to spell (correct written representation of our language). Accurate spelling is not an isolated skill limited to a student’s weekly spelling test or spelling bee competition. Spelling is one of the fundamental subskills of effective written communication. The vast majority of spelling occurs in real life applications to achieve communication objectives. The goal of spelling instruction should not be temporary memorization of words but rather the development of skills to be able to correctly represent our written language.
nformation about current spelling instructional practices
across the United States was sought in this national survey
with a random sample of teachers of grades 1 through
5. Respondents reported current practices and noted their
level of agreement or disagreement to theoretical statements
about spelling. Teachers responded to open-ended statements
regarding concerns and problems they encounter in teaching
spelling. The results suggest teachers rely on a traditional
model for instruction. They are aware of more recent research
on developmentally appropriate practice but do not necessarily
implement those ideas. Implications from this study include provision for professional development, examination of purchased materials in relation to theories of appropriate individual instruction, and support for teachers who want to change instruction to match their beliefs.
The student will understand the importance of accurate spelling as an aid to his reader’s understanding of what he has written. He will appreciate accurate spelling as a common courtesy to his reader.
I think I'll open a can of worms this week and declare that teachers should abandon the age-old practice of Friday spelling tests. You know the routine (because you went to elementary school, and it hasn't changed): students get new words on Monday, "practice" them during the week using various drills; they take a test on Friday, and then on Monday, misspell the words and all the other words that share that spelling feature.
The author’s experience with helping his granddaughters learn their spelling words led to a
review of the literature on spelling theory and instruction. The purpose of this review was to
answer the following questions: How should spelling words be chosen? Should spelling words
be taught and tested in the list format? Is there a problem with using the same word list for all students? And, finally, what strategies should be taught to develop more effective spellers? By examining and responding to these questions, the author delineates a list of key characteristics to effectively teach spelling.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share a ritual teachers can use with students to help them describe learning:
Cathy Mere believes we need to look beyond levels to consider social needs when grouping for instruction:
I started with the big idea: Learning is Social. With that in mind, I knew I would want my students to work in all different kinds of groupings. In the past, saying, "Get together in groups" took valuable time away from the instruction or task, and instead of making all feel included, often resulted in kids being left out until grudgingly accepted into a group, usually with me facilitating.
I’m sure like many of you reading this post; one of my passions is reading professional books on literacy. Reading the latest books that focus on best practices in literacy has helped me become a more effective teacher. Upon beginning another new school year, in a new building last year, I met a fellow teacher at my new school that shares the same passion as me. Our conversations always seemed to be about books, literacy, and the latest strategies in the teaching of literacy.
Students are sitting in circles, heads close together, excitedly talking about books, using the words, “I felt empathy when . . .” over and over again. The murmurs of purposeful conversations fill the room, and I can hear student talk that demonstrates an understanding for the hardships others endure. This is a breakthrough moment for our fifth-grade class.
In the education world, the term student-centered classroom is one we hear a lot. And many educators would agree that when it comes to 21st-century learning, having a student-centered classroom is certainly a best practice. Whether you instruct first grade or university students, take some time to think about where you are with creating a learning space where your students have ample voice, engage frequently with each other, and are given opportunities to make choices.
At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?
I know. That title kind of makes your heart skip a beat, doesn't it? Imagine how I felt when I read it in a National Council of Teachers of English conference program book, describing a session given by Ralph Fletcher. I went to the session filled with tremendous trepidation. I was so afraid that Ralph would say that we should not use mentor texts anymore. The good news is that he didn't. The bad news is that he said maybe we shouldn't be doing this: