By Randi Anderson
Summer is a great time to connect with your kids through playing games. Games are a brain changer! Jane McGonigal's book Reality is Broken, gives us insight into why games are powerful. She says that games are an escape from reality and challenges motivate us.
During the past 20 years, much research has been conducted on strategies that proficient spellers use. Proficient spelling is linked to the ability to detect and isolate sounds heard in words (called phonemic awareness) and match the sound or sounds to the letter or letter patterns (known as grapho-phonemic knowledge) that most closely matches the sounds. As students progress through elementary school, they develop strategies for spelling and an awareness of misspelled words.
3 basic strategies to spell words are:
If I had to pick one multi-level strategy that builds my students’ decoding and spelling fluency activity to do weekly, I’d pick “Making Words” the Pat Cunningham strategy. I first started using this strategy with my 1st and 2nd graders in 1994. I have adapted Cunningham’s versions just a tad to include explicit practice in phonemic awareness. This strategy is a great cumulative review of the systematic sequence of learning letter sounds and patterns. It really helps struggling students, especially those who may be at risk for dyslexia, to see the impact of the vowel placement within a syllable or a word. The tactile nature and higher order thinking that is required helps the decoding and spelling knowledge to stick.