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Posts Tagged ‘syllable rules’

Six Simple Steps to Teaching Spelling

Grades 4-8 spelling instruction was once relegated to editing stage of the writing process by some Writers Workshop purists. The Common Core authors would seem to concur. From grade 5 on up, the only Spelling Standards read as follows: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.2e ; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.2e Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.2b ; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.2b ; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.2b Spell correctly.

However, many veteran grades 4-8 teachers still teach spelling, especially in terms of spelling patterns, conventional spelling rules, derivational and etymological influences, accent placements and vowel shifts because they know how structural word analysis facilitates proper use of our language, better reading comprehension, and improved writing.

Plus, when you know your students still can’t spell the there, their, and they’re words, someone’s gotta teach ’em!

So, what’s the most efficient, research-based methodology to teach spelling in the fewest number of instructional minutes per week?

Six Simple Steps to Teaching Spelling:

Monday

1. Administer a weekly diagnostic pretest of 20 words based upon a focus spelling pattern: not a silly holidays, colors, or “ed” word themed list. Check out my grades 4-8 spelling patterns instructional scope and sequence for guidance. Briefly explain the weekly spelling pattern with examples. Display the spelling words and direct students to self-correct their spelling errors by circling the misspelled sound-spellings.

Tuesday

2. Have students create their own Personal Spelling List of 10 unknown words. Students complete the Personal Spelling List in this priority order:

  • Pretest Errors: Have students write the spelling words they missed on the diagnostic pretest.
  • Posttest Errors: Have students write the words they missed on the last posttest.
  • Writing Errors: Have students add on teacher-corrected spelling errors found in their own writing.
  • Supplemental Spelling Lists: Students add on unknown words from non-phonetic outlaw words, commonly confused homonyms, spelling demons, and high frequency lists. I provide these in my spelling programs or teachers can simply do a web search to find appropriate lists for your students.

Wednesday

3. Create or purchase (Yes, my program has them) a spelling sort based upon the spelling pattern. Students complete the sort and self-correct to learn from their own mistakes.

Thursday

4. Individualize Spelling Instruction

  • Administer a spelling patterns diagnostic assessment, not a random sample spelling inventory. Feel free to use my 102 word Diagnostic Spelling Assessment and recording matrix for each student, post the matrix and print the number of Spelling Pattern Worksheets according to the results and amount of students in your class. Here’s an audio version to make you really love this assessment 🙂
  • Print the answers to these worksheets in a half-dozen Answer Booklets.
  • Students complete a worksheet, self-correct and edit the practice section, and then complete the formative assessment at the bottom of each worksheet. Want to see some samples? Download the following six Spelling Pattern Worksheets including short schwa, long schwa, “_able,” “_ible,” “_ant-ance-ancy,” and “_ent-ence-ency”  spelling patterns (with answers).

Get the Spelling Pattern Worksheets FREE Resource:

  • Students mini-conference about the spelling pattern focus of the worksheet. If the student has mastered the spelling pattern in the formative assessment, direct the student to X-out the slash on the matrix and assign points. If the formative assessment indicates that the student has not yet mastered the spelling pattern, re-teach the pattern and tell the student to re-do the formative assessment.
  • 5. Students study their Personal Spelling List(s) for the spelling formative posttest for homework.

    Friday

    6. Administer a weekly or bi-weekly posttest. Many teachers elect to give the spelling posttest at the end of the week; others choose to combine two spelling patterns lessons and include these as part of the bi-weekly unit test. I give a bi-weekly test of two Personal Spelling Lists to save class time. There is no law, nor research, saying that you have to test each Friday.To administer the weekly or bi-weekly posttest, direct students to take out a piece of binder paper, find a partner, and exchange dictation of their Personal Spelling List(s) words (10‒20 Minutes weekly or bi-weekly). Students then turn in their posttests for the teacher to grade. I know… you think they’ll cheat. In my experience, very few do. Also… this works with second graders (I’ve done it) on up.

    The author’s Differentiated Spelling Instruction provides quality spelling programs for grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Following are the program components:

    Pennington Publishing's Differentiated Spelling Instruction

    Differentiated Spelling Instruction

    • Diagnostic Spelling Assessment: a comprehensive test of each previous grade level spelling pattern to determine what students know and what they don’t know with Spelling Assessment Mastery Matrix
    • 102 Remedial Sound-Spelling Worksheets Corresponding to the Diagnostic Spelling Assessment (Grade 8… other grade levels have fewer to correspond with grade-level spellings. All grade levels use the same diagnostic assessment.)
    • Weekly Diagnostic Spelling Tests
    • Weekly Spelling Sort Worksheets for Each Spelling Pattern (with answers) formatted for classroom display. Students self-correct to learn from their own mistakes.
    • Syllable Transformers and Syllable Blending formatted for classroom display and interactive instruction
    • Syllable Worksheets (with answers) formatted for classroom display
    • Four Formative Assessments (given after 7 weeks of instruction)
    • Summative Assessment
    • Spelling Teaching Resources: How to Study Spelling Words, Spelling Proofreading Strategies for Stories and Essays, Syllable and Accent Rules, Outlaw Words, 450 Most Frequently Used Words, 100 Most Often Misspelled Words, 70 Most Commonly Confused Words, Eight Great Spelling Rules, Memory Songs and Raps (with Mp3 links), and Spelling Review Games

    Read one of our customer testimonials: “I work with a large ELL population at my school and was not happy with the weekly spelling tests, etc. Through my research in best practices, I know that spelling patterns and word study are so important at this age group. However, I just couldn’t find anything out there that combines the two. We have just adopted RtI at my school and your spelling matrix is a great tool for documentation. The grade level spelling program and remediation are perfect for my students.”

    Heidi

    Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , ,

    How to Teach English Accent Rules

    There no doubt will be yuge and bigly changes in Ginah under President Trump. And let’s just say that Alec Baldwin will have job security impersonating him if he so chooses. Of course, Donald is not the only one who mispronounces words. In fact, I gathered a list of them for my article titled Top 40 Pronunciation Peeves. You no doubt have your own mispronunciations. I, myself, know it’s “pro-bab-ly,” but I can’t stop saying “prob-ly.”

    Teaching students the syllable and accent rules through effective practice will noticeably improve their word attack and spelling skills. The accent rules and teaching procedure work well for both primary English speakers and English language-learners at all grade levels.

    How to Teach English Accent Rules

    1. Teach students that every syllable has one vowel sound.
    2. Teach students the syllable patterns. Teaching inductively from examples to rules works much better than the converse strategy. My nonsense syllable transformers are ideal for teaching the basic syllable patterns. Check out Teaching Reading Strategies.
    3. Show students how accented syllables are louder than others in the same word. Stand in front of students with one hand at your side. State your title (Mr. Miss, Ms. or Mrs.) or your first name as a verbal cue and then snap and clap the syllables of your last name slowly. A snap indicates the unaccented syllable and a clap indicates the accented syllable. Don’t clap more than once in your last name even if there is a secondary accent. Save this instruction for high school. Note: For primary students, you may wish to substitute a thigh tap for the snap. Tell older students to fake the snap if they can’t do it. If your last name is only one syllable, e.g. Smith, adopt a pseudonym.

    Ask students do the same, cueing them with your title. Repeat a bit faster and then once more quite quickly so that students are blending your last name. Ask for a few student volunteers to demonstrate with their last names. The teacher should cue with their first names.

      1. Show students how accented syllables are higher than others in the same word. Stand in front of students with one hand at your side. State your title (Mr. Miss, Ms. or Mrs.) or your first name as a verbal cue and then swipe and hold your hand away from your body to indicate the pitch of each syllable as you pronounce your last name. For example, Say, “Mister…” (hand at side) “Pen” (high pitch; hand swiping to and held at a ninety degree angle) “ning” (low pitch; hand swiping lower and held at forty-five degree angle) “ton” (low pitch; hand swiping again and held at same forty-five degree angle). “Pen-ning-ton. Pennington.” Ask students to stand and do the same, cueing them with your title. Repeat a bit faster and then once more quite quickly so that students are blending your last name. Ask for a few student volunteers to demonstrate with their last names. The teacher should cue with their first names.
      2. Practice the louder and higher syllable accenting with the 10 Accent Rules. Download this great resource!

    Get the Accent Rules FREE Resource:

    The author’s Teaching Reading Strategies is designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult

    Pennington Publishing's Teaching Reading Strategies

    Teaching Reading Strategies

    within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

    Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

    Decodable Sam and Friends Phonics Books

    Sam and Friends Take-home Phonics Books

    Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , ,

    Free Structural Analysis, Syllabication & Oral Language Resources

    Word study is crucial to effective reading and spelling instruction. Knowing the structural components of words, including roots, affixes, and grammatical inflections will help your students read with greater understanding and less fear of multi-syllabic words. Studying how words are put together will help your students properly pronounce words. Learning the parts of words will help your student improve their vocabulary. Practicing the rules and patterns of word formation will help your students become better spellers. Oh yes… using the skills of word analysis will also help your students perform better on standardized English-language arts and reading tests.

    Following are articles, free resources, and teaching tips regarding structural analysis, syllabication, and oral language development from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Also, check out the quality instructional programs and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

    Structural Analysis, Syllabication, and Oral Language

    Ten English Accent Rules

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/ten-english-accent-rules/

    The Ten English Accent Rules are important to understand and apply to be able to correctly pronounce and spell English words.

    How to Teach English Accent Rules

    http://blog.penningtonpublishing.com/reading/how-to-teach-english-accent-rules/

    Teaching students the syllable and accent rules through effective practice will noticeably improve their word attack and spelling skills. The accent rules and teaching procedure work well for both primary English speakers and English language-learners at all grade levels.

    The Top Ten Syllable Rules

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/tag/syllable-division/

    The Top Ten Syllable Rules will help students improve reading, pronunciation, and spelling accuracy. Applying these basic syllabication rules will also help readers identify prefixes, roots, and affixes, which improves word identification. Clear examples follow each syllable rule.

    How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-syllabication-the-syllable-rules/

    How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules is a three-minute whole-class instructional strategy that teaches students to properly pronounce and spell all of the phonetic sound-spelling and syllable patterns.

    Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/twenty-advanced-syllable-rules/

    The Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules are critical to accurate pronunciation, decoding, and spelling. Knowing the patterns of affixes and roots will also facilitate vocabulary acquisition.

    20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/20-embarrassing-mispronunciations/

    Educated Americans often look down their long noses at those who mispronounce common words. However, even these literary illuminati have their fair share of embarrassing pronunciation gaffes.

    Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/top-40-pronunciation-pet-peeves/

    Here is the definitive list of the Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves that drive Americans crazy. Read, laugh, and cringe over mistakes that you or your friends make when saying these words.

    More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading

    Pennington Publishing's Teaching Reading Strategies

    Teaching Reading Strategies

    abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

    Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

    Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Ten English Accent Rules

    Most teachers are unfamiliar with the role that pronunciation plays in orthography (the study of spelling rules). Key to proper pronunciation is the accent. The accent is the stress placed in varying degrees upon the vowel sounds in syllables. The primary accent refers to the vowel sound with the greatest “punch” or “stress.” A good way to teach accents is to have students clap on the accented syllable and snap on the unaccented syllables. Teachers may choose to add on secondary accents; however, these have minimal influences on pronunciation and spelling. Check out How to Teach Syllabication after you skim through this helpful list of accent rules. The Ten English Accent Rules are important to understand and apply to be able to correctly pronounce and spell English words.

    Accent Rule #1: Each word with two or more syllables has one syllable whose vowel is accented. For example, for-gét. Accents are very important to spelling rules. Accented means that the sound of that vowel is stressed, or louder, than those in other syllables.

    Accent Rule #2: A long word may have more than one accent. The vowel that is stressed more or most is called the primary accent. The primary accent is key to many of the spelling rules. A second accented vowel is called the secondary accent.  For example, cón-ver-sá-tion. Very long words can have even more stressed vowel sounds, but only one primary accent.

    Accent Rule #3: The primary accent is usually on the root before a double consonant. For example, for-gét-ting.

    Accent Rule #4: Unaccented vowel sounds frequently have the soft /uh/ schwa sound, especially when there is only one letter in the syllable. All vowels can have the schwa sound. For example, the a in a-boút.

    Accent Rule #5: The primary accent is usually on the first syllable in two-syllable words. For example, páy-ment.

    Accent Rule #6: The primary accent is usually on the second syllable of two-syllable words that have a prefix in the first syllable and a root in the second syllable. For example, dis-tráct.

    Accent Rule #7: For two-syllable words that act as both nouns and verbs, the primary accent is usually on the prefix (first syllable) of the noun and on the root (second syllable) of the verb. For example, pró-duce as a noun; pro-dúce as a verb.

    Accent Rule #8: The primary accent is usually on the first syllable in three-syllable words, if that syllable is a root. For example, chár-ac-ter.

    Accent Rule #9: The primary accent is usually on the second  syllable in three-syllable words that are formed by a prefix-root-suffix. For example, in-vést-ment.

    Accent Rule #10: The primary accent is usually on the second  syllable in four-syllable words. For example, in-tél-li-gent.

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

    Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

    Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

    Pennington Publishing's Teaching Reading Strategies

    Teaching Reading Strategies

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations

    In a previous article I shared my Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves. As an author of a reading intervention program and five grade-level spelling programs, I am constantly reminded about how inaccurate pronunciation contributes to inaccurate spelling. As Trump would say, “This article is just YUGE.”

    See if you have mangled a “sill-ab-bull” or two, as George Bush used to say, on the ones that I have mispronounced. This list of 20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations is sure to bring snooty literary folks down to size

    1. Barbiturate is pronounced “bar-bich-ur-it,” not “bar-bit-u-et.” [When did they sneak that r in?]
    2. Barbed wire is pronounced “barbd wire,” not “bob wire.” [I thought Bob must have been a fencer.]
    3. Hierarchy is pronounced “hi-er-ark-ee,” not “hi-ark-ee.” [I’m used to the ie as one sound, I guess.]
    4. Jewelry is pronounced “jewl-ree,” not “jew-ler-ee.” [Obviously, my wife buys her own.]
    5. Liable is pronounced “lie-uh-bul,” not “lie-bul.” [One is liable for libel, however.]
    6. Nuptial is pronounced “nup-shul,” not “nup-chew-ul.” [I’ve never heard this pronounced correctly.]
    7. Ophthalmology is pronounced “off-thuh-maw-lah-ge,” not “op-tho-maw-lo-ge.” [Better clean your eyeglasses on this one.]
    8. Orient is pronounced “or-e-ent,” not “or-e-en-tate.” [No, it’s not interpretate either.]
    9. Ostensibly is pronounced “os-ten-si-blee,” not “ob-ten-sive-lee.” [I bet I’ve looked this one up 20 times.]
    10. Potable is pronounced “po-tuh-bul,” not “pot-uh-bul.” [And I am an avid backpacker with my own water filter]
    11. Prerogative is pronounced “pre-rog-uh-tive,” not “per-rog-uh-tiv.” [If you ask me to pronounce this one tomorrow, I might get it wrong.]
    12. Prescription is pronounced “pre-scrip-shun,” not “per-scrip-shun.” [Both would make sense in the Latin, I think.]
    13. Peremptory is pronounced “puh-rem-tor-ee,” not “pre-emt-or-ee.” [You don’t believe this one, do you? Bet you’ll look it up.]
    14. Prostate is pronounced “prah-state,” not “pros-strate.” [Unless you meaning lying down-guess you know my age now…]
    15. Realtor® is pronounced “reel-tor,” not “reel-uh-tor.” [It sounds horrible the right way.]
    16. Recur is pronounced “re-cur,” not “re-o-cur.” [Means to run again, not happen again]
    17. Supremacist is pronounced “su-prem-uh-sist,” not “su-prem-ist.” [Guess I just don’t want to give these folks another syllable]
    18. Verbiage is pronounced “ver-be-ij,” not “ver-bij.” [We never changed this one from our British cousins.]
    19. Voluptuous is pronounced “vo-lup-chew-us,” not “vo-lump-chew-us.” [The lump just sounds more full-figured.]
    20. Zoology is pronounced “zo-ah-lo-ge,” not “zoo-ah-lo-ge.” [Think I’ll just go on mispronouncing this one because it just makes better sense]

    Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading

    Pennington Publishing's Teaching Reading Strategies

    Teaching Reading Strategies

    abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

    Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

    Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

    Mark has also authored the five grade-level Differentiated Spelling Instruction programs.

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules

    As beginning readers begin to recognize the connection between speech sounds and letters (phonemic awareness), use the alphabetic code to begin sounding out and blending letter sounds (phonics), and write down the letters to represent those sounds (spelling), they also begin to recognize certain patterns in single-syllable words.

    Precocious Paula notices that some sounds are used more than others: long and short vowels more than consonants. In fact, Paula observes that the teacher always writes the letters representing these sounds in different colors than the consonants.  She also sees that the charts on the walls have these same colors. Bonus-year Bobby notices that every word that his teacher writes has at least one of those vowel spellings. Already-reading Alma may even ask why one vowel sound can have more than one spelling. Conforming Carl may be upset that you won’t let him sound out the teacher’s list of Outlaw Words (non-phonetic sight words).

    In other words, through implicit or explicit instruction/practice, children will begin to develop recognition of syllable patterns. As more complex stories and advanced instruction layer in multi-syllabic words, most students identify these syllable patterns and apply this knowledge in their reading and writing. About 80% of students at the end of third grade can readily identify syllables and use this knowledge to guide their reading and writing (of course a higher percentage in some schools and a lower percentage in others).

    Multi-syllabic decoding (phonics) and encoding (spelling) are the keys to the kingdoms of reading fluency and academic vocabulary. Reading multi-syllabic words is also a fundamental skill required for the new genres of reading that most students begin in 4th grade: their expository history and science texts.

    The 80% require practice and refinement of skills to develop automaticity in reading and writing. The 20% require differentiated instruction: some on basic phonemic awareness, some on the decoding, some on the encoding, some on common sight words. Following is an instructional strategy that will scratch both the 80% and 20% itches. The scratch will provide permanent relief to the former, but only temporary relief to the latter; however, instructional strategies that accomplish both at the same time and certainly worth using.

    Spelling Transformers Syllabication Strategy Sample Attachment

    Time: The Spelling Transformers whole-class activity takes only three minutes of concentrated, whole class practice, twice per week.

    Who Benefits: The instructional activity is beneficial for remedial, grade-level, and accelerated readers and spellers  ages seven and older.

    Instructional Objectives: Over the year, students will learn to apply each of the Syllable Rules and all of the phonetic patterns in their reading and spelling.

    Tactics: Rather than an inductive “Here are the rules-with examples-now apply them” approach, students practice many examples of each syllable pattern to achieve mastery of that pattern. The syllable patterns are taught, using nonsense syllables  because students ages seven and older have extensive sight word vocabularies, which can interfere with learning how changes in spelling affect pronunciation and syllabication.

    Materials/Preparation: The Spelling Transformers activity is designed to use the overhead projector, Smart BOARD®, or LCD projector. Make a card with one corner cut off as a rectangle to isolate each word part (see Sample Attachment) and cut a bottom flap to more easily slide the card on the transparency. Develop nonsense word lists that correspond to the Syllable Rules and follow the instructional phonetic pattern of short vowels, consonants, long vowels, consonant blends, silent final “e,” vowel digraphs, and vowel diphthongs (see Sample Attachment). Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary has 17 such lists ready for your projector.

    Directions: Teach students to respond out loud, whole class, as soon as the nonsense syllable is isolated on the projector. Tell students that they must pronounce each syllable out loud, and not just whisper. Continue at a rapid pace for three minutes. Formatively assess student progress and repeat difficult transformers. When students have universally mastered the syllable pattern, explain the relevant rule and then move on to the next syllable rule.

    For the Spelling Transformers syllabication activity and more, check out… Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

    Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

    Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

    Pennington Publishing's Teaching Reading Strategies

    Teaching Reading Strategies

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Effective Spelling Practice

    My last post discussed the role of the diagnostic pre-test as part of a balanced spelling program. I provided links for spelling word lists, including Vowel Sound-Spelling Patterns (for primary or remedial spellers), Outlaw Words (non-phonetic words), Dolch High Frequency Words, Commonly Confused Words, and the Eight Conventional Spelling Rules . I suggested that summer would be the best time to assess the spelling of your children to prepare for fall instruction and offered an essential resource: the comprehensive Diagnostic Spelling Assessment.

    As I previously mentioned, each of the six posts will begin with a brief reflection about the instructional spelling component, follow with a rationale for teaching that component, and finish with some free instructional spelling resources. The components of each of the six posts are as follows:

    1. Diagnostic Assessment 2. Sound-Spellings 3. Spelling Rules
    4. Spelling Lists and Tests 5. Spelling Practice 6. Integrated Spelling and Vocabulary.

    This week we explore how to use appropriate spelling practice as part of a balanced spelling program.

    Reflection

    □ I provide opportunities for students to practice words missed on the diagnostic pre-test.

    □ I provide both memorization and writing practice for spelling words.

    □ I connect spelling practice to structural analysis of the words.

    □ I integrate spelling and vocabulary instruction in our practice.

    Rationale

    Effective spelling practice is not exclusively memorization. Good spelling practice connects to language development, vocabulary, structural analysis, auditory processing, and writing.

    Language Development

    The ways that words are spelled are determined by etymological influences. For example, the British spell the /er/ as “re” in theatre, while Americans spell the /er/ as “er” in theater. The ways that words are spelled are also determined by derivational influences. For example, the “ch” spelling in Greek has a hard /k/ sound, so the word chorus is spelled accordingly.

    Vocabulary

    The ways that words are spelled are often determined by the morphemes (words parts with meaning). For example, we spell emigrate because the prefix e means “out of,” while we spell immigrate because the prefix means “in or into.”

    Structural Analysis

    The ways that words are spelled are further determined by structural issues. For example, we spell begin with one n, but beginning with two n’s because of the consonant doubling rule. We pronounce unaccented vowels with the schwa sound in multi-syllabic words.

    Auditory Processing

    Spelling is an auditory skill, not a visual one. We “encode” the sounds we hear into the written alphabetic code. Good spelling practice involves syllabication rules, oral blending, and word fluency.

    Writing

    We spell in order to write coherently. Students need to practice effectively proofreading to catch inadvertent spelling errors.

    Spelling Resources

    Language Development

    http://www.etymonline.com/ and http://www.yourdictionary.com/

    Vocabulary

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-we-learn-vocabulary-from-word-parts-part-iv/

    Structural Analysis

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/tag/syllable-division/

    Auditory Processing

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-do-sound-by-sound-spelling-blending/

    Writing

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/8-proofreading-tips-and-techniques/

    In next week’s How to Teach Spelling Part VI, we’ll deal with the fifth P-Post-test and have more resources to integrate spelling and vocabulary instruction.

    The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics and include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out the YouTube introductory video of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) program.

    The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).

    Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)
    Grades 4-8 Programs

    Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves

    Everyone misuses a word now and then. Correct word choice is determined not only by denotation (Websters says…), but also by connotation. Connotation refers to common usage which influences degree, slant, or feeling of a word. For example, the words march and amble each denotatively mean “to walk.” However, most of us would agree that marching down a road would be less enjoyable than ambling down that same road.

    Many times we get close to using the right word, verbally or in print, but not close enough. Words with similar sounds are often confused. For example, affect and effect sound similar and even have related meanings. Affect means to influence; while effect is to produce as a result.

    Of course, in addition to misused vocabulary words, there are also grammatical abuses, such as nouns used as verbs, e.g., loan instead of lend [Will you loan me some money?] We also use redundancies, such as irregardless or ATM machine. We misapply expressions, such as for all intensive purposes or idioms, such as waiting on. We create our own words, such as flusticated or conversate. We also change the meaning of words through common consensus. Who would have thought that bad can now mean something good?

    Although Americans tolerate some vocabulary abuse, they are righteously indignant about the misuse of other words. Here, in no particular order, are the Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves that surely constitute the greatest pet peeves among American wordsmiths. Also, make sure to check out the Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves and the Top 40 Grammar Pet Peeves. Find out everything you mispronounce and your grammatical mistakes before “You-Know-Who” points them out to you.

    1. Anxious means to worry, not to be eager. [So, you probably are not anxious to go on vacation.]
    2. Exaggerate means to magnify, not to go beyond. [So, you can’t exaggerate how little your pay is.]
    3. Imply means to suggest, not to conclude as with infer. [So, you don’t imply what the author says.]
    4. Between means in the place separating two objects, not three or more objects as with among. [So, you won’t choose between oranges, apples, and watermelons.]
    5. Unique means being the only one of its kind, not something that is special. [So, you don’t describe the sunset as unique.]
    6. Relevant means pertinent, not popular. [So, a movie is not relevant and fun.]
    7. Allot means to distribute, not a lot of something. [So, you don’t eat allot of ice cream, but you could allot me a scoop or two.]
    8. Literally means exactly what the word means or how the author intends; it does not mean truthfully. [So, your mother-in-law is probably not literally crazy.]
    9. Unbelievable means something that cannot be trusted, not something that is amazing. [So, the unbelievable savings really should be believable, if you intend to buy.]
    10. Awesome means something that is revered or dreaded, not something that is good. [So, the pumpkin pie really isn’t awesome, unless you worship Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin.]
    11. Reticent means silent or reserved, not unwilling. [So, you probably are not reticent to go out to dinner with a client.]
    12. Accept means to receive willingly, not except, which means to exclude. [So, you wouldn’t say “I would like him, accept for his body odor.]
    13. Already means having done before; it does not mean all ready. [So, your friends could be already all ready to leave.]
    14. Capitol means the legislative building, not an upper case letter or an amount of money to invest. [So, you don’t declare your capitol gains.]
    15. Complement means something that completes, not something that goes along with or provides praise. [So, your striped shirt does not complement your polka dotted pants.]
    16. Principal means the highest rank, not principle, which means a rule or standard. [So, you want the principal of your child’s school to hold to the highest principles.]
    17. Stationary means fixed in position, not stationery, which means writing supplies. [So, you won’t write a letter on your new stationary.]
    18. Than means compared to, not then [So, you don’t go to dinner than a show.]
    19. Whether means if it is so, not because of or anything having to do with the weather. [So, you might like the weather, whether it snows or rains.]
    20. Occur means an action taking place that is accidental or unforeseen, at least from the point of view of the observers; it does not mean something that is expected to happen. [So, you wouldn’t say that noon occurs at 12:00 p.m. every day.]
    21. Illicit means illegal, not elicit, which means to draw forth. [So, you wouldn’t illicit information from a police officer.]
    22. Possible means something capable of happening or being true, not something that is according to chance. [So, anything is not really possible.]
    23. Irony means an unexpected contrast between apparent and intended meanings or events, not a coincidence. [So, it isn’t ironic that you and your boyfriend both like oatmeal cookies.]
    24. Anniversary means the celebration of a year, not just any period of time. [So, you don’t celebrate your two-month anniversary of a relationship.]
    25. Foundered means to struggle, not floundered which means to sink. [So, your cruise ship did not founder to the depths of the Caribbean Sea.]
    26. Flout means to openly disregard laws or the way things are done, not flaunt which means to display something ostentatiously. [So, you wouldn’t flout your four carat diamond ring in front of your girlfriends.]
    27. i.e. means that is, or the same as, not for example. [So, you wouldn’t say “I like vacations, i.e., backpacking, going to the beach, and sightseeing.]
    28. e.g. means for example, not the same as, or in place of. [So, you wouldn’t say “I like vacations, e.g., time off work.”]
    29. et al means with all others, not and so forth. [So, you wouldn’t say “I like tropical islands, ski resorts, the high desert, et al.
    30. Et cetera (etc.) means and so forth within the same class; it does not mean and all others. [So, you wouldn’t say “I like Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, etc.”]
    31. Eminent means prominent, not imminent which means something expected to happen soon. [So, your graduation next week is not eminent.]
    32. Proverbial means according to a wise saying, not something that is well known. [So, you wouldn’t refer to the proverbial hatred of paying taxes.]
    33. Oxymoron means when two objects are joined that do not fit, not something that is an opposite. [So, it’s not an oxymoron to like both sugar and bitters.]
    34. Contact means to communicate through touch, not to simply respond. [So, you probably don’t mean “Contact me at your earliest convenience.”]
    35. Enormity means something grotesquely beyond its intended boundaries, not something that is very large. [So, you don’t refer to the enormity of the hot fudge sundae.]
    36. Travesty means to ridicule by imitation, not tragedy which means a disastrous event. [So, the sinking of the ship was not a travesty.]
    37. Decimate means to ruin or reduce by tenths, not to gain victory. [So, you probably don’t really hope to decimate your fellow poker players in the game tonight.]
    38. Random means to have no causal relationship; it is not something that is unexpected. [So, a joke that is unexpected is not a random one.]
    39. Allude means to refer to indirectly, not elude which means to escape from. [So, you don’t allude your boss by hiding behind the file cabinet.]
    40. Attain means to reach or achieve, not obtain, which means to possess or acquire. [So, you won’t attain a collection of baseball cards from the neighborhood garage sale.]

    Definitions adapted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 4th ed. 2008.

    The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics lessons. (Check out a seventh grade teacher teaching the direct instruction and practice components of these lessons on YouTube.) The complete lessons also include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out PREVIEW THE TEACHER’S GUIDE AND STUDENT WORKBOOK  to see samples of these comprehensive instructional components. Check out the entire instructional scope and sequence, aligned to the Grades 4-8 Common Core Standards.

    The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Writing , , , , , , , , ,

    Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves

    President George Bush, well known for his pronunciation gaffes, once said, “I have been known to mangle a syllable or two myself.” Despite laughing at the plethora of Bushisms over the last eight years, even the best American wordsmiths do mispronounce their fair share of words.

    Americans are somewhat tolerant regarding pronunciation errors when the mistakes involve infrequently used foreign phrases, place names, technical terms, dialectical differences, or idiomatic expressions. However, for various reasons, we do demand uniform pronunciation of some words. Following are our Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves in no particular order. Also, make sure to check out the Top 40 Grammar Pet Peeves and the Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves. Find out all of your grammatical mistakes and the words you misuse before “You-Know-Who” points them out to you.

    1. Library is pronounced “lie-brair-ee,” not “lie-bear-ee.” [No, it’s not libarian either]
    2. Nuclear is pronounced “nook-lee-er,” not “nUke-U-ler.” [Ode to Bush]
    3. February is pronounced “Feb-roo-air-ee,” not “Feb-U-aire-ee.” [Frequently misspelled, as well]
    4. Orange is pronounced “or-anj,” not “are-anj.” [Orange you glad you know this?]
    5. Prostate is pronounced “praw-state,” not “praw-straight.” [Unless you are lying down]
    6. Height is pronounced “hite,” not “hite with a ‘th’.” [That “e-i” or “width” must confuse us]
    7. Probably is pronounced “praw-bab-lee,” not “prob-lee.” [Or some say “praw-lee”]
    8. Ask is pronounced “ask,” not ” ax.” [Please tell me before you ax me.]
    9. Pronunciation is pronounced “pro-nun-see-a-tion,” not ” pro-noun-see-a-tion.” [But pronounce]
    10. Athlete is pronounced “ath-lete,” not “ath-ah-leet.” [Despite the ath-ah-leets foot commercials]
    11. Strategy is pronounced “strat-uh-gee,” not “stra-ji-dee.” [Though we never say “stra-ji-jick”]
    12. Aluminum is pronounced “uh-loo-mi-num,” not “al-U-min-um.” [Brits have their own version]
    13. Et cetera (etc.) is pronounced “et-set-er-ah,” not “ek- set-er-ah.” [Not “ek-spe-shul-lee” either]
    14. Supposedly is pronounced “suh-po-zed-lee,” not “su-pose-ub-lee.” [Or “su-pose-eh-blee”]
    15. Difference is pronounced “di-fer-ence,” not “dif-rence.” [Often misspelled due to this error]
    16. Mischievous is pronounced “mis-chuh-vus,” not “mis-chee-vee-us.” [You’ll look this one up]
    17. Mayonnaise is pronounced “may-un-naze,” not “man-aise.” [“Ketchup-catsup” is another matter]
    18. Miniature is pronounced “mi-ne-uh-ture,” not “min-ah-ture.” [Who drives an Austin “min-uh”?]
    19. Definite is pronounced “de-fuh-nit,” not ” def-ah-nut.” [For define, it’s “di-fine” not “dah-fine”]
    20. Often is pronounced “off-ten,” not “off-en.” [Probably just sloppy pronunciation]
    21. Internet is pronounced “In-ter-net,” not “In-nur-net.” [Not “in-ner-rest-ing either]
    22. Groceries is pronounced “grow-sir-ees,” not “grow-sure-ees.” [It’s not “grow-sure” either]
    23. Similar is pronounced “sim-ah-ler,” not “sim-U-lar.” [But Websters says “sim-ler” is fine]
    24. Escape is pronounced “es-cape,” not “ex-cape.” [It’s not “ex-pres-so” either]
    25. Lose is pronounced “luze,” not “loose.” [Think “choose,” not “moose”]
    26. Temperature is pronounced “tem-per-ah-ture,” not “tem-prah-chur.” [Cute when kids say it]
    27. Jewelry is pronounced “jewl-ree” or “jew-ul-ree,” not “jew-ler-ree.” [More syllables won’t get you more carats]
    28. Sandwich is pronounced “sand-which,” not “sam-which.” [Or “sam-mitch” either]
    29. Realtor is pronounced “real-tor,” not “real-ah-tor.” [Similarly, it’s “di-late,” not “di-ah-late”]
    30. Asterisk is pronounced “ass-tur-risk,” not “ass-trik.” [It’s not called a star, by the way]
    31. Federal is pronounced “fed-ur-ul,” not “fed-rul.” [Use all syllables to ensure all federal holidays]
    32. Candidate is pronounced “can-di-date,” not “can-uh-date.” [It’s not “can-nuh-date” or “can-di-dit”]
    33. Hierarchy is pronounced “hi-ur-ar-kee,” not “hi-ar-kee.” [It’s not “arch-type”; it’s “ar-ki-type”]
    34. Niche is pronounced “nich” or “neesh,” not “neech.” [This one drives some people crazy]
    35. Sherbet is pronounced “sher-bet,” not “sher-bert.” [I’m sure, Burt]
    36. Prescription is pronounced “pre-scrip-tion,” not “per-scrip-tion.” [and prerogative, not “per”]
    37. Arctic is pronounced “ark-tik,” not “ar-tik.” [Not “ant-ar-tik-ah either]
    38. Cabinet is pronounced “cab-uh-net,” not “cab-net.” [Likewise, it’s “cor-uh-net,” not “cor-net”]
    39. Triathlon is pronounced “tri-ath-lon,” not “tri-ath-uh-lon.” [Not “bi-ath-uh-lon” either]
    40. Forte is pronounced “fort,” not “for-tay.” [But Porsche does have a slight “uh” at the end]

    And for the culinary snobs among us… It’s “bru-chet-tah” or “bru-sket-tah,” but definitely not “bru-shet-tah.” And it’s “hear-row,” not “gear-row” or “ji-roh.” If you’re eager for more of the same, check out the 20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations that I have been guilty of over the years.

    The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics lessons. (Check out a seventh grade teacher teaching the direct instruction and practice components of these lessons on YouTube.) The complete lessons also include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out PREVIEW THE TEACHER’S GUIDE AND STUDENT WORKBOOK  to see samples of these comprehensive instructional components. Check out the entire instructional scope and sequence, aligned to the Grades 4-8 Common Core Standards.

    The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , ,

    Spelling Rules

    Conventional Spelling Rules

    Eight Great Spelling Rules

    Teachers should teach the sound-spelling system as part of a balanced spelling program. To determine the individual needs of your students, teachers need the comprehensive Diagnostic Spelling Assessment to diagnose students and plan effective instruction.

    As I previously mentioned, each of the six posts will begin with a brief reflection about the instructional spelling component, follow with a rationale for teaching that component, and finish with some free instructional spelling resources. The components of each of the six posts are as follows:
    1. Diagnostic Assessment 2. Sound-Spellings 3. Spelling Rules
    4. Spelling Lists and Tests 5. Spelling Practice 6. Integrated Spelling and Vocabulary.

    This week we explore how to teach the spelling rules.

    Reflection

    • I know the key eight conventional spelling rules that work most all of the times.
    • I have an instructional plan in place to teach these spelling rules.
    • I have formative assessments in place to analyze their progress.

    Rationale

    Just because the English sound-spelling system works in only about 50% of spellings does not mean that there are not predictable spelling patterns to increase that percentage of spelling predictability and accuracy. Although the sound-spelling patterns are the first line of defense, the conventional spelling rules that work most all of the time are a necessary back-up.

    Spelling Resources

    Here are the Eight Great Spelling Rules with links to memorable MP3 songs and raps to help your students (and you) remember them. TURN THEM UP!

    1. The i before e Rule

    Usually spell i before e (believe), but spell e before i after a c (receive) and when the letters are pronounced as a long /a/ sound (neighbor).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/spelling_vocabulary/the-i-before-e-spelling-rule/

    2. The Final y Rule

    Keep the y when adding an ending if the word ends in a vowel, then a y (delay-delayed), or if the ending begins with an i (copy-copying). Change the y to i when adding an ending if the word ends in a consonant, then a y (pretty-prettiest).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-final-y-spelling-rule/“>

    3. The Silent e Rule

    Drop the e (have-having) at the end of a syllable if the ending begins with a vowel. Keep the e (close-closely) when the ending begins with a consonant, has a soft /c/ or /g/ sound, then an “ous” or “able” (peaceable, gorgeous), or if it ends in “ee”, “oe”, or “ye” (freedom, shoeing, eyeing).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-silent-e-spelling-rule/

    4. The Double the Consonant Rule

    Double the last consonant, when adding on an ending (permitted), if all three of these conditions are met: 1. the last syllable has the accent (per / mit)  2. the last syllable ends in a vowel, then a consonant (permit). 3. the ending you add begins with a vowel (ed).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-double-the-consonant-spelling-rule/

    5. The Ending “an” or “en” Rule

    End a word with “ance”, “ancy”, or “ant”  if the root before has a hard /c/ or /g/ sound (vacancy, arrogance) or if the root ends with “ear” or “ure” (clearance, insurance). End a word with “ence”, “ency”, or “ent” if the root before has a soft /c/ or /g/ sound (magnificent, emergency), after “id” (residence), or if the root ends with “ere” (reverence).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-ending-“an”-or-“en”-spelling-rule/

    6. The “able” or “ible” Rule

    End a word with “able” if the root before has a hard /c/ or /g/ sound (despicable, navigable), after a complete root word (teachable), or after a silent e (likeable). End a word with “ible” if the root has a soft /c/ or /g/ sound (reducible, legible), after an “ss” (admissible), or after an incomplete root word (audible).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-“able”-or-“ible”-spelling-rule/

    7. The Ending “ion” Rule

    Spell “sion” for the final zyun sound (illusion) or the final shun sound (expulsion, compassion) if after an l or s. Spell “cian” (musician) for a person and “tion” (condition) in most all other cases.

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-ending-“ion”-spelling-rule/

    8. The Plurals Rule

    Spell plural nouns with an s (dog-dogs), even those that end in y (day-days) or those that end in a vowel, then an o (stereo-stereos). Spell “es” after the sounds of /s/, /x/, /z/, /ch/, or /sh/ (box-boxes) or after a consonant, then an o (potato-potatoes). Change the y to i and add “es” when the word ends in a consonant, then a y (ferry-ferries). Change the “fe” or “lf” ending to “ves” (knife-knives, shelf-shelves).

    http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/grammar_mechanics/the-plurals-spelling-rule/

    The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics and include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out the YouTube introductory video of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) program.

    The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).

    Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)
    Grades 4-8 Programs

    Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    How to Teach Precise Vocabulary

    Despite all of our educational focus these days on higher order critical thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (Bloom, Costa, Depth of Knowledge, Any New Fads, etc.), the bulk of our teaching and learning at all levels of education remains at the lower levels of factual acquisition, comprehension, and application. Most educators would agree that our students do need this pool of knowledge to be able to accurately and efficiently inform our thinking and decision-making. This pool of knowledge consists of words. Knowing the precise meanings of these words is crucial to developing academic vocabulary to think, read, and write well. Words build upon words. These foundations hold up houses and skyscrapers.

    Since independent reading remains the chief vehicle that we use to access words, educators would be wise to focus on this point of access. Learning precise vocabulary is, of course, one of the keys to reading. The point of this article is that it is the precision of vocabulary words are the lower level gatekeepers  that allow readers access to the higher level thinking, reading, and writing skills.

    However, some may be thinking… How can we be sure of precision when even the dictionaries disagree? Merriam-Webster defines precision as “the degree of refinement with which an operation is performed or a measurement stated”. Oxford Dictionary defines precision as “The quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate“. 

    Others may be thinking… Aren’t all words subject to individual interpretation? To some degree, yes. However, words do have a collective consciousness of meaning. They do connect to objective realities. In other words, words are not totally subjective. Words must be denotatively internalized and connotatively applied with a good deal of accuracy and skill to properly access information the way the author intends. Only when the reader understands the meaning of the author’s words can higher order thinking skills be then applied to the text.

    Although that author-reader connection is a two-way street, the relationship should be weighted heavily on the side of the author. It is the author’s thoughts that we are trying to interpret, not ours per se. An author chooses words carefully because of their precise meanings and the connotations/feelings that the collective readers commonly will understand.

    So, memorizing words with precise denotative and connotative definitions is important. Sloppy use of our language inhibits effective communication and leads to misunderstandings. So, what’s the bottom line here? What’s the application for teacher and learner? It is better to teach and learn fewer words with greater precision, than many words with less precision. Two vocabulary strategies assist in this effort: The Vocabulary Ladder and Semantic Spectrums.

    The Vocabulary Ladder

    Students draw a graphic representation of a ladder with five rungs. They take notes in between the rungs from each of the guiding prompts (in boldface). Begin with a clear, simple, and concise dictionary definition and work students up the ladder via class and teacher brainstorming and reference to appropriate text.

    Example Vocabulary Word: democracy

    Full Understanding

    -It’s important because… it’s the foundation of our government.

    -It’s different than… a republic because… a republic has a Constitution.

    -It’s the same as… a republic because… both have citizens who are allowed to vote.

    -Specific examples of it would be… direct democracy like a club, representative democracy like our Student Council.

    -It’s an example of the following… ways decisions are made in governments and organizations.

    -The definition is… rule by the people.

    Basic Understanding

    Semantic Spectrums

    Students draw a number line with one end labeled Extreme and the other end labeled Opposite  Extreme. The object is to list words in their connotative order along the spectrum of meaning. Select two vocabulary words for this activity that students fully understand that are antonyms. For example, hot and cold. Have students brainstorm synonyms to each word at the ends of the spectrum and problem-solve via consensus as to where to list each new word by degree of meaning. Select one or two unknown vocabulary words that will fit along this spectrum and read a clear, simple, and concise dictionary definition of each. Assist the students’ decision-making as to where to place these new words. Have the students write down their definitions below the spectrum.

    Example Vocabulary Words: even-tempered and vicious

    <————————————————————————————————————————————->

    Extreme kind-hearted/nice/warm/even-tempered/cool/mean/cruel/vicious/hateful Extreme
    Here are FREE samples of vocabulary worksheets from this comprehensive program–ready to teach in your class today. Each resource includes directions, four grade-specific vocabulary worksheets, worksheet answers, vocabulary study cards, and a short unit test with answers.

    Get the Grade 4 Vocabulary Worksheets FREE Resource:

    Get the Grade 5 Vocabulary Worksheets FREE Resource:

    Get the Grade 6 Vocabulary Worksheets FREE Resource:

    Get the Grade 7 Vocabulary Worksheets FREE Resource:

    Get the Grade 8 Vocabulary Worksheets FREE Resource:

    The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the Common Core Language Standards. Each full-year program provides 56 interactive grammar, usage, and mechanics and include sentence diagrams, error analysis, mentor texts, writing applications, and sentence dictation formative assessments with accompanying worksheets (L.1, 2). Plus, each grade-level program has weekly spelling pattern tests and accompanying spelling sort worksheets (L.2), 56 language application opener worksheets (L.3), and 56 vocabulary worksheets with multiple-meaning words, Greek and Latin word parts, figures of speech, word relationships with context clue practice, connotations, and four square academic language practice (L.4, 5, and 6). Comprehensive biweekly unit tests measure recognition, understanding, and application of all language components.

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) also has the resources to meet the needs of diverse learners. Diagnostic grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling assessments provide the data to enable teachers to individualize instruction with targeted worksheets. Each remedial worksheet (over 200 per program) includes independent practice and a brief formative assessment. Students CATCH Up on previous unmastered Standards while they KEEP UP with current grade-level Standards. Check out the YouTube introductory video of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) program.

    Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)

    Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)
    Grades 4-8 Programs

    The author also provides these curricular “slices” of the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) “pie”: the five Common Core Vocabulary Toolkits Grades 4−8; the five Differentiated Spelling Instruction Grades 4−8 programs (digital formats only); and the non-grade-leveled Teaching Grammar and Mechanics with engaging grammar cartoons (available in print and digital formats).

    Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Writing , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,