Teaching Spelling: How to Teach Students to Blend & Segment Unfamiliar Words

Teaching spelling to students in an effective way may seem like a tall order to fill, but with letter tiles it is a little easier. Letter tiles are a simple, easy, hands-on way to get your students involved in spelling. I literally use them every. single. day. They help students see the relationship between the spoken and written word. We can also use them to reinforce that words have parts, like a beginning, middle, and end and the importance of getting all the right letters in the correct places. Otherwise, we’re creating new words or nonsense words which is a… View Post

Phonemes & Graphemes: What are they and how can you teach them?

Phonemes and graphemes are two words that are used often, but what do they mean? Using what we know about the roots phone and graph, we can likely figure it out. However, I’d like to begin this blog post with a few definitions and some potential strengths and weaknesses. A phoneme is the individual sound that we hear within a word. In English, there are 40-44 phonemes depending on the dialect. For many of our students, this is the easy part of spelling. They can hear a word and break it into individual sounds. However, for some of our students, hearing… View Post

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness: What do SPED teachers need to know?

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness are two critical literacy skills that a student must learn to become good readers. It is important as special education teachers that we know what each one of these skills are and how to use them to help our students become successful readers. Phonemic Awareness is a narrow, specific term that refers to activities that ask students to isolate or produce a sound. For example, asking students to tell the beginning sound in BUG or the ending sound in BUG. Phonological Awareness is a broad term that refers to activities that requires students to analyze the… View Post

How to Teach Spelling: Strategies for Helping Your Students

How to teach spelling to students is a question that is on all the mind of teachers. Teaching spelling to students with disabilities can seriously be tricky. In fact, without explicit instruction in phonemes and graphemes, spelling is TOUGH! While reading the book Speech to Print, I was blown away by this quote. “Linguist, speech-language teachers, actors, singers, and anthropologists are among those professionals who study the forms and functions of language. Curiously, teachers seldom do, even though the listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiencies touted in our academic standards require language proficiency.” – Louisa Cook Moates Why aren’t teachers… View Post

A Great Reading Teacher: 4 Things ALL Teachers Need to Know to Become One

Great reading teachers are hard to find and becoming one is tough! It takes time, practice, and getting to know your students. But what do you need to know to be a great reading teacher as soon as possible? Here are four things that all teachers need to know to become great reading teachers as soon as possible! Not Everyone Reads Alike While some of your students might have similar needs and reading styles, none of their brains work in the exact same way. They all need different things to improve and grow. To be a great reading teacher, keep… View Post
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