CAIS Northern Regional Meeting 2011- Presentation Notes

Managing Children’s Challenging Behavior
Presentation – Keynote Version
Presentation – PowerPoint Version
Workshop Notes

Book Recommendations
Behaviour Management: A Whole-School Approach
Cracking the Hard Class
How to Manage Children’s Challenging Behaviour

Teach Spelling and Grammar in Creative Ways
Presentation – Keynote Version
Presentation – PowerPoint Version
Workshop Notes
Scattergories – Random Letter Generator
Snakes and Ladders Board
Buzz Off – Cards

Rethinking Spelling

As a child I was taught to memorize my spelling words. While at university, I was taught to teach spelling by memorization. For the majority of my teaching career I taught spelling by memorization.  That was until I read, “How Words Cast Their Spell” by Joshi, Treima, Carreker, and Moats published in American Educator, 2008.

The authors convincingly dispel the belief that memorization is the most effective way children learn how to spell.  This article energized the way I taught spelling.  The authors explained how half of the English words have predictable sound-letter combinations and another thirty-four percent of words are predictable except for a single sound.  They go on to explain that when children know these patterns it makes spelling predictable.

To help guide us through this new way of spelling my colleagues and I used the Spellography by Moats and Rosow.  We are all learning a lot about spelling and language thoughout this journey.

For more information you can purchase Spellography for Teachers – How English Spelling Works.

Commonly Misspelled Words

Learning to spell can be an extremely frustrating experience for many children.  During my ten years of teaching, I have heard many discussions about the most effective way to teach children how to spell.  As with nearly all aspects of teaching a one size fits all approach simply does not work.  Unfortunately the most gifted spellers in a classroom are often not challenged as much as they need to be.

As I result, over the past few years I have given my more gifted spellers ownership over what words they learn to spell.  One way I have done this is by giving them a large list of commonly misspelled words and asked them to research at least five words per week and learn to spell them.  The children have enjoyed the challenge and their spelling has improved as a result.

Here is a list of 600 commonly misspelled words for you to use.

Online Spelling Resource

Many primary school teachers do some sort of spelling program each week. I have always used a textbook for the basis of my program, however, I constantly trawl books and the internet looking for additional words.

A fantastic resource I found lately is . Morewords enables you to search thousands of words that begin with, end in or contain certain letter combinations. For example, if you were looking for words that contained ough you would simple type in *ough* into the search function and morewords will give you all the words in its database that contains ough. This resource saves a lot of time when planning your spelling units. I imagine it would be very useful for playing Scrabble!