Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Learn spelling

Some of you are wondering if it's enough to just teach children to read. You may think that if you teach reading, spelling will just naturally follow. But will it?

Good question. When you were in school, which did you find easier-multiple choice questions or essay questions?

The multiple choice questions, right? As long as you had general knowledge of the subject, you could usually recognize the right answer.

Reading is like the multiple choice question because it requires recognition of the letter patterns. Take the word pine, for example. The student recognizes that p says /p/, i-consonant-e says /ī/, and n says /n/.

Essay questions, on the other hand, required you to recall the information.

Spelling is like the essay question because it requires recall of the proper letter combinations, spelling rules, and letter patterns. If a student wants to spell the word town, he needs to decide how to spell the sound /ow/. Is it spelled ou as in cloud? Or is it ow as in cow?

If you want kids to be good spellers, you gotta teach them! Though reading and spelling are related, they are different enough that spelling must be taught directly.

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