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Focus On Spelling

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Catalogue Number:  000105
Producer:  Stenhouse Publishers
Subject:  Professional Development
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Educators
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2000
Running Time:  60

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Focus on Spelling is a compelling video series from Diane Snowball, co-author of Spelling K-8. Diane has worked with many schools and districts throughout North America, helping them learn more about the teaching of spelling so that students become more competent writers. The key principles of teaching spelling set forth in Spelling K-8 are demonstrated in these four programs, with a focus on those concepts that teachers most frequently ask her about.  Step into classrooms at Public School 234 in Manhattan to see how three teachers approach the teaching of spelling. These tapes show the various ways that Grades K-1 teacher Jennifer Edwards, Grade 2 teacher Mary Jacob, and Grade 5 teacher Sandra Bridges work with their children individually, in small groups, and as a class.

The four videos cover:

Learning Words
The teachers demonstrate the most effective ways for children to learn words. This includes learning high-frequency words and personal words that individuals select from their own writing. The strategies and processes shown may be used at all grade levels. Effective use of a word wall and issues such as proofreading and assessment of spelling are also demonstrated.

Exploring Sounds
One of the strategies used by competent spellers is to listen for the sounds in words and represent those sounds with letters. In this video, the teachers show how they help children develop these sound-symbol relationships and understand how a phoneme in English words may be represented in many ways. By observing these teachers in their classrooms, we learn how the emphasis on the phonetic strategy changes across different grade levels.

Investigating Letters and Spelling Patterns
Children learn to recognize letters of the alphabet and focus on common spelling patterns so they can develop visual strategies to assist their spelling and reading. We see how children become actively engaged in learning about words through their own word searches.

Discovering Generalizations
Children learn such generalizations as how to add suffixes to base words or how to select the correct homophone (there, their, or they're) in their writing. The process is one that can be applied to learning about many aspects of spelling with all grade levels and can be used with small groups or the entire class.

This video series supports teachers who are working to develop a consistent and informed spelling program. The Viewing Guide shows you how to use the tapes and link them with related professional reading.



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