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Beyond the Weekly Word List

Edutopia – Renee Llanes

“We live in a literate society, where conventional spelling is a necessity if a person wants to be taken seriously at work. But spelling instruction is often neglected—taught as an isolated task primarily consisting of whole group instruction, a uniform spelling list, and weekly tests. There is solid research demonstrating that spelling is important. Explicit, systematic spelling instruction has been shown to improve performance in reading fluency and comprehension. In fact, practice at spelling helps a student’s reading ability more than practice at reading helps spelling.” (more)

Ananya Vinay, 12, wins US spelling bee with ‘marocain’

BBC – Staff Writer

“A 12-year-old girl from California has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee after a tense final in Washington. Ananya Vinay from Fresno correctly spelled the word marocain – a type of dress fabric – to defeat Rohan Rajeev, 14, from Oklahoma. The rivals had correctly spelled words including cheiropompholyx, durchkomponiert and tchefuncte as each waited for the other to slip up. But Rohan misspelled the word marram and Ananya got two words right to win. She said she felt “amazing” after her victory, adding: “It was just fun to see how far it would go’.”(more)

To Teach Kids To Read And Write, Sometimes You Have To Get Creative

NPR Ed – Beth Fertig, Stella M. Chávez & Jonna McKone

“Take a look at your hand, right or left, it doesn’t matter. Now imagine every finger represents a word. How many sentences can you come up with? I think therefore I am. Don’t sweat the small stuff. All you need is love. Ximena Martinez, from Texas, thought this one was good: “Las naranjas son muy ricas.” Translation: The oranges are very delicious. She’s a native Spanish-speaker and preschooler at Kramer Elementary School in Dallas. Her teacher, Jorge Ruiz, always asks his young students to speak in complete sentences. That’s because research shows that if children aren’t reading proficiently by third grade, they’re four times more likely to drop out of high school. “We’ve known for quite some time in education that there’s an incredibly strong link between oral language development and future reading abilities” — no matter what language kids speak, says Alan Cohen. He’s the brains behind this seemingly simple effort by the Dallas Independent School District to improve literacy by getting preschool through second-grade students to express themselves in full sentences.”(more)

Is your child hopeless at spelling? Don’t panic…

The Telegraph – Tom Payne

“There are many strategies for developing confidence with spelling. One is, start early. Do everything you can to encourage reading in the home – in this way, many children will develop an eye for what looks right and what looks wrong. However counter-intuitive it seems to pronounce “friend” the way we do, we become used to it. That’s something to try on everyone, but children do learn in a big range of ways. Plenty find that parts of the body other than the eyes are helpful.”(more)

Spanish-Language Spelling Bees Catch On Around the U.S.

Education Week – Jacob Bell

“The nation’s best spellers—en Español—will go head-to-head later this month in Albuquerque, N.M., to battle for the national championship title in the Concurso Nacional de Deletreo en Español, or the National Spanish Spelling Bee…The Spanish-language bees’ budding popularity, according to David Briseño, the coordinator for the National Spanish Spelling Bee, stems from a burgeoning recognition of the benefits of bilingualism for students’ academic and professional careers.”(more)