How to Study for a Spelling Test

    Browsing the web, I have come across some really bad advice for teaching spelling. This bad advice recommends that children approach words as strings of letters to be memorized. “Have him say the word while looking at it. Tell him to close his eyes, try to see the word, and then spell the […]

How to Give a Spelling Test

Multiple-choice tests that present several versions of the same word, only one of which is spelled correctly, sow confusion and reinforce misspellings.

A Poem for this Icy Weather

Shakespeare included this vivid winter lyric in his play, Love’s Labours Lost. It strikes a chord in 2021. When icicles hang by the wall And Dick the shepherd blows his nail And Tom bears logs into the hall And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipped and ways be foul, Then nightly sings […]

Dictation: A Way To Reinforce Several Learning Skills at Once

An all-purpose exercise that reinforces spelling, punctuation, grammar, pronunciation, short-term memory, handwriting, and attention-to-detail all at once, is Dictation. Dictation can work its magic in a classroom setting or in a one-on-one tutorial situation. For parents with limited time and uncertain computer access, Dictation is Hamburger Helper for English. Two or three dictations a week […]

Writing Contest for Students Ages 11-19

Is your child interested in science, technology, engineering, math, or health phenomena? This New York Times writing contest could be just the thing to enrich the next few weeks of lockdown. The contest is sponsored by The New York Times Learning Network, a service for teachers that offers free resources based on the content of […]

The 4 Essentials of Literacy

Prepare your child for reading success with activities and books. “Decoding” skills are of little use without a furnished mind.