Here is an email from a parent at the University School of Nashville (USN) that was shared with me a little while ago.
Molly is over the moon with the work you guys are doing! In addition to the very high cool factor of the video conference, Molly is so excited about the flow chart. She gave us a lesson on how to use it today at breakfast and I don't know that I've seen her happier. She added, "Mr. Bowers taught Ms. Wasserman and now I am supposed to teach anyone I can about this - that's how teaching and learning works!" Holy cow! Thank you very much for all that you are doing - We are so grateful!
Below I am embedding clips of the video conference lesson I got to teach with this kindergarten class that has had the good fortune to have a teacher like Jan Honsberger take on the challenge of re-learning how English spelling works as she teachers her students. That work sparked learning that led to Aviva Wasserman -- a leading light in bringing Real Spelling and structured word inquiry into a school setting -- having a go with introducing a flow chart on consonant doubling. That interest sparked my digital visit where I wanted to have a go at sharing what I learned from Lyn Anderson about helping teachers and students not just study flow charts, but learn to construct them as a means of deeply studying those conventions. Lyn's post on flow charts at her blog "Beyond the Word" invaluable. Don't miss it!
The videos are edited into three parts. The first two focus on revisiting children's understanding of word structure with word sums from the context of stories that they had been reading. Hopefully those videos help teachers see how any class reading activity can provide an opportunity for orthographic investigation with word sums -- with students guiding the words of interest to study.
By the end of video 2, I had guided the investigation to the specific issue of consonant doubling for which I had planned this flow chart construction session. Part 3 takes you through that process.
Below I have pasted the email from Aviva, which sparked my participation in this learning. I encourage you to consider the culture of learning Aviva has cultivated by making the scientific inquiry of English spelling a priority for teachers and students at her school. A key message I am hoping that the videos above, and Aviva's email below, convey is that educators' and researhers' untested assumptions about what content is appropriate for literacy instruction have been a major hindrance to the literacy learning of children. For decades research acted as though morphology instruction was inappropriate for less able and younger readers. When that hypothesis was finally tested with meta-analyses in 2010 (Bowers, Kirby, & Deacon, 2010; Goodwin & Ahn, 2010, 2013) the empirical evidence was exactly the opposite. Less able and younger students gain the most from intruction which targets morphological structure. We should keep that story in mind the next time we are tempted to hold something back because it's too difficult. Why not give kids a chance to show us what they are or are not ready for?
With that -- here's Aviva!