I am most excited to be able to share this document of lessons presented by Lyn Anderson. Lyn has been working with Real Spelling while teaching younger grades for over a decade now. She was teaching in my school in Indoensia when I first encounterd Real Spelling. It may be helpful for those new to this instructoin in the lower grades to know that Lyn's first reaction to Real Spelling was that it was appropriate in the upper grades, but not in kindergarten or Grade 1. But Lyn is nothing if not a learner, and by trying things, she found that the accurate instruction of the writing system with the help of Real Spelling is MOST important when children are first introduced to literacy. While there are many doing spectacular work with young children around the world, I have encountered none who are more impressive than Lyn.
I have drawn on her expereince many times to help teachers of younger grades see what this instruction can look like in the earliest years of literacy instruction. For exmple see this video from the lesson she lead at our Summer Course in 2010 or download this open letter to teachers of the younger grades that she has allowed me to share.
(Note: As both of these documents are from some years ago, I suspect Lyn would present these ideas in different ways now, but that is what happens when you keep refining your practice in the face of what you learn by working with children. I still find both of those resources very useful.)
But this post is about something I am even more excited about. I get to share a new document from Lyn on lessons for collaborative construction of word webs.
Lyn has been revisiting work she has been doing and trying to organize it in a way to communicate with other teachers. The first fruit of these labours is this document "Collaborative Round Table Words". Download it now!
Here is how the document starts:
￼Strategy: Collaborative Round Table Word Webs ￼￼Essential Understandings
This strategy will help the students understand the way English spelling links words that belong together in ‘word families’. It will reinforce how we can use this information to help our spelling, ‘words related to each other in meaning will also be related to each other in spelling.’ (Ref: Real Spelling KIT 1 THEME F Early Word Webs, pg. 1)
In the same way Lyn and her students learn through collaboration, Lyn and our real spellers teaching community learn through collaboration. Lyn shared her first draft of this document with a group of teachers around the world who gave her feedback to improve the document. My hope in posting this lesson on Real Spellers is that teachers will not only make use of Lyn's launching pad for lessons about any set of words you choose, but that you will feedback into our community's knowledge by sharing what works, what is a struggle, and modifications we might want to try. Ideally some will share images or videos of work your class does as a reasult of what Lyn inspires you to try. If you have any trouble with the technical side of posting images or videos, Matt Berman (Real Spellers webmaster) is a very kind man who is happy to help with such things.
We hope to year from you soon!