Phonics and Spelling Worksheets Part 1

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This is the last “Not This, But That” unread text that I own and since they are so quick and easy to read, and I have a crazy busy week, I have decided to tackle this text next.

Section 1 is titled “Worksheets/Workbooks:  The Trap of Repetition Without Transfer.”  It is written by Jennifer Palmer who describes her frustrations as a classroom teacher with using basal reader spelling lists, social studies and science words for spelling, and phonics worksheets…LACK OF TRANSFER!

Here are some great quotes from this first section:

  • Looking back, I see one source of my difficulties.  I was following the “factory model” of spelling and decoding, in which students were the recipients of the “knowledge” I was dumping into their heads. p. 3
  • No one can memorize the spelling of every single word in the English language, yet I taught both decoding and spelling as if this were the one true way to learn to read words and spell. p. 4
  • They were factory workers contributing one small widget to a car whose make and model they didn’t know or care about. p. 4
  • Spelling bees, games, and fun phonics activities fail to motivate students to hold onto their learning (or learn in the first place) because they’re experiences decontextualized from real reading and writing. p. 7
  • The factory model confuses compliance with learning.  A student who completes his phonics or spelling worksheet every night is following directions, but not necessarily doing deep-level thinking or demonstrating independence.  p. 7

Tomorrow I will read and reflect on section 2 of this text which shares the research on how to effectively teach phonics and spelling.

 

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