Moira and I get so many online questions about how to work with children who have dyslexia and dysgraphia, as well as children who are poor spellers. This year, I decided it was more efficient and effective to address questions personally, showing parents my ideas, rather than attempting to write about complex strategies.
In an effort to achieve more personal as well as broader instruction, we piloted two online classes, both recorded for parent use. While we had some (inevitable) technology issues, the results were wonderful!
One series of courses titled Laying a Path launched in March on the topic of Phonics and Spelling. Moira and I demonstrated how we teach children of varying ages:
- Short vowel sounds (closed syllables)
- Silent-e long vowel sounds (silent-e syllables)
- Vowel teams (vowel team syllables)
- Open syllables
- C+le syllables
- R-controlled syllables
- Multi-syllable words
- Spelling rules for syllable types
- Jobs of the single silent-e
Each 90-minute session was crammed full of ideas and information, followed by Q & A regarding implementation of strategies, phonics and spelling programs, and students' specific struggles. Here is what parents told us:
“I had no idea there was so much fun to be had in online classes for a home school mom to take.”
“Basically, I have learned so much and I am so grateful to you both! I can’t wait to learn more!”
“I LOVE how you explain it and the hands-on cards make so much sense. I'm excited to review vowel teams with Noah again. I'm so thankful to have access to the videos I can listen to again, so that my notes make sense!”
Naturally, planning for the class sparked many ideas for resources and activities to make available to parents...
Moira and I are always drawing and writing with our kids. So for the class, we asked our artist friend, Tracy, to do the drawing for us (seriously, it’s better this way). We created five phonics games for strong practice in an activity we call Build-a-Bug. There are more games to come, (i.e. bigger bugs) in the future. For now, Build-a-Bug is being sold for $12.95 on the rootedinlanguage.com/shop page (under Activities & Lessons)!
You’ll also find The Many Jobs of the Single Silent-e as a free download in the shop!
We are pleased with the success of the first Laying a Path course and the positive (as well as constructive) feedback we received. To further reiterate how much we value the needs of the parent educators who seek our assistance, we asked the class to vote on our next course topic, and they have spoken: the next Laying a Path class will address Word Study (Morphology). We will announce plans for that class in the next few months - stay tuned!
Meanwhile, if you missed the Laying a Path: Phonics and Spelling class, you can purchase access to the videos for the same price as the course (three 90-min videos for $79.00). You can watch them as many times as you need throughout the school year, using them to guide your home phonics practice! It’s a great way to grow along with your children, so as their skills progress, you can learn the next step for effective phonics teaching!