Rebecca Loveless | Classes
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Studying online with fellow teachers and tutors is a wonderful way to build your understanding of English orthography. It is extremely valuable to undertake this work with a community of people who are dedicated to learning (and sometimes unlearning and relearning!). I offer a place to study, take risks, work through misunderstandings, and share the joyful successes you experience with your students.


Class offerings:

SWI for Early Readers

SWI is a powerful tool to use with our youngest learners, even those who can’t yet read. Once my colleagues and I were introduced to SWI and began to understand the truth about English spelling, we knew we couldn’t go back to a pure phonics model. Over the past seven years, we have tested and iterated, discussed and reflected, and we have seen the power of language come alive with our pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students.
In this five-session class, I will take you through the basics of how to get started with early and emergent readers and writers, whether in a classroom, a small group, or one-on-one.

In this workshop we will discuss:

  • Getting started with word families and morphology
  • The role of phonology and phonemic awareness
  • Function words and first conventions
  • What reading instruction looks like
  • What writing instruction looks like
This class is perfect for teachers, tutors, or parents with any level of SWI experience.

Teaching Real Script

Based on a cursive script from the Renaissance, Real Script teaches the pathways of the Chancery hand. Using an ergonomically appropriate flowing motion, students learn to write with ease and legibility. Their script develops into its own comfortable form while maintaining proper pen hold and writing position.


For students who find the physical act of writing more challenging, script is often a way to alleviate their discomfort. Rather than working to emulate one ideal, adopting Real Script writing allows students to develop their own unique writing style from the start. Real Script is beautiful and honors the individuality of each writer.

In this workshop we will cover:

  • The history and philosophy of Chancery script – how it differs from “cursive”
  • The mechanics of healthy writing – posture, pen hold, etc.
  • The letter pathways and their terminology – how to write the alphabet
  • Teaching strategies for introducing Real Script

Intro to SWI

Structured Word Inquiry, or scientific word investigation, provides a lens through which we can understand the spelling of any English word. By understanding the interplay of morphology, etymology, and phonology, hidden connections between words rise to the surface to amaze and delight us.

Participants will learn to:

  • Recognize words are built with meaning-based units
  • Analyze words using word sums and matrices
  • Identify and differentiate between free bases, bound bases, and historical roots
  • Begin to use to find etymological information
  • Teach the three suffixing conventions
  • Teach about function vs. content words, including high frequency words
  • Construct lessons to support content area vocabulary and writing
  • Lead investigations that help students make sense of English orthography

School Workshop – Intro to SWI

This course is perfect for teachers and tutors who have heard about SWI and want to know more. Learn how to bring spelling alive for all of your students, including those who struggle, and watch your own understanding of language transform, too.


Contact me to do this course as a full day workshop at your school.

Beyond the Intro: Word Studies

You’ve taken an intro course, and you’ve started to implement SWI in your work. Now you’re ready to dive a little deeper. This five-session course is part instruction and part study group. We will look more deeply at how to investigate words using word sums, matrices, and the “four questions.” We will practice using Etymonline, learning how to determine the root of a word as well as its relatives. There is time built into the course for questions and pursuing avenues of particular need and interest. The goal is to help you feel more confident investigating words on your own and with students.

SWI Study Groups (Continually running programs)

Study groups are available for more intense coaching and word study. We can work together on:

      • using the four questions to guide an investigation;
      • understanding Greek, Latin, and Old English etymology and how it influences present day spelling;
      • incorporating phonology into any lesson;
      • structuring lessons to make the most impact for your students;
      • discovering fascinating word stories and surprising connections; and
      • any other topics that participants bring.

Much of our course work will be based on the words that come up in your investigations with students. Meeting with a coach and fellow scholars is one of the best ways to upgrade your own knowledge of orthography and to gain confidence in your practice.

Contact me if you’d like to start a new study group.


All of these classes are taught live. They will also be recorded and shared with you afterwards. Participants are welcome to watch via recording only. The registration is the same, just email me to confirm.


If you are interested in a class at a time other than those already scheduled, you are welcome to email me to propose another time slot. A class can run with at least four people.

To Get Started Working with Me