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.
In addition, I am available to support school faculties on-site or online.
Read more in the Consulting Section at the bottom.
Structured Word Inquiry, or scientific word investigation, provides a lens through which we can understand the spelling of any English word. By understanding the interrelationship of morphology, etymology and phonology, hidden connections between words rise to the surface to amaze and delight us.
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.
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.
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.
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. For students who find the physical act of writing more challenging, real script is often a way to alleviate their discomfort.
In this 3-session 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 to students
Two options are available to learn real script: a recorded, on-demand course (COMING SOON!) or a live, in-person workshop.
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 they
influence 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 or if you’re interested in one-on-one coaching.
Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:30pm PACIFIC TIME.
Apr 12, May 10, and June 7, 2022
All of these classes are live. They will also be recorded and shared with you afterwards.
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 six people.
For school communities who are looking for faculty professional development, I offer a variety of services including:
• Leading faculty workshops
• Leading demo lessons in your classroom
• Helping you reframe curriculum in order to incorporate Structured Word Inquiry
into your literacy and content area instruction
• Meeting with grade level teams to develop a framework and vision for using SWI
• Diving deeper into understanding orthographic concepts