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They Still Can't Spell?: Understanding and Supporting Challenged Spellers in Middle and High School / Edition 1

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Challenged spellers in middle and high school are hit with a triple whammy-they can't spell, traditional strategies don't help them, and poor spelling often inhibits their writing. English teachers face a challenge, too-especially those whose job is not to teach spelling. This book changes that. It offers teachers ways to identify students' problems within the context of writing and the appropriate strategies to correct them in regular English classrooms.

The book is the result of the four-year collaboration of former secondary teacher Rebecca Bowers Sipe, two middle and two high school teachers, and their students. Based on literacy histories, placement inventories, visual memory tests, and analyses of student writing, their book:

  • offers a detailed look at the literacy journeys of challenged spellers through student work, vignettes, and interviews
  • describes four categories of challenged spellers and their relationship with overall literacy investment
  • identifies the pitfalls of "too little, too shallow, too fast" practices, including familiar but ineffective lists and tests
  • expands basic spelling knowledge within the constraints of the regular English curriculum
  • steps inside the classrooms of these teacher-researchers as they put their strategies into practice
  • includes tools, resources, and other materials for immediate use in teaching.
In addition, the book provides ideas and cautions for addressing spelling at the classroom, school, and district levels, plus step-by-step plans for supporting departmental- and school-based discussions about spelling instruction.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Rebecca Sipe, together with Jennifer, Dawn, Tracy, and Karen - incredible teachers, all - provide an encouraging, supportive, practical, and downright inspiring resource. . . . Educators will recognize their own struggles with spelling instruction as they become aware of how motivating and perhaps enjoyable spelling can be--while seeing with new insight through the eyes of adolescents for whom spelling is not trivial.”–Shane Templeton, Ph.D., Foundation Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, U of Nevada, Reno
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325005393
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 7/31/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Tracy Rosewarne teaches at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a teacher consultant with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, she frequently engages in professional and curriculum development projects as well as in teacher research. She contributed to They Still Can't Spell as well as numerous other articles in professional journals

Rebecca Bowers Sipe teaches writing and methods courses at Eastern Michigan University where she is Codirector of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project. A former secondary teacher, she coordinated the K-12 English/Language Arts Program for the Anchorage School District in Alaska for many years. She is currently the Chair of the Secondary Section of the National Council of Teachers of English, a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, and contributor to professional journals. Her research interests focus on supporting the growth of young writers with special attention to those who struggle.

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Table of Contents

Who Are Challenged Spellers? Investigating Challenged Spellers Getting Started: Learning from Student Spelling Histories Learning from Student Interviews Delving Deeper Profiles of Challenged Spellers

What Do Challenged Spellers Need? Confronting the Dilemma Promoting Reflection About Words Less but Deeper: Teaching Strategies and Rules That Generalize Focusing on Other Supporting Strategies

How Does Strategic Spelling Instruction Look in Real Secondary Classrooms? Teachers Talk About Spelling and Change Approaches to Teaching Spelling

How Do You Take Spelling Change to the Home Front? Implementing Spelling Instructional Change That Lasts Thinking About a Policy for Spelling

You Know It Works When . . . Evidence of Success

Tools, Resources, and Information

Appendixes: Exploring Your Spelling History Error Analysis Chart Spelling Conference Log Spelling Log A Spelling Log B Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots Writing Rubric Root Word Web High-Frequency Words Spelling Rules Worth Knowing, Ideas for Teaching Spelling Rules Frequently Confused Homophones Annotated Bibliography of Helpful Resources

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