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With travel restrictions and social distancing due to COVID-19, I have some time to run a few free webinars on spelling. Anyone can join. I thought I might do Survival List words so that teachers can then use the information to teach students face to face or remotely straight away.
Here is the rationale behind The Survival List:
My goal is to teach all of my students to read and write fluently. To do this, I have a list of words they need to learn as a priority. It’s called the Survival List and it constitutes some of the most common words in the English language.
There are plenty of lists readily available, such as the Dolch or Fry lists, but they contain a mixture of simple and complex patterns. For instance, in the Dolch list, the word big (a simple 1:1 CVC pattern) is right there with away (a two-syllable word containing a digraph) and said (an unusual pronunciation of the digraph <ai>, which only really occurs in this word and in some accents in the word again, but which follows the grammatical/etymological pattern of lay and pay).
So what I look for when teaching my students, are words that don’t have a simple code structure that they struggle with. When studying those words, we use a simple marking system and, if possible place them in families containing similar patterns.
This list is called the Survival List for two reasons:
- Because knowing how to read and spell the words on this list will help them become fluent readers and writers as quickly as possible and
- Because the techniques used to learn these words can extend to other words with complex patterns that students can teach themselves, thus helping them to survive the onslaught of increasing complexity and expectation as their academic career unfolds.
Join me for a free 60 minute webinar on teaching specific spelling words to students.
Date: Friday March 20th 11am-12pm (Melbourne time) – Lyn will happily stick around and answer questions at 12.
Medium: Zoom – sign up and we’ll send you a link prior to the webinar. You need a stable internet connection, and it’s a good idea to sign up for the free Zoom app prior to the day.
Materials: It’s a good idea to have a pen and paper handy to make notes. A downloadable copy of The Survival List template will be made available after the webinar.
If people like them, Lyn will be conducting more, on different words in the coming weeks.
*NB: The term “Survival List” has been in use in Lyn’s practice for many years. It is not a reference to any COVID-19 related concepts.