The Science of Spelling: The Explicit Specifics That Make Great Readers and Writers, and Spellers!

The Science of Spelling: The Explicit Specifics That Make Great Readers and Writers, and Spellers!

by J Richard Gentry

Paperback(New Edition)



Once again, Richard Gentry revolutionizes how you think about spelling instruction. The Science of Spelling breaks down preconceptions and misconceptions about how kids learn to spell, making startling new connections between orthography and literacy. Think that reading builds strong spellers? Through up-to-the-moment research, Gentry reveals that the opposite is true, that children use early spelling cognition to break the reading code. In fact, you'll discover that spelling is no longer a sidebar of writing and revision instruction, but a crucial strategy for teaching every aspect of literacy to all readers and writers.

Best of all, Gentry's research also leads to new, powerful implications about the teaching of spelling, and he offers techniques and insight that will change your lesson planning, including how-tos for:

  • identifying, through spelling, what level of emergent writing a student has attained
  • using scaffolding, hand and finger spelling, letter boxes, and other instructional devices appropriately
  • managing word lists and word sorts
  • differentiating spelling instruction and assessment
  • evaluating spelling books and finding alternatives to traditional spelling resources
  • teaching phonemic awareness and phonics through spelling.
Plus Gentry includes all the research-based forms, rubrics, and tools you'll need to put his ideas to work right away. Deepen your spelling instruction, enhance your students' ability to connect the words they see to what they understand and what they write, and see for yourself the hidden power behind the science of spelling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325007175
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 09/08/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 5 - 13 Years

About the Author

A former struggling speller himself, J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D., has authored three books and a video on the topic with Heinemann, including My Kid Can't Spell (1996), Teaching Kids to Spell (1992), Spel...Is a Four-Letter Word (1989), and Richard Gentry on Spelling (1992), as well as numerous articles in academic journals and textbooks for school-age children. A former elementary teacher and university professor, Gentry is a Heinemann Professional Development provider and has lectured and conducted workshops on literacy and spelling throughout the world. Visit for additional information about Richard Gentry and his work.

Table of Contents

Discovery # 1: There Is a Neurological Basis for Spelling

Discovery # 2: The Emergence of Spelling Ability and Ability to Spell Words Correctly and Automatically Are Different

Discovery # 3: You Can Recognize Five Levels of Emergent Writing, Match Your Teaching Strategies to the Child's Level, and Greatly Improve the Quality of Your Literacy Instruction

Discovery # 4: You Need Good Quality Instructional Resources for Teaching Spelling - The Goodness and Evils of Spelling Books and Alternative Approaches

Discovery # 5: There Is One Best Way to Teach Spelling - Assess and Teach Each Individual - Hooray for Spelling Books!

Discovery # 6: The Spelling Pathway to Literacy Is Powerful and Humane

Discovery # 7: The Pattern and Consistency to English Spelling Can Be Taught with a Teacher-Modified Curriculum

Postscript: Make a Commitment - Spelling Matters

Appendix A: The Monster Test

Appendix B: Word Sorts

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