More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
To Bee or Not to Bee
My students need 24 copies of "Franklin Webster's Spell 'n Calc" for editing their written work.
How does anyone ever learn to spell? My students are learning to decode the 40+ sounds, but English is a difficult language to read and write--or is that rede and rite--or maybe reed and wright--and spell checkers can offer support to struggling readers, especially as they edit their written work.
My students are all struggling readers, grades fourth through sixth, and their struggles are many and varied.
Most struggle with decoding, though some can decode but have problems comprehending. Several students are English language learners, and many have learning disabilities. All of them are reading two or more years below grade level. In most cases, they come from backgrounds where there are not many opportunities to practice their literacy skills, so every minute spent in the classroom has to be time well spent.
Teachers sometimes wonder if spell checkers do more harm than good. I recently completed my reading specialist's credential program and have read lots of research about how difficult it is for many students to master the spelling variations in the English Language. After all, if there are six ways to show the 'er' sound (term, bird, world, slurp, dollar, learn), then is it any wonder that students often struggle to pick the right variation? That's where spell checkers can help. By identifying the correct spelling, students gain practice in seeing and writing words with their commonly accepted spellings and will, in time, remember those spellings through repeated exposures. Spell checkers can offer much-needed support to struggling students, especially during the editing phase of written assignments.
Reading and writing are mirror images of each other, and students have to practice both skills.
My students do a lot of writing. They edit; peers edit; and I edit. Spell checkers will help all of us do a better job.
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