The Writing Rope: A Framework for Explicit Writing Instruction in All Subjects

Along with research on effective writing instruction, author Joan Sedita shares her Writing Rope model identifying five components of a comprehensive writing curriculum: critical thinking, syntax, text structure, writing craft and transcription. There are chapters exploring each in detail, with an abundance of ideas for classroom application. The Writing Rope is geared towards Grade 4-8 teachers and provides excellent support for expectations under B2 and B3 as well as Strand D of the Ontario Language curriculum. The framework can – and should – be used for writing in various content areas as well, making it ideal for all Grade 4-8 teachers, not just those who teach Language. The book comes with a code for purchasers to download dozens of supporting teacher and student resources.

Beneath the Surface of Words: What English Spelling Reveals and Why It Matters

In Beneath the Surface of Words, author Sue Scibetta Hegland aims to convince readers that English spelling isn’t as unreliable or quirky as they may have believed…and argues an excellent case. For example:there’s actually a reason for the L in talk! Written in an engaging voice, this is an excellent title for building educator knowledge to support instruction in spelling, particularly related to morphology and etymology, with connections to vocabulary as well. Helpful appendices, for example “Applying Suffixing Conventions” and “Working With Word Sums and Evidence Banks” are also included. Reading Beneath the Surface of Words is like taking a crash course in the complexities and rationale of the English writing system and is recommended for all literacy educators.

English Decoded: Layers of the English Language

This quick, 2 minute video gives a brief overview of the 3 main layers of the English Language: Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Greek.  A nice simple video to show students to help them understand that although English is complex, it makes sense, if you understand how they are put together (morphology). 

Advanced Word Study

This resource is designed for teachers and students with limited experience with advanced phonics instruction. It provides an accelerated scope and sequence of syllable types and common prefixes, suffixes, and root words. The lessons include detailed descriptions, visual examples, and practice pages.

Morphology Matters: Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts

Wondering where to start with morphology and how it can tie in with your explicit vocabulary instruction? This 36-page resource is full of lesson ideas and activities that you use with your students. This resource provides some essential background knowledge of morphology for all educators and then provides several lesson frameworks that you can use with your students, using the new Ontario Curriculum.  It provides a suggested scope and sequence as well as word lists, but remember that the scope and sequence for morpheme introduction for the new curriculum is found on page 6 of Appendix A (Word-Level Reading and Spelling: Applying Phonics, Orthographic, and Morphological Knowledge).  Once the introductory morpheme sequence from the curriculum has been consolidated, the word and morpheme lists  found in this resource you can use to expand students’ morphological understanding beyond Grade 4 and across many subject areas.

Why Children Should Be Taught to Read with More Challenging Texts

In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Timothy Shanahan discusses the importance of using challenging texts with students and outlines teacher supports that can be used to facilitate learning. Along with providing historical context for the use of leveled readers, Shanahan explores the role of instructional supports in aiding students while they persevere through challenging text noting that students with a “steady diet of relatively easy texts…would be provided fewer opportunities for dealing with sophisticated vocabulary, morphology, complex syntax, subtle
cohesive links, complicated structures, and richer and deeper
content.” 

Secondary Reading: Implementing High-Leverage Practices

This PaTTAN webinar featuring Dr. Anita Archer focuses on five high-leverage practices that you can use in your classroom everyday and across multiple content areas. Dr. Archer takes the audience through each routine with lots of examples and opportunities for practice. Grounded in explicit instruction, Dr. Archer shows how foundational skills as well as higher-order critical thinking skills can be brought together in a dynamic and systematic approach to teaching and learning. If you are an elementary educator, do not be fooled by the title, as ‘Secondary’ in the United States is for students in Grades 6 – 12. However, the information and knowledge from this webinar can be used in any classroom, K-12.