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Volume 4 Number 3

Happy 7th Anniversary Teachers.Net...
A First Day of School Script Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Using A Discipline Approach to Promote Learning Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
My Poor Teacher Can't Spell! 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Testing, 1-2-3! Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
March ~ The Perfect Time for a Fresh Start! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Need Something? Ask! Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's a Book Inside of You Waiting To Come Out! eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Stop Underage Drinking Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Debates in the Classroom---A List of Ten! The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Saving Drowning Babies is Not Always the Best Policy! Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Art Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
March Articles
March Regular Features
March Informational Items
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Implementing the 4-Blocks Literacy Model
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Classrooms That Work : They Can All Read and Write
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Making More Words : Multilevel, Hands-On Phonics and Spelling Activities
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Sifting and Sorting Through the 4-Blocks Literacy Model
by Cheryl M. Sigmon
My Poor Teacher Can't Spell!

(continued from page 1)

Lastly, fourth and fifth grade teachers shouldn't feel that they have to misspell as many words as we typically do at lower grades. In fact, the teacher's model writing can become pretty dull because of an overuse of intentional misspellings. At lower grades, we do it pretty consistently because we're also modeling phonetic application---how to match sounds, symbols, and patterns to get something decipherable on paper. These students don't know many spellings yet and don't need to be inhibited by correctness. Many, if not most, of the students at upper grades have moved beyond the need for the constant modeling of phonetic application. These students know hundreds of words automatically. At upper grades, we model only often enough to teach the strategy of what to do when you come to a word you want to use but are unsure how to spell it. Sometimes at upper grades, we might even put a dash in place of a word that just doesn't come to us.

So, teachers, let's remember that modeling a misspelling is a strategy. The other possible benefit is that, occasionally---just occasionally, we have days when we can't remember how to spell a word. And, this way we don't have to admit it!

Grant Support: If your school is submitting a grant, I'll be happy to submit a letter to support your training. Often, grant readers are impressed that you've secured someone with credentials to assist with training and implementation. Contact me at if I can help you.

Training Opportunities:

Below are seminars that I have coming up in the future. Hope to see you at one!

Personal Journal:

Everyone who travels for a living has travel stories to tell. Here's my latest believe-it-or-not episode. Recently, in flying from Kansas City to Chicago for a seminar, what should have been a quick hour's trip found us three hours later still circling Chicago, running low of fuel, and unable to land during a heavy snow storm. Well, the wonderful crew of Southwest Airlines---a notably different kind of airline, for those of you who haven't ever experienced them! We were highly entertained! Would you believe the flight attendants led us in toilet paper relay races? In case you ever want to play, you start by giving the first rows on both sides of the plane a full roll of toilet paper. They pass the streaming tissue over their seat to the second row, whose occupants pass the roll under their seats to the folks in row three. From there, the roll is passed over and then under each row until the roll reaches the last row---somewhere around row 26 for us! Oh, yes, if the tissue breaks during passage, the roll has to go back to row one and start over! What fun!!! I could also share the secret of the magic trick involving the quickly disappearing stream of toilet paper from down the middle of the aisle (Would you believe one flight attendant puts the end in the toilet and flushes it? With a zip, the streamer floats up the aisle and away in an instant!!!!). This adds further glamour to the life of a traveling consultant! I felt like I was back in middle school where toilet humor reigns!

My February got off to the best start ever for two reasons: 1) I visited with my grandkids. They gave me a little souvenir---an awful cold. But, even that is tolerable since I know it came from them! 2) I got to go to a Jimmy Buffett concert the first week! His concerts allow you to be totally uninhibited---great stress relief! I love being a Parrothead! My head is still filled with the tropical breezes that Jimmy magically shares.

Hope your February was a good one. Spring is on the way, and I know many of you will be thankful for that after a cold, cold winter. Happy reading! See you back here soon! -----Cheryl

For a printable version of this article click here.

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