+ Moving Words Into Long-Term Memory

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This week’s “Free Tip of the Week” from www.thedailycafe.com:

Multisensory methods of practice –deskwriting, finger-tracking, tracking with shells or blocks — are effectice strategies for moving words into long-term memory.

The teachers at “The Daily Cafe” site say

We used to think that it was necessary to change Word Work materials often.  We thought it kept Word Work fresh and fun.  What we now know, changing the materials too often can hinder the real learning that takes place during Word Work as it then becomes all about the materials rather than using materials as a catalyst to support learning.

And so they suggest that you begin the word work in the new year with the same materials you were using at the end of the year.

Once children become able to use the process independently, including getting out all the materials, make sure you turn to the words themselves.  Focus on words and not the materials.

They then suggest their favorite materials for word work.  Students like these, and they are readily available.

  • Individual white boards
  • Beans or shells — or any small item that can be used over and over
  • The oily Crayola Modeling Clay smashed into the lid of a coffee can.  Students use a golf tee or small pencil to write the words into the clay.  It is easy to smooth out and erase.  (Great for kids with OT/PT needs
  • Salt Box — Pour 1/4 inch of salt into the botton of a shoe-box size plastic box.  Students write the word in the salt and just shake to erase
  • Magnet letters 
  • Letter stamps  

The “2 Sisters” who are responsible for the Daily Cafe site say they have found that fancy materials for Word Work aren’t the answer, and they have not found one material to work better than any other.  They note that students (and they) seem to be favoring white boards. 

They suggest that once a child has built stamina, have them take a stopwatch or timer and practice their words for about 10 minutes.

“Word Work” is the 2 Sisters’ term for time devoted to spelling words, not a spelling program.  It is one of their “Daily Five,” a list of choices students can make on their own. 

Find more information at their site.  www.thedailycafe.com

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or   email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com  

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