By Sandy Hoffman
In the book Words Their Way, authors Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton and Johnston explain that humans have a natural interest in finding order, comparing and contrasting, and paying attention to what remains the same despite minor variations. Teachers see this inclination in their students, who are trying to master reading and spelling the English language.
At so many of my trainings, teachers ask me how they can get their students to identify how one skill or concept is different from another. ("How can I get my students to understand why ‘fir’ has the ‘er’ sound but the ‘ir’ in 'fire’ doesn’t?" "How can I get my students to see the difference between words that follow Phonetic Skill 1 and words that follow Phonetic Skill 3 or 4?")
My answer is usually the same. ...