Over my 20 plus years of teaching, I have realized that the way a child becomes a better reader and speller is when that child understands the patterns of our English language.
What has taught me this and why has it become my passion?
As a child, I remember struggling with reading and writing. It would have been wonderful to know the things I know now – the strategies, the patterns, the rules, and the flow of our amazing language.
As a teacher, I utilized many strategies to help my elementary students become better readers. I felt I needed to know more. How could I really help them?
My answer came when I began training to become a dyslexia therapist. I truly began to see how to teach reading and spelling in a meaningful way. I learned that children didn’t have to memorize their spelling words, they could learn the pattern and then they would know hundreds of words. This would help them to read the words as well.
As a mother, I was able to use this approach to help my children before they started their formal education. How fun it was to hear them read their first words.
I think it was about this time, I became a Certified Word Nerd. I love words! I love knowing the patterns and why a word is spelled the way it is. I appreciated knowing that 85% of our language can be explained through rules or patterns. That was freeing to know! My students would only have to memorize 15% of the words – Wow!
My engineer husband of 30 plus years listens to my reading discoveries, watches me write curriculum to help children; and although he doesn’t always understand my word nerd excitement, he has always encouraged me and been my biggest supporter.
I am looking forward to helping my new granddaughter read. Of course she needs to get a bit older first, but I can read to her now!
I am thankful to be a part of the 3 Word Nerds. I have found two other ladies that share my passion for Words. Come along for the ride.
I hope you will stay around awhile and learn from the three of us. We are nerdy about words, but I think if you give us a chance you will catch what we have. As you begin to share these patterns and rules with your students and you see the understanding in their eyes, you will call yourself a Word Nerd too!