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Language Arts, Vol. 77, No. 3, January 2000

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 77, No. 3, January 2000

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Spelling Out Our Concerns About Spelling

  • Contents Under Pressure

    Tracy Cobb Paul

    Abstract: Paul’s metaphorical text asks us to envision anew the feelings of urgency and elusiveness, the pensiveness and languor confronting all writers as they face the moment of composing text.

    Keywords: Writing, Elementary

  • Spelling and "the Second 'R' "

    Margaret Hughes and Dennis Searle

    Abstract: Uses conversations with children to illustrate the vital role that writing plays in spelling development from kindergarten to the end of sixth grade. Looks at how good spellers approach words with the eyes of a writer, how writers take responsibility for their spelling, and how one writer described the link between spelling and writing for an audience.

    Keywords: Writing, Elementary

  • Developing a Spelling Conscience

    Jan Turbill

    Abstract: Draws on a series of case studies and instructional projects to illustrate the importance of proofreading and developing a "spelling conscience" and, ultimately, learning to spell conventionally. Argues that proofreading is a special kind of reading that requires readers to "read like a speller," and that proofreading should be an integral part of the literacy curriculum.

    Keywords: Reading, Elementary

  • Weekly Spelling Meetings: Improved Spelling Instruction through Classroom-Based Inquiry

    Kimberley A. Wright

    Abstract: Shares how a fourth-grade teacher learned to use whole-class "Spelling Meetings" as a focus of her spelling instruction. Describes initiating spelling notebooks, the first spelling meeting, and subsequent ones as both teacher and students found their way, making adjustments and finding new directions, and having students catch themselves using a spelling strategy. Discusses student assessment of these spelling meetings.

    Keywords: Assessment, Pedagogy, Elementary

  • Squaring Up to Spelling: A Teacher-Research Group Surveys Parents

    Kelly Chandler and The Mapleton Teacher-Research Group

    Abstract: Surveys parents to discover their perceptions of spelling and spelling instruction. Notes parents see spelling as critically important, want time in school devoted to spelling instruction, want to see a grade in spelling on students' report cards, and see reading and writing as the primary ways in which children learn to spell. Describes effects on teachers and students.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • What We Learned from Josh: Sorting Out Word Sorting

    Mary Jo Fresch

    Abstract: Describes how a researcher and an elementary school teacher added a word sorting component to help children work through the complexities of the language as they group words into categories. Describes results as fifth graders thought aloud while they sorted words. Finds a link between children's developmental knowledge of spelling and their approach to the word-sorting task.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • "Wasn't That a Spelling Word?": Spelling Instruction and Young Children's Writing

    Rebecca Rymer and Cheri Williams

    Abstract: In this article, a teacher and a university professor examine the effects of spelling instruction.

    Keywords: Assessment, Language, Pedagogy, Research, Writing

  • Talking About Books: "Mem's the Word": Examining the Writing of Mem Fox

    Carol Gilles

    Abstract: Focuses on the work of Mem Fox. Explores Fox's life in order to better understand her work; examines books she has written for teachers and for parents; and reviews her children's books, emphasizing children's and teachers comments. Looks at best-loved books, bedtime books, predictable books for early readers, books that play with language, and books that appeal to older readers.

    Keywords: Literature, Elementary

  • Focus on Research: Using What We Know about Language and Literacy Development for ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom

    Susan Watts-Taffe and Diane M. Truscott

    Abstract: Reviews recent research about literacy development, the development of English-language proficiency, and the social, academic, and emotional challenges of entering a new culture. Recommends and describes instructional practices for teaching second-language learners in integrated settings. Focuses on writing, discussion, and scaffolding in the areas of background knowledge, vocabulary, and communication, stressing their importance to the literacy development of second-language students.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Editors' Pages

    Sharon Murphy and Curt Dudley-Marling

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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