Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mea Culpa

THANK YOU to a careful new reader (Smellyann) for pointing out that in my last post I spelled sight words as site words as in Web site. How embarrassing! She was right--you’d think if I’m teaching children to read at the very least I’d be a good speller. Unfortunately it was an excellent example of how NOT to rely on spell check when you’re in a hurry. The good news is you don’t have to be a good speller to be a good reader. And the even better news is the more you read the more your spelling improves.

It brings up an interesting topic: spelling games and mnemonics. As a child, we learned to spell using little phrases like “friends to the end” to remind us that the word friend ends with end. Did you learn a mnemonic about how to remember the difference between stationary and stationery? The word letter has two e’s, and you write a letter on stationery—the word with the e. I always remember there’s a rat in the middle of separate because you always want to separate yourself from a rat. We all know “i before e except after c.” But that one has so many exceptions!

I clearly need to learn one for helping me remember the difference between site and sight. But as Anne in Anne of Green Gables says, “One good thing about me is I never do the same wrong thing twice.”

Thanks, again for the correction, Smellyann. I hope my error won’t turn you off from us, forever!

What spelling games or mnemonics do you have?

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