SIS News Archive

Posted 04/30/2014 01:40PM

Recently we have been piloting a program in 4B based on the ‘Real Spelling’ scheme.

This fantastic scheme looks at how orderly English spelling actually is – there are spelling rules! What’s more, the spelling rule is determined by the meaning of the word rather than the sound it makes. That said, we have also been looking at common sounding letter groups – wh words, dge and ge endings etc – to discover the rules for using them too.

The 4Bs are my ‘Spelling Detectives’ so each time we start a new rule they have to try to figure out what it is from the clues I present them with first. It is so exciting for me to see them getting keenly involved in this activity each week, to see them discussing ideas and questioning each other, to see the light bulbs go on as they figure it out.

We break words down into component parts – prefixesbases and suffixes. Then we can build them back up again correctly and make new words, because we know how to put them together. 4B students are fantastic detectives and eagerly look for patterns and similar words to prove their theories. They know now that they have to check their words in a dictionary because our investigations involve existing words, not newly made ones!


I am really looking forward to delving into the history of the English language a bit more with them and discovering what we have to thank the Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Saxons and French for.


I have noticed already that my EAL students are the most eager detectives! They find so many words to fit our patterns and rules. I think they like the fact that English does have rules; so often it seems like a language with endless exceptions to memorise!


All of the spelling rules, their comments and findings are being posted on a Padlet page which can act as an interactive reference point for them and an archive for future reference. Each week I post a new wall with our new rule. Their Tuesday task is to add a comment about the rule or give some examples.

If you would like to visit our Padlet wall click on this link or go to this address:


Louise Van Steveninck

EAL support teacher Grades 2 & 4


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Shekou International School

Early Childhood and Elementary School Mountainside Campus

Jing Shan Villas, Nanhai Blvd
Shekou, Nanshan,
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