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Success by design

The Write2Spell2Read program was designed taking into account the latest neuroscientific research as to how children learn literacy skills. It was also designed unlike other programs to provide students with a strong working memory, an essential tool if reading, fluency, comprehension, and writing skills are going to be achieved.

To begin, Write2spell2Read teaches at the same time the letter name, the sound it makes, and how to write it. Each alphabet letter (lower case and capital) is reinforced with a picture that has been specifically chosen to mimic the shape of the letter, using objects that begin with the sound and letter being taught (see Pictures 1 & 2). This eliminates confusion and helps students to see the letter shape in ‘the mind’s eye’, write the letter correctly and automatically without reversals, as well as learning the sound the letter makes. 

Teaching the motor component of writing the alphabet letters, while at the same time learning the letter names and sounds they make, is crucial to acquiring literacy. Alphabet graphics like the ones shown below, link sight, sound and writing. This is called a metacognitive approach. The letter and its picture share the same visual shape, and as well the word girl starts with the ‘g’ sound. Write2Spell2Read uses ‘Writing Talk’, shown in pictures Picture 1 & 2. Writing talk said out loud by the teacher and students as they write assists with the direction of handwriting movements.

Picture 1 and 2

The same learning system is applied to the learning of numbers from 0 to 20, where pictures again complement the shape of numbers (Pictures 3 & 4). The first 9 numbers are described in a poem that facilitates learning.

Picture 3 and 4

When blends are taught they are taught in pairs, chosen to be taught together because young students often have difficulty differentiating the sounds made by the letters in each pair.

When learning the long vowel sounds and certain consonants where one sound can be produced by several letters and letter combinations, these sound families are illustrated to students on one page with word examples using each letter combination. Organising sounds in this way helps young students see ‘the big picture’ (a metacognitive approach), aiding students to make sense of their learning.

Because touch and movement have dominance over visual and auditory learning up to the age of eight years the Write2Spell2 Read program until Year 3 uses big body movements in air tracking, and big letters for rainbow writing. It also gives ‘traffic light’ guides to starting points and direction to ensure correct letter formation, so that children reach competency before they write on their year appropriate lines. Children with wrong information in their memory banks find it very hard to undo what has been stored incorrectly.

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A four week trial of the Write2Spell2Read Interactive Whiteboard Program is offered to teachers to experience the innovative design