The key sounds reading, spelling and writing approach in an inclusive classroom
Learning the skills to read, spell and write proficiently is challenging for many people. Current research provides evidence that teaching children through a phonics-first program is the most effective way to teach reading, spelling and writing skills. This is further supported by literature on the human brain which has found that through plasticity, illiterate people are able to activate the Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) in the brain during phonemic instructions. Other findings demonstrate that verbally saying unfamiliar words out loud leads to improved spelling performance; programs that provide longitudinal instruction over time are favorable; and that integrating reading, spelling and writing during instruction promotes literacy achievement. Inclusion also plays a role in learning and research shows that students who learn in inclusive classrooms have higher self-esteem and academic outcome. A growing concern amongst educators is that students entering into high school reportedly demonstrate low literacy levels. This brought up the question of how can intermediate teachers move students closer to grade level in literacy skills prior to them moving onto high school? Based on the findings from this research, this applied project resulted in the creation of an inclusive intermediate spelling handbook. The purpose of this project is to provide intermediate educators with a differentiated, phonics-first spelling handbook that can be used within an inclusive classroom.