Posts Tagged ‘structural analysis’

Free Structural Analysis, Syllabication & Oral Language Resources

Word study is crucial to effective reading and spelling instruction. Knowing the structural components of words, including roots, affixes, and grammatical inflections will help your students read with greater understanding and less fear of multi-syllabic words. Studying how words are put together will help your students properly pronounce words. Learning the parts of words will help your student improve their vocabulary. Practicing the rules and patterns of word formation will help your students become better spellers. Oh yes… using the skills of word analysis will also help your students perform better on standardized English-language arts and reading tests.

Following are articles, free resources, and teaching tips regarding structural analysis, syllabication, and oral language development from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Also, check out the quality instructional programs and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.

Structural Analysis, Syllabication, and Oral Language

Ten English Accent Rules

The Ten English Accent Rules are important to understand and apply to be able to correctly pronounce and spell English words.

The Top Ten Syllable Rules

The Top Ten Syllable Rules will help students improve reading, pronunciation, and spelling accuracy. Applying these basic syllabication rules will also help readers identify prefixes, roots, and affixes, which improves word identification. Clear examples follow each syllable rule.

How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules

How to Teach Syllabication: The Syllable Rules is a three-minute whole-class instructional strategy that teaches students to properly pronounce and spell all of the phonetic sound-spelling and syllable patterns.

Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules

The Twenty Advanced Syllable Rules are critical to accurate pronunciation, decoding, and spelling. Knowing the patterns of affixes and roots will also facilitate vocabulary acquisition.

20 Embarrassing Mispronunciations

Educated Americans often look down their long noses at those who mispronounce common words. However, even these literary illuminati have their fair share of embarrassing pronunciation gaffes.

Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves

Here is the definitive list of the Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves that drive Americans crazy. Read, laugh, and cringe over mistakes that you or your friends make when saying these words.

More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog


Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, adaptable to various instructional settings, and simple to use. Get multiple choice reading assessments on two CDs, formative assessments, blending and syllabication activities, phonemic awareness and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages on eight CDs, 390 flashcards, posters, activities, and games. Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Perfect for Response to Intervention (RtI). ESL and Special Education students, who struggle with language/auditory processing challenges will particularly benefit. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance. 364 pages

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Free Instructional Spelling Resources

Despite having spelling instruction relegated to a mere editing skill tagged onto the end of the Writing Process by some writing “gurus,” good teachers continue to teach spelling through direct and differentiated instruction. Recent reading and writing research have reinforced the need to teach the structural components of words. Word analysis promotes spelling accuracy, correct pronunciation, and vocabulary development.

Spelling instruction is not solely the responsibility of primary elementary teachers. Intermediate, middle, and high school teachers need to both remediate spelling deficiencies and teach advanced spelling skills to their students. After learning the sound-spelling relationships, advanced spelling skills are acquired by learning and practicing the advanced spelling rules, syllabication and accent rules, and language derivations.

Following are articles, free resources (including reading assessments), and teaching tips regarding how to differentiate spelling instruction in the intermediate, middle, and high school from the Pennington Publishing Blog. Bookmark and visit us often. Also, check out the quality instructional programs and resources offered by Pennington Publishing.


Spelling Diagnostic Assessment

This diagnostic assessment tests all of the important vowel sound-spellings that students should have mastered (but frequently have not) as foundations to conventional English spelling. Included is a convenient recording matrix for the teacher to plan differentiated instruction to remediate unmastered spelling patterns.

Spelling Assessment Questions and Answers

That said, as an author of numerous spelling programs and an often-used Diagnostic Spelling Assessment, I get two questions quite frequently: 1. Does a diagnostic spelling assessment make sense? and 2. How can we use the weekly pretest as a diagnostic assessment? But I’ll let teachers ask those questions in their own words…

How to Evaluate Spelling Programs

With increasing attention on following Response to Intervention (RTI) guidelines, it makes sense to follow the criteria that orthographic research has established for quality spelling programs.

Ten Components of a Successful Spelling Program

Teachers truly want to differentiate spelling instruction, but the materials, testing, instruction, and management can prove overwhelming to even the most conscientious professional. Using this Spelling Program Checklist can help teachers re-focus  to improve their spelling instruction.

How to Differentiate Spelling and Vocabulary Instruction

It makes sense to teach spelling and vocabulary together. Simply put, one affects the other. However, not all of our students are at the same levels of spelling and vocabulary mastery. So, how can an informed teacher (that is you) differentiate spelling and vocabulary instruction in an efficient manner?

Common Core Spelling Standards

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts provide instructional challenges for all conscientious upper elementary and middle school teachers. In addition to the Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening Strands, teachers are expected to teach the grammar, mechanics, language application, spelling, and vocabulary Standards of the CCSS Language Strand (Standards L. 1-6). When establishing instructional priorities to address these Standards, many teachers have placed spelling (Standard L. 2) on the back-burner.

The  “able” Spelling Rule

The “able” suffix spelling is often misspelled, even by very accomplished spellers. Here are the applicable spelling rules for the “able” suffix.

The Vulgar “a” Spelling

This lesson on the vulgar “a” includes definitions, examples, writing hints, practice, a formative assessment, writing application, and related CCSS standards.

Visual Spelling Strategies

Spelling is primarily an auditory skill; however, when used as an appropriate instructional component of a comprehensive spelling program, visual spelling strategies, such as these “picture spellings” can make sense.

Why Spelling Is So Difficult

This article explains why the English Spelling System is so difficult to master. Seven suggestions give hope to even the most challenged speller to improve his or her spelling.

Top Twelve Spelling Trends and Fads

A dozen of the most popular instructional spelling trends and fads over the last thirty years are described and rated as “TRUE” or “FALSE,” in terms of recent spelling research. Get ready to be challenged, and perhaps redirected in how you teach spelling.

Diagnostic Spelling Assessments

In this series on How to Teach Spelling, this first post discusses and provides teaching resources for diagnostic spelling tests.

English Sound-Spellings

In this series on How to Teach Spelling, this second post discusses and provides teaching resources for teaching the sound-spelling system. The sound-spelling system is the foundation of conventional spelling.

Spelling Rules

In this series on How to Teach Spelling, this third post discusses and provides teaching resources for teaching the eight conventional spelling rules. These eight rules go beyond the sound-spelling system to lead students to conventional spelling mastery.

The Plurals Spelling Rule

The Plurals Spelling Rule Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The Ending “ion” Spelling Rule“ion”-spelling-rule/

The Ending “ion” Spelling Rule Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The “able” or “ible” Spelling Rule“able”-or-“ible”-spelling-rule/

The “able” or “ible” Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The Ending “an” or “en” Spelling Rule“an”-or-“en”-spelling-rule/

The Ending “an” or “en” Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The Double the Consonant Spelling Rule

The Double the Consonant Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The Silent e Spelling Rule

The Silent Final e Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The Final y Spelling Rule

The Final y Spelling Rule is one of the most consistent and useful spelling rules. Find other spelling rules, tests, and songs or raps in Pennington Publishing’s Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

The i before e Spelling Rule

Although only 50% of English spellings conform to a predictable sound-spelling relationship, applying The i before e Spelling Rule will significantly increase spelling accuracy.

Spelling Lists and Tests

Teachers who are serious about effective spelling instruction use the spelling pre-test as a diagnostic assessment to differentiate instruction. In this article, teachers will learn how to supplement the spelling pre-test with useful free hyperlinked resources.

Effective Spelling Practice

Effective spelling practice is not exclusively memorization. Good spelling practice connects to language development, vocabulary, structural analysis, auditory processing, and writing. Learn how to practice spelling effectively.

Vowel Team Spelling Games

Spellers often struggle in the “Within Word” stage of spelling development. The key challenge for spellers within this spelling stage involves the vowel sound-spellings. These three spelling games will help your remedial spellers both recognize and practice these vowel team spellings.

More Articles, Free Resources, and Teaching Tips from the Pennington Publishing Blog


Teaching Spelling and Vocabularyis the comprehensive curriculum that integrates spelling and vocabulary instruction. Perfect for RtI and intervention classes, the resources teach the standards-based conventional spelling ruleswith spelling tests, word sorts, and memorable spelling songs. Also get 64 remedial vowel-sound spelling worksheets that correspond with the comprehensive TSV Diagnostic Spelling Assessmentto enable the teacher to truly differentiate spelling instruction. Vocabulary instruction is provided through weekly Greek and Latin affixes/rootsworksheets, syllableand accent pattern worksheets, context clues worksheets, and syllable transformers. Additional resources include spelling games, vocabulary games, spelling and vocabulary flashcards, extensive word lists, and more. No other spelling-vocabulary program matches the comprehensive resources of this curriculum.  Truly differentiate instruction with the resources found in this large three-ring binder. 377 pages

Also check outDifferentiated Spelling Instruction, the complementary fourth through eighth grade (Levels A-E) standards-based spelling series, designed to integrate instruction in spelling, structural analysis, and vocabulary. Each level has 32 weekly spelling pattern lessons and all the resources needed to differentiate spelling instruction: spelling pattern word lists with spelling sort worksheets, formative and summative assessments with recording matrices, review games, memory songs with MP3 links, supplementary word lists, and more.

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The Problem with Most Vocabulary Instruction Part I

Don’t read this article if you susceptible to thin-skin teacher disease. The typical vocabulary instruction in many classrooms includes passing out a “big words” list of 20 vocabulary terms on Monday and quizzing on this list on Friday. Starting to cringe? And now the “buts” start to formulate. Some of the “buts” will focus on the content of the list: “But half of those words are from the literature selections this week” or “But half of those words are SAT® words” or “But half of those words are grade-level words that my students should know.” Other “buts” will focus on the learning process: “But I make them write out each word ten times” or “But I make them create flashcards for each word” or “But I have them underline the prefixes and suffixes and circle the roots.” The last “but” is all-too pervasive, if some of us are truly honest about why we really teach what and how we teach: “But that’s what and how I learned, and I turned out okay.”

The problem with the typical vocabulary instructional practice described above is not necessarily the content, nor the teaching approach. Indeed, the problem is one of effectiveness. According to research, “Rote memorization of words and definitions is the least effective instructional method resulting in little long-term effect (Kameenui, Dixon, Carine 1987).” 

If students remember all 20 words, each week for the entire school year, they will have mastered 600 words. Now, realistically, if teachers got students to remember half of those words by the end of the year (think standardized test), most would be pleased. That leaves 300 words mastered per school year.

But, the American lexicon is over 800,000 words, and the SAT® word bank is over 30,000 words. Students need to learn 3,000 new words per year just to make one grade level progress (Honig 1983). Learning 300 words per year is a very small drop in a very big bucket. So, not only is rote word memorization ineffective, it is also inefficient. 

Additionally, teaching vocabulary isolated from reading and spelling instruction ignores the structural components of words: phonics (decoding) and spelling (encoding), as well as the meaning-making purpose of words: understanding (comprehension) and communication (syntax, tone, clarity, etc).

At this point, frustration sets in… Even the most dedicated teachers might be thinking “Why teach vocabulary at all, then? Maybe students will just learn it on their own” or “I can’t spend any more time, teaching more words, than I already do. After all, I have reading skills, literary analysis, spelling, grammar, writing etc. to teach, as well” or “If I ignore it, it just might go away.”

For thick-skinned teachers who have made it to this point in the article, there is hope. Students can master the 3,000 new words this year that reading experts agree are necessary to achieve two-year-growth in reading levels. Your teaching can impact these levels of vocabulary acquisition. And you don’t have to spend much more class time to teach vocabulary efficiently. So what are the most efficient strategies? I call the two most efficient strategies to vocabulary acquisition 1. Efficient Reading and 2. Efficient Word Study.

Briefly defined, Efficient Reading involves re-orienting your homework assignments to focus on independent level reading with targeted context clues practice. The downsides? This approach requires some additional class time allocated to context clues instruction, additional record-keeping/accountability, and elimination of most other written homework assignments by default. The upsides? Increased vocabulary and comprehension, as well as a high likelihood of creating life-long readers. 

Briefly defined, Efficient Word Study involves teaching the survive words: the academic language, literary terms, and those words essential to the understanding of literature selections and the thrive words: the morphological prefixes, roots, and suffixes. The downsides? You will have to spend a bit more class time teaching “deep-level” vocabulary techniques for the survive words. You will also have to spend a bit more class time on Greek and Latinates/word analysis for the thrive words. The upsides? Increased vocabulary and word recognition skills that complement context clue skills. 

In the next four articles in this series on vocabulary development I offer the rationale and specific teaching strategies and resources for efficient reading and efficient word study. “How to Teach Efficient Reading Part II,” “How to Double Vocabulary Acquisition Part III,” “How We Learn Vocabulary from Word Parts Part IV,” and How to Teach the Most Efficient Word Parts Part V” will give every teacher the tools to enrich their students’ vocabularies.

Find 45 remedial and 33 advanced spelling-vocabulary worksheets, spelling word lists/tests,  Greek and Latin affixes/rootssyllable practice, and spelling-vocabulary games, spelling rules with memorable raps and songs on CD, a comprehensive whole-class diagnostic spelling assessment, enabling 4th–12th grade teachers to differentiate instruction and more in Mark’s book, Teaching Spelling and Vocabulary.

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