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The Spalding Method is a program for teaching students to read by first teaching them to write, hence the name of the Spalding text, The Writing Road to Reading. Students first learn phonograms. Phonograms are the written form of the sounds used in the English language. In English there are 26 letters of the alphabet, but there are 70 phonograms that represent 45 English sounds. Some examples of these phonograms are "a" which makes the sounds a as in cat,ay, and ah, also there are blends such as "sh" and "ch" and "wor". Students learn these sounds by looking at flash cards which show the phonogram, listening to a teacher, parent, tutor, or CD say the sound, the child repeats the sound back and writes it. Spalding is phonics based but is more than just phonics, it is a total language arts approach which integrates instruction in speaking, spelling, writing, listening, and reading comprehension.
In the Spalding Method students say the sounds of words before, while, and after they write words on paper. Students embrace quality literature and reading comprehension is facilitated by the internalization of high frequency words and the skills to sound out unknown words. In the Spalding Method students are taught the proper way to form their manuscript and cursive letters so that they can form the letters properly as they write them and therefore will recognize the letters in print, handwriting is also important because once students know the proper way to form letters they no longer worry about their writing and are able to focus their attention on reading and spelling. Direct, sequential instruction is in place to explicitly teach each skill and proceed from simple to complex. Multisensory instruction is achieved by providing visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities. The Spalding Method is ideal for teaching students to read and write because it develops skilled readers, critical listeners, accomplished speakers, spellers, and writers who are life long learners.
- Spalding, Romalda B. The Writing Road to Reading, North, Mary E. Ed.Haper Collins, New York, 2003
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