The Word Nerds Project: Findings from a Research-Practice Partnership Focused on Spelling Instruction[PDF] by Laura S. Tortorelli and Lori Bruner

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Learning to spell in English requires the integration of general and specific word knowledge. This paper describes the ‘Word Nerds’ project, a research–practice partnership consisting of two researchers from a large public university and 17 elementary teachers in seven school districts in the United States. The collaboration was formed to study variation in instructional practice among teachers using the Words Their Way programme and address teacher-generated questions related to how children learn to spell words. This paper describes how stakeholders worked together to understand (1) what grouping and organisational structures teachers use for spelling instruction, (2) the extent to which elementary students use analogy to spell unknown words that share spelling patterns with known words and (3) the affordances and challenges of a partnership approach to educational research.

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