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Structured Word Inquiry: Literacy and Subject Area Learning Through Scientific Inquiry about the Written Word, 2-day Workshop (Grades 5-9)

Registration Closed
Facilitator(s): Peter Bowers
This is a multi-day event.
Day 1Jan 24, 2018 (9:00 am to 3:30 pm MDT)
Day 2Jan 26, 2018 (9:00 am to 3:30 pm MDT)
$300.00 (CAD)
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
This event has multiple locations.
Day 1Edmonton (Johnny Bright School)
1331 Rutherford Road
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Day 2Edmonton (Radisson Hotel South)
4440 Gateway Blvd. NW
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Course code: 18-LI-210

Target Audience

Grades 5-9 Teachers, Literacy Consultants and Instructional Leaders

Space is very limited due to the job-embedded nature of this learning opportunity.

About this learning opportunity

Wouldn’t it be great if English spelling made sense?

Surprisingly enough - when teachers and students use scientific inquiry to investigate the structures and conventions that link meaningfully related words, they come to see that it does make perfect sense!

Not only can investigating words build vocabulary, it provides an opportunity to make sense of possible pronunciations along with an understanding of why these different pronunciations make sense. 

Not only is SWI a means of literacy instruction (vocabulary, reading and spelling), it is leverage for deepening understanding key terms and concepts of any subject area in schools around the world (preschool and up).

Consider the learning conveyed in this video by this Grade 7 student in a humanities class. 

See this link for a document on ways to address words across grades and subject areas and links to many other SWI investigations linked to subject areas across the grades.

In this 2-day workshop, you will have the opportunity to observe the presenter, Peter Bowers, teach model lessons to Grades 5-9 students at Johnny Bright School on day one. On Day 2, you will learn more about the research behind this approach and will be provided with all the word inquiry tools needed to become master inquirers (online links, linguistic tools and etymological resources). 

For an introduction to this work, explore where you will find a wealth of resources, explanations, videos and other illustrations of structured word inquiry in action in K–12 classrooms.

This learning opportunity is being provided through funding from Alberta Education.

About the facilitator(s)

Peter Bowers, PhD is the founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre and a passionate educator/researcher from Wolfe Island in Ontario, Canada. Near the end of his 9th year as a classroom teacher he attended a 45 minute workshop by Real Spelling. For the rest of that year and the next he and his Grade 4 students became word scientists who rejoiced in making sense of making sense of the spelling-meaning connections of words. After seeing spelling transform from a frustratingly irregular system students had to memorize into a fascinating domain of scientific inquiry, Pete started graduate work at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON to test the effect of this instruction. He has earned his PhD and since published a meta-analysis of research (Bowers, Kirby, & Deacon, 2010) which showed that teaching about the morphological structure of English spelling benefits elementary students and even more noteworthy -- counter to decades of untested assumptions -- , this instruction brings the largest benefits to younger and less able students. Since 2006, as the founder of the WordWorks Literacy Centre, Peter has worked with teachers and students around the globe to help them bring scientific inquiry about the written word, “structured word inquiry (SWI)” (Bowers, & Kirby, 2010) to classrooms from preschool up. 

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