Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Author: Jim Halverson
Graphic Artist: Jack Ryan
Publisher: Better Karma Publishing
“The first task of English teachers is to make writing enjoyable and fulfilling, not drudgery, for if the students think about writing in a positive way, then they will want to become better spellers,” Jim Halverson states in his book, Spelling Works – New and Improved Lessons and Mazes to Help Students Master Spelling Rules and Spot Their Own Errors.
This over-sized paperback book is one hundred and seventeen pages. With the author having taught in private school for over thirty years, the book is targeted toward children in grade five and above but can be a good teaching tool for those new to the complicated English language. Artist Jack Ryan does sophomoric yet sometimes humorous drawings that enhance the reading.
In the age of electronics, most children do not have a love for orthography or syllabification so teachers and parents need any creative tools to aide them in the process. In Halverson’s book, there are twelve units that discuss and dissect spelling nuances with a thirteen page answer guide at the end.
After a short introduction, each unit has a “for the teacher” section first with an overview and teaching notes. Each unit starts with an explanation of the spelling rule, practices, hints, tips, and then a fun challenge or maze related to the spelling issue, sometimes including an illustration or a “did you know that” sidebar.
The twelve rules covered pertain to syllable division, root words, doubling one-syllable words, the final silent “e” and “y,” the “i” before “e,” apostrophes in contractions, plurals and singular possessives, homophones, endings and stress accenting.
With so many hands-on practices and games to engage the reader, this is an innocuously fun way to learn tips such as words ending with “us” or “cle” are usually nouns while those ending with “ous” and “cal” are adjectives, coining is making up a known root word with new affixes, or apostrophes are always placed where letters from one of the words have been omitted, not where two words have been joined together.
If your student is struggling with this topic and memorization is not working, this easy-to-do and understand textbook may be the key to establishing new habits in writing. One would hope the writer has a book on punctuation similar to this to help a student further excel in spelling words properly.
This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.
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