Monthly Book Recommendation: NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

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This month, I am recommending the book:

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

If you are interested in a deeper understanding of the history of autism, this is a great and in-depth book to read.

The book definitely has some heft, and took me awhile to get through. In the afterward, Silberman shares that it took him five years to research the history of autism.

His main emphasis is a positive one: the world thrives with neurodiversity. He also advocates for people on the spectrum to have a larger role in advocating for themselves, and for a greater push in services. 

Note: The book is not without some controversy. My simplified read on his take regarding some controversial issues is: overall, autism has not increased dramatically, rather, now we have an increase due to society identifying autism and widening of the spectrum, and that vaccines have no bearing on the increase. Even if you disagree with some of his viewpoints (I felt his section on pollutants skimmed the surface), it is still a very worthwhile and great read! 

The Six Syllable Types: Consonant-le Syllable

gif_2726-Elementary-School-Design-Books-And-Apple (1)This week, we are taking a look at the syllable type: consonant -le.

Consonant-le Syllables:

  • Have three letters, a consonant, an l and an e (there can be a /s/ added to make words plural).
  • The e is silent.
  • The syllable is the last syllable in a multisyllabic word.

Some examples are: apple, crumble, sparkle, giggles, brittle, vehicle, little, multiple, snuggle, rectangle, etc.

There are some words with exceptions to this rule. The exception occurs when the consonant is an s. It makes the t silent, and the sound is a /l/. As in bus·tle, whis·tle, and cas·tle.

This is a great syllable type/spelling pattern to teach, as it is fairly straightforward. I hope this helps!

A Gift for You: Words for Writers

IMG_1657I’ve put together a great resource for teachers and parents. This “Words for Writers & Editor’s Checklist” is a list of the most commonly used words in English, and will help your students/child with spelling and writing. If it is a very common word, such as “who, what, when, where, and why,” then the word will be listed in this small packet.

This comes as a gift when you sign up for my free quarterly newsletter (see sidebar to right to sign up/ or click here to see homepage/sidebar). My quarterly newsletter, which is a one page e-mail, offers tips, stories, and information that will be especially helpful in working with your students and/or child.”Words for Writers” will be included as a PDF. 

IMG_1658This freebie will help you give some ownership back into your students’ hands. If you know it is a basic, common word, you can direct them to look it up.

We have a book binder at our school, so I bound mine, but a heavy duty stapler works as well.

I promise to never, ever spam you or share your email!

The Six Syllable Types: Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable

This week we will look at vowel-consonant-e syllables.

A Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable:

  • Has a vowel, consonant, and then an e.
  • The first vowel is a long vowel sound.
  • The e is silent.

gif_book121This rule is among the first rules we teach with regards to long vowels and single syllable words. Examples include: cake, cape, kite, ride, cove, rose, tube, and cute. We emphasize that the silent e makes the previous vowel say its “name”—that is, a long vowel sound. Students need to be able to differentiate between a short and long vowel sound to understand this syllabication type.

I like to have students look at the difference between words when the silent e is added. For instance, “cap” turns to “cape” with the silent e. “Hop” turns to “hope.” Have students practice reading words with and without the silent e.

This syllable type can be found in multisyllabic words, often paired with a closed syllable. Examples include: in·vite, name·sake (two cvce syllables), rep·tile, dis·crete, etc.

There are some exceptions to this rule. In English, words do not end in the letter /v/.  Words like “give,” glove,” and “solve” do not have a long vowel. Other common words that are exceptions are: palace, favorite, justice, notice, damage, etc.

If you are interested, I have a nice unit on TeachersPayTeachers where students can read short stories and practice this syllable pattern (at the K/1st grade level). 

An Amazing Pencil Sharpener!

IMG_1659We have a new colleague on our personalized learning team, and she introduced us to an amazing pencil sharpener.

Can you really get excited about a great pencil sharpener? Well, if you’re a teacher, the answer is a definitive “yes.”

My students call it the “old fashioned” pencil sharpener because it is not electric. That is part of the appeal for me–no high pitch grinding noise. Also, it will not eat your pencils. It grips the pencil and sharpens it to a sharp point, and no more. This is not a paid endorsement 🙂

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Like coloring books, there is something therapeutic about sharpening a bunch of pencils all at once.

The brand is: CARL ANGEL-5 Pencil Sharpener. “The Original Quality.”