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Anchor Day 3 Summer 18

Day 3 (AM): Foundational Literacy

Why English is Hard

Foundational Literacy: the ability to read words and bring meaning to text. 
Session Focus Question:  How can we unpack and understand the patterns of our language to be able to make meaning out of words?

The Morning began with a gallery walk of the cordels and reflection with a partner.


  • Understand how the brain maps sounds to print to make meaning

  • Learn direct, explicit and multisensory strategies to be able to teaching spelling, read and spell words

  • Know that reading doesn’t just happen - we have to build a brain that reads

  • Know that you have to start with what the child can do and where they are in their literacy development

"The training that we have received is invaluable - thank you very much!"

- Participant Feedback

Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine

The Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine is an essential routine to start every morning. Participants had the opportunity to Unite, Connect, Disengage Stress and Commit.

Multisensory Strategies to Teach Phonics

Elkonin Boxes

Participants used Starbursts as manipulatives to map phonemes to graphemes. 

Six Syllable Types

Using the Clover strategy, participants learned the 6 syllable types.

Syllable Type Scavenger Hunt

Participants went on a scavenger hunt to find candy that represent all six syllable types.

"I can't believe I have been teaching for 14 years and never knew any of this." 

- Participant Feedback

A Moonshot Talk with Liz Remington: Building a Reading Brain

Liz Remington discusses word reading development which includes Orthographic processing, Phonological processing, meaning processing and context processing.

  1. Key Idea: Reading never just happens. We build a brain that reads.

  2. Key Idea: We are data hunters and gatherers.

    • We are pattern seeking and respond to repetition & novelty.

  3. Explicit instruction accelerates the process.

  4. Poor readers have impairments in one or more of these systems.

Eye Tracking Exercise

In pairs, attendees took turns reading passages while being observed by their partner through a small hole. One passage was accurate and one had errors. This exercise demonstrates how we use orthographic code to process what we read.

Spot and Dot

Fran McDonough took participants through the "Spot and Dot" strategy to help students separate syllables and find patterns in our words.

Day 3 (PM): Foundational Literacy

What's in a Word?

Foundational Literacy: the ability to read words and bring meaning to text. 
Session Focus Question:  How do we develop the ability to play with words and construct sentences such that it becomes automatic and we can bring meaning to text?


  • Understand how words work on their own and in sentences.

  • Learn direct, explicit, and multisensory strategies to play with words - deconstruct and reconstruct.

  • Know that increasing reading efficiency is a result of increasing automaticity and freeing up more working memory.

Alive Reading: The Word Collector

Debbi Arseneaux conducted an Alive Reading of the text The Word Collector, a technique inspired by the Arts Literacy Project at Brown University.


Participants went on a hunt for words. Scavenging the space inside the venue  and the surrounding area, they collected as many words as they could. They would return to these words for an exercise at the end of day.

I came into this week hoping to expand my skills in teaching to better enable my students to learn. I am leaving the week prepared to make this school year the best ever. - Participant Feeback

Moonshot Talk with Liz Remington: What's in a Word?

The History of the English Language

Liz Remington explains the evolution of our language using volunteers from the audience. She demonstrates through historical reference why our language is an amalgamation of many cultural influences.

Word Detectives

Leslie Connelly and Fran McDonough took participants through a structured word inquiry process to help students decode words.

Using a Word Matrix and Word Sums, students are able to make their decoding visible.

Words in the Wind

Using their "found words" from exploring the venue, participants transcribed them onto colored paper and tossed them to the wind. In groups, they collected words and composed poems, songs, and stories from them.

Pictures from Day 3

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