Literacy Home Activities for Young Learners


As we remain inside during these uncertain times, caregivers have become teachers—and Commonwealth Learning Center is here to help with some hands-on literacy practice ideas for young learners. Alphabet Work Here are a few activities kids can do with plastic letters or letter cards, shaving cream, and clay or pipe cleaners: Arrange letters in alphabetical order, with a model if needed. Devise a memory game to match uppercase to lowercase letters. Form letters out of clay, pipe cleaners, or Wikki Stix. Practice handwriting in a multisensory way: Place a small amount of shaving cream or flour in a baking tray. Have children form [...]

Literacy Home Activities for Young Learners2023-09-13T08:36:30+00:00

Teaching Handwriting in the Digital Era


Learning how to write letters, words, and sentences on paper has been an important part of American schooling for hundreds of years. However, with increased use of personal computers, laptops, and tablets, many educators and policymakers question the usefulness of spending valuable class time teaching handwriting to students who have been born into a digital world. At the same time, reading and brain research points to the educational value of handwriting in ways that extend beyond being able to read cursive or take notes without benefit of a laptop or tablet. In her recent article for the International Dyslexia Association, Write Makes Right, Type is [...]

Teaching Handwriting in the Digital Era2021-10-05T13:22:41+00:00

A Way With Words: Mastering vs. Memorizing Vocabulary


Part 2 Last time, we reviewed some of the reasons why vocabulary development can be so difficult for students. Now, we will focus on ways to help students begin to gain a full understanding of language that will last a lifetime. Vocabulary is learned through a wide variety of mediums, including conversation, watching television, listening to the radio, etc., but for the purposes of this post we’ll refer to strategies to help students master vocabulary within assigned academic reading. As students are reading, they should get into the habit of highlighting or underlining words they are unfamiliar with. They should venture a [...]

A Way With Words: Mastering vs. Memorizing Vocabulary2021-10-07T07:13:17+00:00

A Way With Words: Mastering vs. Memorizing Vocabulary


Part 1 All too often, students study vocabulary words for a test only to never think about them again once that test is over. They don’t realize, or perhaps don’t care, that they are being taught these words to utilize indefinitely, to include as part of their repertoire. Vocabulary is the keystone to comprehension, and developing an understanding of it in a deep way, through use in conversation and writing, is an essential life skill to be successful in a verbal world. Our students are struggling with vocabulary (as well as reading, spelling, writing, and comprehension) because of an invalid [...]

A Way With Words: Mastering vs. Memorizing Vocabulary2021-10-05T13:08:06+00:00

Unlocking the Mysteries of the English Language


What can we say to parents who are baffled by the fact that their child has been receiving special education for some time, and yet, their child still cannot read with any degree of consistency? On the surface, it looks like everything that can be done is being done, and many parents have become resigned to the idea that their child will always be on the outside looking in with regard to knowing how to unlock the hidden mysteries of the English language. However, this should not be the case.  “Scientists now estimate that fully 95 percent of all children [...]

Unlocking the Mysteries of the English Language2023-06-15T08:33:48+00:00

Professional Development
for Educators



Beth Dinelli, M.Ed
[email protected]

220 Reservoir Street, Suite 6 Needham, MA 02494-3133

Phone: 781.444.5193

Fax: 781.444.6916

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