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Other Workshops


Morphology Matters: Using Roots & Affixes to Build Vocabulary and Advanced Decoding: 

Morphology for Instructors in English & Language Arts: Most curricula and standards recognize the importance of morphology (or the study of roots and affixes to guide vocabulary instruction) as early as 2nd grade. Recognizing that schooling often provides word study only at the primary level, this workshop picks up where basic word attack leaves off. All too soon students are introduced to textbooks filled with longer, multisyllabic words. Even with effective basic phonics instruction, readers are often unable to handle both the increased quantity of text and its complexity. An understanding of morphology, or the meaning parts that comprise words, is valuable for the development of vocabulary and word attack skills. In this interactive, hands-on workshop, Van Cleave engages participants in a brief overview of the origins of our language and characteristics of the major languages of influence, an introduction to morphemic awareness, and then (as time permits) a study of advanced word decoding strategies. Participants practice with each concept and learn tools useful for helping students understand and decode unfamiliar words. 

  • Click here to download a handout for Word Smarts: Using Roots & Affixes to Build Vocabulary and Advanced Decoding. 

Morphology for Instructors in the Content Areas: Educators often mistakenly believe that morphology study – or the study of word parts for meaning – is best done exclusively in language arts or reading/writing courses. This workshop, aimed at instructors of the other core subjects (e.g., history/social studies, math, literature, and science), explains the importance of direct and explicit vocabulary study for understanding textbooks and other content-specific materials. Van Cleave provides a brief history of the language and follows it with a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn to analyze content-based words. As time permits participants will examine their own textbooks and other course materials with these invaluable vocabulary tools in mind. 


Sensible Spelling Strategies:
Students with language-based learning difficulties have a difficult time with activities requiring rote memory. Participants approach spelling cognitively, learning the systems that govern the language and how best to instruct students to improve spelling. Students learn useful patterns, spelling generalizations, and techniques for teaching students to use them effectively. 

Why Multi-Sensory Instruction Works:
This presentation addresses the brain as a means of justifying multisensory instruction. The audience examines a definition of dyslexia and how it applies to our current understanding of the brain. Finally, participants study current research and how the tenets of multisensory instruction address the needs of the student with language-based learning difficulties. 

An Introduction to Multisensory Instruction:
Participants in this workshop learn about visual, auditory, and kinesthetic pathways. Using this foundation as a springboard, the presenter introduces the tenets of basic decoding and spelling instruction, including symbol to sound and sound to symbol relationships, kinds of syllables, and syllable division strategies. 

Orton-Gillingham Based Instruction:
This multi-day course provides teachers with an in-depth understanding of the English language and the logical approach to teaching it. Participants learn about the structure of the English language, basic phonics, the motor component, encoding and decoding strategies, written expression, advanced word structure, the make-up of the brain, teaching strategies, and lesson planning. While this workshop does include some lecture, a substantial amount of time is given over to practicing with the material and learning how best to integrate it into the classroom or tutorial. (Offered in five-day and ten-day versions; Audience – Mainstream and Special Education Teachers, Tutors, Speech Pathologists, Administrators)