• Contractions

    A great way of teaching contractions to kids is by using paint sample strips– fold ’em and open ’em like a fan; the colours liven them up!  You can describe contractions to younger kids as, “Two words get so pushed together that a letter or some letters fall out, and in flies an apostrophe to glue the two words together”! More formally, contractions are a shortening and combining of two words, used in everyday speech and informal writing. They commonly combine a pronoun or noun and a verb, or a verb and the word ‘not’ into a shorter form.  We put an apostrophe in place of any letter or letters that get omitted. Some common […]

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  • The Buzz Off Miss Pill Spelling Rule

    Buzz Off Miss Pill is the name of a spelling rule.  It is often the first rule a student new to OG will be taught.  It is sometimes called the ZFSL Rule or the Floss Rule. Here is how Buzz Off Miss Pill works; in words of one syllable, with one short vowel, that end in z, f, s, or l you double the final consonant.  This rule is an excellent example of the explicit and direct teaching that kids with language based learning difficulties thrive on.  If your child has come home chanting “Buzz off Miss Pill”, that is great! They have memorized the mnemonic that helps them remember […]

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  • The Number Two

    Why does the number two have a ‘w’ in it? Sometimes to understand the spelling of a word we have to look at its history and what other words it is related to.  If we list a few other words that we know start with ‘tw’ we will start to find a pattern: twelve – ten plus two. twenty – ten times two. twins – two children or animals brought forth at a birth. twine – a strong thread or string composed of two or more strands twisted together. twist – to combine, as two or more strands or threads, by winding together;intertwine. Two is spelled with a ‘tw’ because it is related to all of these other words. The pronunciation has changed, but the spelling has endured. You can find similarities in spelling and pronunciation in the word two in quite a few European and ancient languages.  

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