Anita Archer will be in Washoe County on May 15th to speak to our adminstrators and supervisors and then on May 16th to work with classroom teachers and instructional coaches. Many of us, however, will be unable to attend these events. The good news is that Dr. Archer is one of those rare educational consultants willing to have herself filmed and have her content posted to the Internet. Consequently, you can opt into Dr. Archer’s presentations, free of charge, including this one filmed by Utah State University.
The first part of the presentation focuses on handwriting. Archer makes a compelling case for why automaticity and fluency with forming letters and words leads to better writing. She stops short, however, of endorsing cursive instruction and sticks to the outcomes within the Common Core Reading and Language Standards. At minute 13:00, Archer outlines the research supporting the cognitive benefits of students being able to print their upper and lower case letters and at minute 23:13, Dr. Archer forwards two strategies for students who are disfluent writers. That is, she shares research that supports having student write frequently and having children practice “repeated writings.”
At minute 25:14, Dr. Archer transitions to spelling and shares the reciprocal nature between spelling and reading. At minute 30:55 she criticizes several common approaches to spelling practice including crosswords, word searches, writing words in sentences, and looking up words in dictionaries. What she suggests does work includes dictation, peer tutoring, and copy-cover-write-check. Dr. Archer puts theory into action by showing a lesson demonstration with 2nd graders (35:00). Following the demonstration, Dr. Archer lists the routine she used with the students—pictured below.
Dr. Archer transitions to sentences at minute 45:02. Archer promotes the following instructional approaches to increase proficiency with this skill. This includes sentence expansion (minute 46:16), meaningful sentences (48:45) and sentence combing at 54:45.