Structured Word Inquiry (SWI): A Classroom-embedded Session

Facilitator(s): Peter Bowers
Date:January 23, 2019
Time:9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
Location: Beaumont (École Coloniale Estates School)
37 Coloniale Way
Google Map
Course code: 19-LI-337

Target Audience

Teachers and Literacy Consultants

Also Recommended For

School-based Administrators, Instructional/ Learning Coaches, District Leaders/Consultants

About this learning opportunity

École Coloniale Estates School, a K-6 school in Beaumont has been working hard at implementing structured word inquiry has offered to host the workshop on this day. You will arrive at the beginning of the school day, have a brief introduction to SWI and the day before the first class arrives so that Peter can teach his first model lesson that you observe and engage with on your own. After the class leaves, you will have time to debrief with Peter about the lesson. We will address questions about how the lesson was designed, what types of lessons might follow, and as a group, we will make sure to dive more deeply into the orthographic concepts studied. This process will repeat for two more lessons and debriefing sessions for the rest of the day. The three model lessons will span the grades from early years to upper elementary/middle school.

Both novices to SWI and those with more experience are welcome to attend the classroom embedded workshop. However, due to limited spaces for this workshop, only teachers who will attend one or both of the following teacher workshops (Jan 24 and/or Jan 25) will be able to attend this special opportunity. This ensures that the next two days of workshops with teachers can be informed by participants who witnessed the model lessons.

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the facilitator(s)

Peter Bowers, PhD is the founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre and a passionate educator/researcher from Wolfe Island in Ontario, Canada. Near the end of his 9th year as a classroom teacher he attended a 45 minute workshop by Real Spelling. For the rest of that year and the next he and his Grade 4 students became word scientists who rejoiced in making sense of making sense of the spelling-meaning connections of words. After seeing spelling transform from a frustratingly irregular system students had to memorize into a fascinating domain of scientific inquiry, Pete started graduate work at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON to test the effect of this instruction. He has earned his PhD and since published a meta-analysis of research (Bowers, Kirby, & Deacon, 2010) which showed that teaching about the morphological structure of English spelling benefits elementary students and even more noteworthy -- counter to decades of untested assumptions -- , this instruction brings the largest benefits to younger and less able students. Since 2006, as the founder of the WordWorks Literacy Centre, Peter has worked with teachers and students around the globe to help them bring scientific inquiry about the written word, “structured word inquiry (SWI)” (Bowers, & Kirby, 2010) to classrooms from preschool up.