Stories are made up of words but words have stories behind them too!
Everyone thinks of the English language as convoluted and inexplicable, given the gazillion exceptions for sound and spelling. What’s with goes and does? How about come and home? What about know and now?
Why teach the sounds associated with each letter of the alphabet when they do not always make that sound?
Then I discovered Structured Word Inquiry which, to my delight, dives into the complex and surprisingly structured world of the English Spelling System. It's basic premise? The primary function of English spelling is to represent meaning. A light went off in my head. I attended an SWI workshop at the Nueva School and I now use SWI in my Kindergarten classroom. My students dive into suffixes, prefixes, base words and etymological markers and they love every minute of it.