What: Presentation Handout -
Handout Link Here
Comprehensive literacy instruction should include word instruction that teaches students to decode unfamiliar words (NRP, 2000). The Nifty Thrifty Fifty (NTF) is a powerful approach to word instruction from Pat Cunningham (1998), typically used in the upper elementary grades. NFT introduces 50 key words that teach patterns for decoding, spelling, and building meaning for polysyllabic words through understanding root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Students learn to identify the 50 key words, develop a ‘visual checking sense’ when spelling, and cross check meaning with knowledge of word patterns. Once they have learned the meaning of the prefixes and suffixes, they learn to transfer that knowledge to figure out unfamiliar words that contain those prefixes and suffixes. As with Cunningham’s other work, this approach to phonics instruction doesn’t require speech, which makes it ideal for students who don’t speak, including those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
Who: Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite and Dr. Gretchen Hanser
Where: Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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