Teaching with THRASS
Teachers using THRASS are able to easily cater for multi-level classrooms and support EALD Learners and students with Dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties. It can also be used as an effective adult literacy strategy.
THRASS does not depend on specific intervention with individual learners but focuses on instructing teachers in the technique for whole-class implementation. Rather than being an additional task for an already time-poor teacher to work into a cluttered curriculum, THRASS is designed to form the cornerstone around which the teacher can build their classroom reading and writing activities, spanning all areas of the curriculum.
THRASS does not subscribe to an exclusively workbook model that provides ready-made lesson plans or page-turner worksheets for teachers and learners. Instead teachers can select from a comprehensive suite of print and digital resources to support and enhance their teaching.
THRASS is a cost-effective, whole-school literacy model that is sustainable from foundation onwards. It is most effective as a whole-school approach but can also be used effectively with individuals or in small groups. Successful implementation of THRASS® is dependent on the competence, commitment, skills and knowledge and understanding of the teacher using the pedagogy. As THRASS is a specific approach, professional development is vital. THRASS may be taught by teachers, teacher aides, speech pathologists, home tutors and parents.
Many children can wrongly be regarded as ‘good spellers’ because they are able to achieve 20/20 in a class spelling test. Unfortunately, many of these ‘good spellers’ get these same words wrong in their everyday spelling. Thus, as they pass through the grades, on one hand they are regarded as ‘good spellers’ because of results gained from weekly testing but looking at their spelling in everyday application and when tested using a standardised spelling test, their actual spelling looks as though it is going backwards.
The problem is they actually don’t know ‘how to spell’. They have a bank of words they can spell by rote but don’t know how to actually spell them. They do not have the strategies needed to successfully apply this information in everyday work or to encode newly encountered words.
Spelling workbooks and worksheets fail learners.
Giving learners an abstract spelling list of words that have no meaning or link to everyday work is an ineffectual use of both the teacher’s and learner’s time.
To become a good speller, the words chosen to be learnt must be meaningful and useful to the learner if they are going to be applied to memory. The spelling of a word must be practised in context to develop applied comprehension.
MASUTA gives the teacher control over the teaching of spelling
Orally articulate the word. Explore the meaning. Articulate the meaning. Explore alternate meanings. Explore homophones of the word. For example, see or sea, be or bee, bean or been, their, there.
Identify and segment the individual phonemes in the word. Identify the graphemes that represent each phoneme. Identify graphemes/ syllable sets that may need particular attention. By analogy, link words with the same grapheme/s.
Say/synthesise the phonemes in the word in the correct sequence (synthetic phonics). Explore phonetic understanding and synthesis using phoneme deletion / manipulation activities. For example, f r o g, without the ‘r’ would be ‘f o g’, s t r ee t without the first ‘t’ would be s r ee t.
Identify and synthesise phonemes in spelling words from memory.
Identify graphemes in spelling words from memory.
Link words with like phoneme patterns from memory.
Link words with like grapheme patterns from memory.
Link words with the same rhymes from memory.
Spell graphemes/words from memory using letter names.
Test List Words to assess that the learner is able to:
1. Articulate the word.
2. Articulate the word in a sentence to show meaning.
3. Identify and synthesise the phonemes in the word.
4. Isolate and write particular graphemes related to the word.
5. Spell the word correctly using letter names.
Standardised Testing to be undertaken twice a year to accurately monitor progress.
Apply skills and strategies to correctly spell words in everyday writing and dictation activities. Using learned skills and strategies to encode unfamiliar words.