Ready, Set, Spark!

Spark Reading Newsletter | January 2024

Hello Spark teachers!

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2024! This month, we're excited to have guest contributor Karen Filewych show you how to use Spark to support Morphology instruction. We also answer a teacher's question about using Spark to grow DEI in the classroom. Let's get started!

Teacher Tip

Using Spark to Reinforce Morphology Instruction

By Karen Filewych (educator, author, and literacy consultant)

Have you recently taught a lesson in morphology? Capitalize on the books in Spark to reinforce this teaching. Here's how.

1. Begin by scanning the books for recently taught morphemes.

2. Choose a book that uses the morpheme(s), preferably more than once.

3. Before engaging in shared reading with this book, review the morpheme(s) you have chosen with students. Be sure to review both spelling and meaning.

4. Show students the cover of the book you have chosen. Discuss the title and the images as appropriate. Then, ask them to predict words with the morpheme(s) that might be used in this book. Make a list of the words students suggest.

(Note: This process is more important than the accuracy of their answers. Students will be thinking about both the structure and meaning of the morphemes through the words brainstormed.)

5. During shared reading of the text, students will be looking intently for words with the morpheme(s). When students notice them during the reading, refer back to your list. Circle the words if student predictions were correct or add them to the list if necessary.

6. Continue reading and discussing the content along the way!Have you recently taught a lesson in morphology? Capitalize on the books in Spark to reinforce this teaching. Here's how. 

Other Ideas:

Weekly Word Finds – Establish a section of a whiteboard as Weekly Word Finds. Challenge students to look for words with morphemes they have learned during independent reading in Spark and add them to Weekly Word Finds. At the end of the week, discuss the words found and invite students to add them to the appropriate pages of their Word Study notebooks.

Word Wonderings – You might also ask students to watch for morphemes not yet taught. Words with unknown morphemes can be added to a Word Wonderings bulletin board, leading to future word investigations.

Weekly Word Finds, Word Study notebooks, and Word Wonderings are all tools used in the new Pearson product: Bug Club Morphology.

You Asked. We Answered

Teacher Question: How can I find (and use) culturally inclusive books in Spark?
Spark Team Answer: We are so happy you asked this question. The Spark team and all of us at Pearson are constantly striving to ensure we support you with DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) titles and content. Over the past year, we have added 24 new DEI titles to Spark and shared advice from a DEI expert in a past newsletter issue.

Here are some resources you can use:

  • Quickly find DEI-specific books in Spark by using search terms like "diversity," "inclusion," or "DEI" in the search bar.
  • Check out this list of DEI titles now available in Spark.
  • Read this article from a past Spark Newsletter for tips and advice from DEI consultant Elaine Su on bringing DEI into your classroom.


Share Your Spark Stories (Or Questions) and Win!

Share a story or ask a question about using Spark in your classroom for a chance to win four bean bag chairs for your class. Use these comfy chairs to create cozy reading spaces in your classroom, motivate students to read, and encourage small group work.

Entering is easy. Just fill out the super-short survey.

Watch for us to share your questions and ideas in future newsletters so others can learn from them.

Thanks for reading!