About Mrs. Barnett’s Classroom

About the teacher: 

I have been a teacher for 25 years in the great state of Michigan where summers are warm and winters are cold and snowy.  I have been a Special Education Teacher for most of my career, 23 years. I also taught 2 years as a second grade teacher.  I LOVE teaching!  I always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was a little girl in elementary school.  School was not easy for me though, I struggled to learn what my peers were learning at the same rate they did.  I am very smart, it’s just that language processing and comprehension was challenging.  After I was in college for a couple of years, I found some very good strategies to help me learn faster.  This led me to want to work with special needs students, with a mission to helping kids find easier ways to learn the material.  I’ve definitely found my niche!

About the Lessons:

In the past several years, I’ve found many wonderful ways in which to teach reading, spelling and writing.  One of those ways is called Structured Word Inquiry (SWI for short).  This blog will focus mainly on this as it is the single most empowering way to teach and learn about how our English language is structured.  I have said in the past, that “English is crazy!” Well, I was wrong.  It is not crazy and it is not built around the sounds in words….it is instead, a morphophonemic language –the interrelationship of morphology, etymology and phonology.  I hope to help eradicate that crazy statement from every classroom eventually.  My students will help with this mission, by showing you how deep and rich our language is through the study of our words’ meanings, histories, structures and pronunciation shifts.  They will show you how the scientific process is an integral part of the study of orthography.  They will make a hypothesis about a word, research it, and prove their hypothesis wrong or right; all the while, making new discoveries.  Join us on this journey of word study, I bet you’ll be surprised at what you learn!

About the Students:

This is a resource room which services students from grades K-5 in small groups. I also tutor students of all ages all over the country using Zoom video conferencing technology. The stories feature students that have a variety of learning needs and SWI is applicable with each varying need, at every grade level and across all content areas.  The depth with which we can explore words grows every year!

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