Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
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Mayerson Jewish Community Center 
8485 Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

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OVB/IDA 2019 Fall Conference - c/o Maria 
Ohio Valley Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 

2019 OVB/IDA Fall Conference 

Students' Misunderstandings
About Spelling: A Starting Point

When students can’t make heads nor tails of spelling, it can impact their reading,
their writing, and often their self esteem as a learner. These are the students who
have already been given phonics instruction. These are the students who have
difficulty memorizing letters in an order that doesn’t make sense to them. Is more
phonics -- even structured, systematic phonics -- the answer?
While effective reading and writing instruction must include an understanding of the relationships between letters and the pronunciations they represent, it must also include a shame-free and effective way of reducing the number of spelling errors. That means identifying what it is that the student misunderstands about the spelling. If the student is already spelling words phonetically and those phonetic spellings are not correct, we need to step away from grapheme/phoneme relationships for a moment and see what else there is to know about the spelling of the word. It’s time to look at the word’s structure and the word’s history. It’s time to offer a rich, more complete understanding of the word and its spelling.

Come learn how to include morphology, etymology, AND phonology in your instruction. Let me share the ways in which I have seen these three increase a student’s understanding of our English spelling system. I will incorporate plenty of authentic student work, videos, and hands-on activities to demonstrate just how impactful this combination can be in giving the students the skills needed to question, investigate, and understand a word’s spelling, its meaning, and its use. This workshop is relevant to educators at all levels, to tutors, parents, interventionists, and others who believe in continually improving their instruction.


Mary Beth Steven



Mary Beth Steven is in her 25th year of teaching 5th grade at the Cambridge School District in Cambridge, Wisconsin. In her career she has received honors such as the Excellent Educator Award given by the Wisconsin Center for Talented and Gifted Youth, the Environmental Protector Award given by the Rock River Coalition, as well as being featured in a National Geographic Geostory on citizen scientists. The most recent honor was being chosen as a 2015 Herb Kohl fellow based on her merits as an educator. For the majority of her 25 years, she continuously altered the way she taught spelling, waiting to hit upon something that would actually be worthwhile. Within a month of spotting Structured Word Inquiry on another teacher's blog, she began using it with her students. In the six years since, she has been a continuous learner, taking spellinars offered at Real Spelling, workshops offered by Pete Bowers at Wordworks, and enjoying scholarship with a weekly study group. In addition to teaching full time, she also teaches online classes in Structured Word Inquiry and Grammar. In 2017, she presented at the Dyslexia Training Institute's First Virtual conference. She also presented an all day grammar training for a school staff in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has documented much of her classroom work with students on her YouTube channel and in her blog, Mrs. Steven's Classroom Blog. Her students have welcomed the intrigue, the fascinating stories, and the unexpected surprises, but most of all they have wholeheartedly embraced an understanding that has never been offered to them before.



Certificates for 6 Contact Hours will be issued
at the conclusion of the event.



In order to keep our conference costs low, OVB asks all participants
to print their own copies of the handouts BEFORE the conference
and bring them on October 19. OVB will not be providing hard copies on the day of the conference. The digital file for the handouts will be emailed to registrants on Wednesday evening, October 16.
Be watching your inbox for this very important email!


Lunch is included but no box lunches will be available to those registering the day of the conference.


Bring your checkbooks! OVB/IDA's great materials will be sold at the conference.

General Conference questions,   click here  to email Maria Aielli.

Vender Information, click here to email Maria Aielli.
Vendor Table Fee is $50 for table attendance only. If attending the conference, please complete online registration and contact Maria Aielli for your vendor registration. Vendor participation is contingent on OVB/IDA board approval.

Register Early! Cost of registration increases after October 8, 2019

Online Registration will close at 7 p.m. on October 16, 2019

No refunds will be possible after October 16, 2019


Conference Location:
Mayerson Jewish Community Center

8485 Ridge Road

Cincinnati, Ohio 45236