Meet the Author

Spelling Connections author Dr. J. Richard Gentry is a nationally acclaimed expert in the field of literacy with a particular focus in the areas of spelling, beginning reading, and dyslexia.

Dr. Gentry has authored several professional books, including Brain Words (Stenhouse © 2019). Dr. Gentry is passionate about the importance of spelling for students’ overall literacy development, specifically in the areas of writing and reading success.

Gentry photo

Backed by Research and Experience

More than 35 years of spelling research has contributed to the success and effectiveness of Spelling Connections. No other program offers such extensive research credentials.

Download “Program Research and Authorship” to learn more. The article includes a robust list of citations for further study.

Spelling Connections enables students to build a deep and wide word-specific knowledge base to support the reading, writing, and communications skills needed for language proficiency.”

Support for Spelling Connections

Bibliography

Carefully Curated Word Lists

The differentiated word lists in Spelling Connections are organized according to principles set forth by linguistic, cognitive, and developmental research. The program incorporates the research evidence for teaching letter recognition, the alphabetic principle, and phonics.

Download a list of works that contributed to the Spelling Connections pedagogy, including a catalog of the word studies consulted in compiling the differentiated word lists!

Carefully Curated Word Lists

The differentiated word lists in Spelling Connections are organized according to principles set forth by linguistic, cognitive, and developmental research. The program incorporates the research evidence for teaching letter recognition, the alphabetic principle, and phonics.

Download a list of works that contributed to the Spelling Connections pedagogy, including a catalog of the word studies consulted in compiling the differentiated word lists!

Spelling Snippets

Watch a series of brief animations touching on some of the key points—and benefits—of explicit spelling instruction.

Additional Research Around Spelling

The Importance of Teaching Spelling and Handwriting

Students need to master reading and writing skills to succeed in any subject—not just language arts. These findings are demonstrated in the white paper “Creating Better Readers and Writers: The Importance of Direct, Systematic Spelling and Handwriting Instruction in Improving Performance.”

  • The knowledge of spelling depends on the same language abilities as reading, writing, and vocabulary development.
  • Spelling instruction increases the depth and complexity of students’ writing with both increased vocabulary and engagement of higher-order thinking skills.
  • In a technology-driven world, spelling skills are more necessary than ever to communicate with precision and accuracy.

“Research clearly documents that knowledge of spelling is connected to reading, writing, and vocabulary development because they all depend upon the same underlying language abilities.”

Brain Words

Available from
Stenhouse Publishers
Read Sample Chapter

The Broader Reach of Spelling Instruction

Taken from Dr. Gentry’s latest Stenhouse book, Brain Words, Chapter 7 provides tools for weekly word work study lessons including self-testing, how questions, why questions, mixed practice, and distributed practice, as well as five traditional best practices that are newly supported by current research.

Brain Words

Available from Stenhouse Publishers Read Sample Chapter

Learn More

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