Gina Cooke, trainer and director of Valley of Peoria Learning Center and presenter at IDA, says that the spelling of schwa, as elusive as it seems, can be taught. Schwa, often represented by the upside down letter e, and pronounced with a diminished form of whatever vowel represents it, is much more difficult to spell than to read. The reason for this is that virtually any vowel can make the schwa sound in an unaccented syllable (about, mitten, pencil, season, unless). Cooke says that teaching phonology, including stress (accent), is important, but incomplete. Teaching morphemes helps kids understand that spellings are often retained when the word form changes, even when there is a change in the accent (mason – masonic; television – telepathy). Teaching etymology is important, too, says Cooke. The schwa occurs in multisyllabic words, which are often of Greek or Latin origin. Cooke advises against over-enunciation or “falsification” of the vowel sound when teaching. Instead, use multisensory strategies to incorporate all three components of our “morphophonemic” language (phonology, etymology, and morphology) when teaching this diminutive but common letter sound.