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Assessing and Teaching

Spelling

Lara McDowell
Janna Martinson
Tanya Kmiech
Carrie Shull
Molly Johnson

PreCommunicative
Spelling

Typical of preschoolers, ages 3 to 5


The child uses scribbles, letters, and
letterlike forms and shows a
preference for uppercase letters.
There is no understanding of
phoneme-grapheme correspondence.
The childs writing shows a lack of
understanding of conventions of print
such as spaces between words and
left to right progression of writing.

Semiphonetic Spelling
Ages 5 and 6
The child has

some awareness that


letters are used to represent sounds
and may use abbreviated one-, two-, or
three-letter spellings to represent an
entire word ( e.g. DA for day, LF for
laugh)
Demonstrates awareness to left-toright progression but tends to run
letters together with little or no sense
of separate words ( e.g. RUDF for Are
you deaf?)

Phonetic Spelling
Typically,

6 years old
The child represent all essential
sound features in spelling a word and
chooses letters on the basis of sound
(e.g. PEKT for peeked, KOM for come)
The child is aware of not only sounds
but also of mouth positions used to
make sounds (e.g. y may be used to
spell /w/ because the mouth position
to say the letter name y is the same
as to say /w/.

Transitional Spelling
Typically

7 to 8 years old
The child begins to use conventional
alternatives for representing sounds and
includes a vowel in every syllable (e.g.
AFTERNEWN for afternoon, TRUBAL for
trouble).
Child becomes more aware of patterns in words
Many words are spelled correctly but words
with irregular spellings continue to be
misspelled.
The childs spelling may become a mixture of
phonetic components and salient visual
features in words

Correct Spelling
Typically

reach this stage by age

8 or 9
The child spells many words
correctly and applies the basic
rules of the English orthographic
system.
The Child recognizes when words
look incorrect and can consider
alternative spellings.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE
26

letters in the alphabet


44 phonemes
More than 500 spellings to
represent the 44 phonemes!

Assessment of Spelling
Skills

Formal Spelling
Assessment
Achievement

Tests

Standardized Spelling Tests


Norm referenced
Recall and Recognition
Achievement tests with Spelling
Subtests

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills


Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement
Peabody Individual Achievement Test
Wide Range Achievement Test

Diagnostic

Tests

Standardized Spelling Tests


Norm referenced
Provide Detailed Information
Criterion

Referenced Tests

Fixed Criteria
Determines Mastery
Measures Progress
Used for Instructional Planning

Informal Spelling
Assessment
Diagnostic

information

Written Work
Oral Responses
Attitude

Types of Informal
Assessments
Dictated

Spelling Tests
Informal Spelling Inventory
Curriculum-Based Measurement
Spelling Error Analysis
Cloze Procedure
Probes
Modality Testing

Teaching Spelling Skills


An effective spelling program
teaches spelling through the use
of phonemic, whole-word, and
morphemic instruction that use
both direct instruction and other
research-based supplemental
materials.

Spelling Competencies
Auditory

discrimination: Ability to
discriminate consonant sounds and vowel
sounds and use correct word pronunciation
Consonants: Knowledge of consonants in
initial, final, and medial positions in words and
ability to identify consonant blends i.e. /bl/ in
blend and /cl/ in close
Phonograms: Ability to identify phonograms
in initial, medial, final positions in words and
ability to identify word phonograms
A phonogram is any written symbol that stands
for a sound, syllable, morpheme, or word. (more
commonly referred to as the rime part of the word
that comes after the onset, from the vowel to the
end of the word i.e. dog- d is the onset and og is
the rime/phonogram

Plurals:

Ability to form a plural by


adding s, es, changing f to v, making
medial change, and knowledge of
exceptions
Syllabication: Ability to divide words
into syllables
gorilla- go/rill/a
Structural elements: Knowledge of
root words, prefixes, and suffixes
Ending changes: Ability to change
ending of words that end in final e,
final y, and final consonants

Vowel

diagraphs and diphthongs: Ability


to spell words in which a vowel diagraph
forms one sound (ai, ea, ei, ie) or a
diphthong forms a blend (oe, ou, ow)
*A dipthong is a combination of the short
vowel sound put together. (known as the
gliding vowel because of its smooth
movement when being spoken)

Silent

e: Knowledge of single-syllable
words that end in silent e i.e in the word
game- the silent e creates a long /a/
sound.

Approach
es for
Word List
Selection

When creating spelling lists


you should
Allow

students to choose words from


their writing.
Teach words that students commonly
misspell when writing.
Teach words that students are most
likely to use in their writing.
Identify words that fit different but
related patterns (ee and ea for the
long e sound, words that end in tion,
etc.)

Here are a few great online


resources for teachers!
Spelling

City

edHelper

Rule-Based Instruction
Based

on teaching rules and generalizations using


linguistic or phonics approach
Linguistic approach stresses idea of the regularity
in phoneme-grapheme correspondence and words
are selected according to their linguistic patterns
i.e. cool, fool, pool; hitting, running, batting
Phonics approach stresses this same relationship,
but within parts of words. This allows the student
to determine how sounds should be spelled
These generalizations apply to more than 75% of
words. However, students should still be taught
that there are exceptions to some rules that do
not follow such generalizations
Despite the frequency of phonetic teaching
approaches, only about 50% of words follow
regular phonetic rules.

Multisensory
Approach
Spelling involves using skills in visual,

auditory, and motor sensory modalities.


Ferdinands Approach (VAKT)
1. Teacher writes/says word while student
watches/listens
2. Student traces with finger while reciting
word
3. Word is written from memory. If correct, it
is place in file box. If incorrect, the second
step is repeated.
4. Tracing method is not always needed at
later stages. The student eventually learns
the words by looking at it in print while
writing it, and finally by just looking at it.

Multisensory Approach
Cntd.
Gillingham Method
Day 1- Students get word list and study on
their own
Day 2- Teacher gives verbal feedback after
taking spelling test, and students
simultaneously say aloud and write the
correct spelling of any incorrect spelled word
5 times
Day 3- Procedure is repeated, except
misspelled words are written correctly 10
times
Day 4- Repeated 15 times
Day 5- To assess accuracy, students write
words from list verbally presented by teacher

Test-Study-Test Technique
Pretest

at beginning of each unit


of study.
Words misspelled on pretest
become study list.
After instruction, posttest
determines mastery.
Misspelled words on posttest are
added to the next unit.

Fixed and Flow Word Lists


Fixed

Word Lists

Frequently Used
New list every week
Tested on Fridays
Seldom Results in Mastery

Flow

Word Lists

Words are dropped from list only


after mastery.
New word replaces mastered word.

Lists for Learners with LD


Initially

should be limited to high


frequency words.
Misspelled words from their
writing.
5-10 words per list
2-3 words introduced daily and
practiced until list is mastered.

Modifications and Other


Considerations
For Students with Learning Difficulties

Study Strategies
This strategy has been found to
increase immediate recall of words in
students with learning problems:
1. Say the word
2. Write and say the word
3. Check the word by comparing it to
a model
4. Trace and say the word
5. Write the word from memory and
check.
6. Repeat 1-5.

Self-correction
Hear

the word on audiotape


Write each word
Compare each word with a model
on an answer key
Correct misspellings with
proofreading marks
Write the word correctly
Repeat the task.

Visual Mnemonics
Can

be used on spelling lists or flash


cards
Method:
Student closes eyes
Visualizes the word
Attempts to see the mnemonic in the
word
Writes the word from memory
*general recall can also be used, such as
the principal is your pal or dessert is
something sweet.

Self-Questioning
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

6.

7.

Do I know this word?


How many syllables do I hear in this word?
(write down # of syllables)
I will write the word I think it should be
spelled.
Do I have the right number of syllables.
Is there any part of the word that I am not
sure how to spell? (Underline and try
spelling it again)
Does the word look right to me? (No?
Underline and try again. Listen to find any
missing syllables)
When I finish spelling, I will tell myself that
I have worked hard.

Peer Tutoring
S

- spot the word


P- picture the word
E- eyes closed
L- look to see if the visual picture is
correct
L- look away and write the word
E- examine the spelling word by checking
it
R- repeat the procedure if the word is
spelled incorrectly or reward if spelled
correctly

Imitation Methods
Teacher

provides both oral and


written model of spelling word.
Student imitates model by spelling
word out loud, and by writing it.
Student is given immediate praise or
feedback for a correct response, and
incorrect responses are retrained.
Repeat the method until student can
spell and write the word without any
assistance.
Administer spelling probe to check
mastery and retention.

Types of Correctional
Procedures
Visual

image
Word Meaning
Add words misspelled in
compositions to spelling lists.
Increases motivation

Teaching and Reinforcing


Spelling in a Language Arts
A program that teaches both
Curriculum
learning to spell and read can be

very effective
-reading gives the student the
meaning of words, and correct usage
- Oral reading helps the student to learn
correct entire word sounds
- Spelling lists can consist of words from
reading vocabulary
- Can encourage use of spelling words in
writing

Dictionary Usage
Training

in using the dictionary is


an important part of a spelling
program
Encourage independence in finding
spellings
Provide information such as
syllabication, meaning, pronunciation,
synonyms and homonyms
Picture dictionaries for younger grades

Dictionary Usage
Technique

Predict possible spellings


-determine root words and affixes
-determine related words
-determine sounds in the word
-- Check predicted spelling by using
dictionary

Considerations for Secondary


School
Social

and practical significance


Own interests and areas of study
Vocational words
Teach with other activities
Strategies to compensate for
poor spelling can be taught