Effective readers and writers understand the patterns between the sounds of a language and the combination of letters which produce that sound (CTW, p. 60). This knowledge enables automaticity in reading words and spelling them accurately in writing, key in the development of fluency. Spelling and word study is most prominent in a balanced program for Stage 1 as children are just beginning to understand the code for written language (BLD).
INSTRUCTION Spelling & Word Study: Students practice spelling high-frequency by providing clues about particular words on the word wall (e.g. "This word has a three letter pattern that makes the long 'i' sound). This activity supports students with seeing relationships among the way words are written with how they sound.
UNDERSTANDING Spelling & Word Study: I learned that in the junior grades, spelling and word study should focus on high-utility prefixes, root words, and suffixes. In applying their knowledge of these morphemes, students can understand the meaning of and how to spell thousands of words in the English language. Teaching spelling in this way leads to great transfer of these skills in a student's everyday writing (CTW, p. 75).
INSTRUCTION Spelling & Word Study: In Using Words You Know students use familiar words to learn how to spell and decode lots of other words. Becoming an effective speller is not a linear process and so I appreciate how this activity allows children to grow their spelling vocabulary in a web-like fashion. This also may lead to greater transfer of spelling knowledge to their writing as this practice is grounded in the words children already know how to spell (CTW, p. 64).
INSTRUCTION Spelling & Word Study: In this activity, students practice writing sight words using a whiteboard. By using a whiteboard, which is easily erasable, students are more likely to take the risks they need to develop as writers. A simple but effective strategy in encouraging sight word practice!
ASSESSMENT Spelling & Word Study: This Basic Spelling Vocabulary List can be used to assess student spelling abilities by applying our knowledge for which words students should be able to spell accurately for each grade level. This list can be consulted as one reviews student writing to ensure children are not being penalized for spelling errors that do not correspond to developmentally-appropriate spelling knowledge (Reading Rockets).
UNDERSTANDING Spelling & Word Study: I learned the role that invented spelling plays in a child's literacy development. In order for students to achieve correct spelling, RR recommends students be provided with ample opportunities to engage in purposeful writing as opposed to memorization of lists. Teachers should also not emphasize correctness too early otherwise one might discourage students from writing (Reading Rockets).