Middle years as students
Students in the middle years are going through a transition
from childhood to adolescents. They go through many
significant changes including…
They also more from concrete to abstract thinking
Middle years as learners
Middle years learning style is different from early years
This is because
- They seek challenges and engagement
- They prefer an hands on approach to learning
- They want a say in how they learn and what they are
going to learn
- They strive and desire independence
Middle year learners and technology
Technology is making a huge impact on the lives of middle
year students today. Many students see mp3 players, video
games, mobile phones and particularly the internet a way
of life rather than just a gadget. To them and so many
adults, this is the way they communicate, research and live
This is why the use of technology in the classroom is a
major factor in the way Middle year’s students learn
1-Precommunicative- letters/symbols strung together randomly
2-Pre-phonetic- alphabet letters are recognised, spelling is
attempted by sounding words
3-Phonetic- one-syllable spelling patterns and syllable
4-Transitional stage- the spelling of meaningful parts of words
5- Correct spelling
• It is important to understand that not everyone will go
through these stage at the same time. It will depend on
the students learning capability, their access to resources
and their learning integrity (Winch, 2010).
Stage 1- Precommunicative
• During this stage letters and symbols are randomly strung
together to make words.
• They rely on the sounds of words to attempt to build their
• There is no age bracket as students learn to spell at their
own pace however it begins with the ages of 2 and 4
Stage 2- pre-phonetic
• Spelling is attempted by sounding words out and using
the knowledge of the sound of letters to help write words.
• The meaning of the words is recognised.
• Vowels are introduced
• The concept of left to right is gained.
• This stage begins between the ages of 3 and 6
Stage 3- Phonetic
• Students are confident with making the connection
between sound and symbol.
• Students are developing word knowledge
• The teacher will analyse the misspelling and give
strategies to overcome them.
• This stage occurs at the start of formal learning (5-7
years of age) (Winch, 2010).
Stage 4- Transitional
• Students use phonological, sight and morphemic
knowledge to spell.
• Students include vowels in every syllable and begin to
• An increased amount of words are now spelt correctly
using a number of strategies
• This stage occurs between the ages of 6 and 8
Stage 5- Correct Spelling
• Are able to self correct and acknowledge misspelt words.
• Students can deal with contractions, compound
words, suffixes, prefixes and silent letters.
• This stage can happen at any time however it is most
common after the age of 8 (Winch, 2010).
• The teacher should be constantly recording how students
learn to write and spell and record what strategies they
used to do so. This will allow teachers to cater for all
students learning preference and have a variety of
activities that cater for them. The teacher also needs to
make sure there are adequate resources in the room such
as dictionary’s or even students personal ‘have a go’
books (Winch, 2010).
• Visual learners will often rely on how a word looks rather
than the meaning of that word
• ‘have a go’ book would be very effective here as they will
be able to write the word out numerous times and see
which one looks right and if they are still not sure they can
look it up in the dictionary (Whitton, 2010).
• Auditory learners rely on listening and speaking to learn.
They understand things better if things are verbally
explained rather then writing down.
• A good strategy for these students for when they are
trying to spell a word is to sound it out or say it in their
head before writing it down (Whitton, 2010).
• Kinaesthetic learners are people that learn better when
they carry out the skill being learnt physically.
• There are numerous different activities that could work for
them. One could be the ‘have a go’ book as they are
physically writing the word until they get it right. Another
activity could be look the word up in the dictionary
• Winch, G &Johnston, R & March, P & Ljungdahl, L & Holliday, M.
(2010). Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature. Australia
& New Zealand: Oxford University Press.
• NSW Department of Education & Training. ( 2009). Our Middle Years
Learners- Engaged, Resilient, Successful. An Education Strategy for
Years 5-9 in NSW. Retrieved from
• Whitton, D.(2010). Learning for Teaching, Teaching for
Learning, 2nd edition. South Melbourne: Cengage
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