Chapter 9 Questions Assessing and Teaching Spelling
1. Briefly present stages of spelling development in which different types of spelling strategies are used by young children. Phase 1 – Phase one includes many levels (4 to be exact. Children go from pre-communicative spelling in which they use letter like forms to semi-phonetic (uses 1 to 3 letter spellings to represent entire words), phonetic (represents all sounds and chooses the letters according to how they sound.), and eventually transitional spelling (begins to use conventional alternatives for representing sounds and includes a vowel in every syllable). This is a dramatic learning stage that usually describes ages 3- 8. Phase 2—In phase two, children learn correct and automatic spelling. They can recognize when words look incorrect and consider different ways of spelling the word. Children around 8 years of age get to this point and continue to work on this phase for several years.
2. Briefly describe a diagnostic spelling test and a criterion-referenced test that assesses spelling skills. Diagnostic--- Test of Written Spelling –4: The test consists of 100 words from basal spelling series. It assesses the student’s ability to spell words that have predictable spellings in sound-letter patterns as well as words whose spellings are not predictable. Criterion-Referenced Test – Brigance Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills –II: This test contains a section that assesses spelling skills arranged in a developmental and sequential order. Tests include spelling-dictation placement, initial consonants, initial clusters, suffixes, and prefixes. Instructional objectives are clearly defined for each test. The test can show where the student is at, and also be helpful in developing individualized programs.
3. Briefly discuss the informal assessment techniques involved in the use of dictated spelling tests. Present the procedure for constructing and administering an informal spelling inventory. Dictated Spelling Test: In the dictated spelling test: 1. words can be selected from any graded word list. 2. On dictated word lists of increasing difficulty, the instructional level is determined when the student achieves 70 to 90 percent accuracy. 3. Through error analysis the teacher can readily determine areas of weakness.The student’s proficiency in spelling frequently used words and words that are often misspelled can be determined. Informal Spelling Inventory: 1. This can be used to determine the student’s approximate grade level in spelling achievement. 2. It can be constructed by selecting a sample of words from spelling books in a basal spelling series. 3. About 15 words should be chosen from the first-grade book and 20 words from each book for second through eighth grade. Random selection is obtained by dividing the total number of words at each level by 20. 4. For students in fifth grade and above, assessment should start with words at the third level. The test is administered in a dictated-word format. The teacher says the word, uses it in a sentence, and repeats the word. 5. Testing ends when the student responds incorrectly to six consecutive words.
4. Discuss curriculum-based measurement of spelling skills. Include procedures for administering and scoring spelling word lists. In a CBM, rate samples on words from a given spelling curriculum are used to measure the student’s spelling skills. Once the word list has been selected, according to how the teacher desires, the type of response to the spelling task can be either a selection response to or a production response. One type of response is to have a sentence with a misspelled word in it. The student must underline the misspelled word and choose the correctly spelled word from a choice of four words. Another familiar way is to have the teacher pronounce the word, use homonyms in a sentence, and have the students record the word.
5. Briefly discuss the informal assessmenttechniques involved in the use of spelling erroranalysis and the cloze procedure. Spelling Error Analysis: Each time the student makes a spelling error, the type of error is recorded. For example, the error could be spelling the word like it sounds, using the wrong vowel digraph, reversing letters in words, etc. By organizing these errors, the teacher can focus on consistent patterns of errors and plan instruction accordingly. Cloze Procedure: Similar to other types of cloze procedures, there are certain words or letters missing that the student must fill in the blank with the correct response. There is also a multiple choice format for the student to choose the correct spelling.
6. Discuss the assessment of spelling skills through the use of probes and sensory modality preference testing. Probes: A probe sheet might ask the student to write the word of the thing he/she sees in the picture, see words and write contractions, hear the word and write it, see partial words and write missing letters, etc. The probe can be given several times to determine reliability. Sensory Modality Preference Testing: How does the child learn best (does he or she use one of his/her senses more to determine spellings of words?) Knowing this preference can help the teacher plan for this child.
7. Discuss rule-based instruction and the multisensory approach to teaching spelling skills. Rule based: This focuses on teaching rules and generalizations of word spellings. Students can take a rule they already know and apply it to another word which they do not know. The plus to this approach is that students do not have to learn the spelling of every single word it they can generalize what they know to words they haven’t learned. The downside of this approach is that often words don’t follow rules and therefore can be confusing to spell. These words just must be memorized. Multisensory approach: This approach involves multiple senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile) in learning to spell words. 1. The teacher writes and says the word while the student watches and listens. 2. The student traces the word with a finger while saying the word. Then the students copes the word while saying it. 3. The word is written from memory 4. At later stages is will not be necessary for the student to trace the word. All the steps shorten to where it may be possible that the student can learn the word by merely looking at it.
One teacher helps her students with rules and generalizations of words http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDrFaANsYT4 I like this video because students must actively think about the root word and what needed to be done to change it to its present form. RATHER than memorize every single spelling of the word, they are thinking about the rules of the word.
8. Discuss the use of test-study-test techniques, fixed and flow word lists, and imitation methods in teaching spelling skills. Test-study-test techniques are useful because they help (by the pretest) to determine what words the students need to learn. It is also helpful to be able to compare the two tests to see if the instruction was effective. On flow word lists, words are dropped when they are mastered. This is good because then new words that need to be learned can be added. Therefore, the spelling lists can be individualized. I would just caution that it may be helpful to reintroduce the words they have mastered every so often so that they do not forget their spelling. Fixed word lists are the same for each child and therefore do not allow for the individualization that flow word lists do. Imitation methods are helpful, especially if the child responds well to imitation. The more students imitate a correct spelling, the more familiar and eventually automatic that spelling should be.
9. Describe an instructional game in spelling and a self-correcting spelling material. Instructional game: Checkers can be used as a spelling game. There are a pile of cards with words written on them. When the child gets ready the jump his opponent, his opponent read him the word on the card. If the child spells the word correctly, he gets to jump his opponent. If he misses he does not get to jump the opponent. The self-correction in this game would be to show the child the correct spelling of the word if he gets it incorrect and place the card on the bottom of the pile. Self-correcting spelling material: One game is the ―Spelling Word Puzzles.‖ Children must match puzzle pieces to complete the correct spelling. The feedback is that the pieces of the puzzle fit together in such a way to indicate a correct choice. As a teacher, you would want to make sure that the students were looking at the spellings and not merely which pieces will fit together.
10. Describe a commercial spelling program and a computer software program in spelling. Commercial Spelling Program: ―Spelling Mastery‖ is a six-level basal spelling series that teaches spelling strategies to students in first through sixth grade. The series begins with phonemic and whole-word strategies and then shifts to morphemic strategies. It emphasizes learning to spell by generalizations, rather than memorizations. Computer Software Program: ―Spelling Blaster‖ is for ages 6-9. It includes phonics based activities that introduce spelling rules and patterns for over 1700 words. The student learns to build words using phonics rules, recognize spelling patterns and word families, use phonics and rhyming words, and edit and complete misspelled words. Seven spelling activities with multiple levels of difficulty encourage the student to use various word-attack strategies to master basic spelling skills while reinforcing reading skills. The teacher has the ability to customize spelling lists in this program.
I’ve always enjoyed spelling and havebeen good at it. However, there is a lot more to teaching spelling than I had previously recognized.