Spelling is a thinking process not a rote learning task.
Spelling Strategy posters:
Sound it out
Does it look right?
Spell by meaning
Consulting an authority
Spell by rule
Technology based interventions:
Phonics Alive – Advanced Software
Fast Forward – (Fairly costly but developed by neuroscientists)
Aerobics by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wordshark 5 by White Space Ltd
Prof’s Phonics 1
Plickers – using a game called ‘You can join my game’
Use data about where your students are at to determine needs and address these.
Assessment is an important tool to do this.
Explicit teaching of
Characteristics of an effective Spelling Program:
Regular assessment – data analysis indicating growth
choices in activities/ ways of working depending on needs and interests
Goal setting and regular monitoring with high student involvement in these processes
Students increasingly developing vocabulary to describe strategies and thinking processes used
Learning applied to writing
Sense of fun, wonder, challenge experienced
Games, challenges as a class
Curriculum standards addressed and achieved
students increasingly able to articulate their learning, explaining patterns and generalisations and appropriately applying these
Evidence shows development – what students say, write, do and make reflected on skills/ knowledge continuum (may not be linear)
Intervention strategies implemented for cohorts/ individuals as necessary with support of SSO, parent, peer tutor, regular time with the teacher – tied to goals which are time bound and reviewed to measure effectiveness of processes used.
Further assessment sought/ referred if intervention not successful
technological tools could be useful (Phonics Alive, Apps, Text to speech (coping strategy)
Students use their knowledge and skills strategically to spell increasingly proficiently
1. Point of View
2. A dramatic question
3. Emotional content
4. The gift of your voice
5. The Power of the Soundtrack
* personal narratives
* historical documentaries
* content area stories
1. Recognise characteristics of good digital storytelling
2. Consider audience and purpose
3. personal point of view
4. provide support feedback to the scripts of others – be helpful and friendly
5. use high quality images to support the story – large size, own images, or free to use/ modify
6. file image using meaningful names
7. create a detailed storyboard before creating digital story
8. Carefully organise all elements in one location
– create sub folders
9. save files early and often – computer and back up, keep originals, make copies and edit (music and voice recording)
10. Record high quality narration – USB microphone, Audacity, Smartphone and then email file, quiet are – no background noise
11. Consider copyright
12. Collect/ create educational material to support digital story
Assessment and Evaluation
Story circle and rubric
Self Reflection/ Assessment e.g.
What was the topic and why did you chose this?
What technology hardware and software did you use?
What type of content did you use in creating your digital story?
What were some of the challenges you faced creating the project?
Briefly describe the instructional support materials you created?
What were some of the most significant things you learned?
Do you think you will use digital storytelling in the future?
Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (2014)
Burnett: The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head is Really Up To (2016)
Carey: How we learn (2015)
Didau: What if everything you knew about education was wrong? (2015)
Dweck: Mindset How We Can Learn To Fulfil Our Potential (2012)
Hymer & Gershon: Growth Mindset Pocketbook (2014)
Marzano, Pickering & Pollock: Classroom Instruction that Works (2004)
Sousa & Tomlinson: Differentiation and the Brain (2010)
Tomlinson: The Differentiated Classroom (2014)
Willingham: Why don’t students like school (2010)
Wiliam & Leahy: Embedding Formative Assessment (2015)
Dweck: Self-theories Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development (2000)
Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan & Willingham: Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58 (2013)
Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer & Bjork: Learning styles: Concepts and evidence Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119 (2008)
Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (2003)
SOLO Taxonomy – Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes
These structures/ quadrants can be used to allow students to choose a suitable pathway forward, depending on their current level of understanding.
4. Draw your own…
Double my number using cubes
Solve the word problem on your table.
Do it using a different method.
Double muddle! Correct my mistakes.
Gold coins are doubling in the pirate chest.
Using scaffolds – (providing floors not ceilings!) – structure thinking to make meaning
Hexagons – connect concepts through the use of subject specific vocabulary
Blooms Taxonomy Cognitive Level
Type of Activity
Evaluate and Create
Cause and Effect
Through listening to the discussion generated by students working in pairs/ groups on these scaffolds teachers can make judgements about misconceptions/ further challenges needed. Questioning students to build on their ideas, and then allowing time, directing them to resources and peers who can help them, without just explaining answers, can empower students more. Also expecting students to respond orally in fully developed sentences, using appropriate vocabulary, will provide practice for more developed written responses.
A space which students can go to to access further resources/ support structures,