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Spelling is not learned by rote or by immersion in writing and reading experiences.
Spelling is learned through:
- the strategic use of knowledge about
- Phonology – sound structure
- Orthography – written symbols to represent spoken language
- Morphology – smallest parts of words that carry meaning
- Etymology – origin of words
- visual activity – memory
- morpheme – units of meaning, base, root words, prefixes, suffixes
- spelling system
- integration with the teaching of phonological awareness, phonics, word study, vocabulary, writing and reading.
Components of Phonological Awareness:
A Comprehensive Model of Spelling for Educators
Motivation and willingness to engage is influenced by quality of the learning environment, characterised by:
- ‘real life’ significance
- reasonable level of challenge
Instruction needs to:
- be related to writing and it’s role in effective communication.
- involve students in group work
- involve solving word problems
- build a community of spellers who know how to research and use words for authentic purposes
- see the teacher taking an important role in modelling and inspiring a passion about words and their value as tools for communication
Differentiation will be needed to meet the students’ range of needs.
“It would be a waste of everybody’s time if they were all expected to learn the same words, strategies and skills.”
To differentiate consider:
- learning profile
To assess readiness the Words Their Way test can be used as a pre-assessment.
- high frequency word lists
- words of interest to student
- words that the teacher has noticed the student trying to spell in writing
- words that contain features that the students needs to practise
- words from topics that are being covered across the curriculum
“Having students work through a commercial workbook, at their own pace, does not constitute differentiated teaching.”
7 Goals for Differentiation in the Classroom – Heacox 2002
- Develop challenging and engaging tasks for each learner.
- Develop instructional activities based on essential topics and concepts, processes and skills, and differentiated ways of displaying learning.
- Provide flexible approaches to content instruction and products.
- Respond to students’ readiness, instructional needs, interests, and learning preferences.
- Provide opportunities for students to work in various instructional formats.
- Meet curriculum standards and requirements for each learner.
- Establish learner-responsive, teacher-facilitated classrooms.
Recommended sequence for teaching sound-letter correspondence.
Sources of Knowledge
- phonemic manipulation
- word pronumciation
- segmenting words into syllables, phonemes or morphemes
- sound-letter relationship
- common spelling patterns/ letter sequences
- rules for positioning of letter in words
- free and bound morphemes
- root and base words
- prefixes and suffixes; included inflected endings
- word derivations
- rules and generalisations regarding adding suffixes
- compound words
Suggested sequence for introducing morphemes Table 4.4 page 76
Visual perception problems
- interested in words
- being aware of words and their parts
- curious and motivated to learn
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
- Clicker Phonics
- Fast Forward – (Fairly costly but developed by neuroscientists)
- Aerobics by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Wordshark 5 by White Space Ltd
- Prof’s Phonics 1
- Alpha Writer
- 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
- Phonological Knowledge
- Orthographic Knowledge
- Morphological Knowledge
- Etymological Knowledge
Characteristics of an effective Spelling Program:
- Regular assessment – data analysis indicating growth
- Differentiated practices
- word lists
- choices in activities/ ways of working depending on needs and interests
- Goal setting and regular monitoring with high student involvement in these processes
- Metalanguage developed
- 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
- phonological knowledge
- orthographical knowledge
- morphological knowledge
- etymological knowledge
- apply strategies for how to spell unknown words
7 Elements of Digital Storytelling
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?
Carol Dweck: Mindset Interview
Carol Dweck: The Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets
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)
Readers set goals
“When students ‘own’ their reading goals, they direct their efforts towards accomplishing the goal rather than completing the task to appease the teacher. Satisfaction comes from achieving what they set out to do. They are motivated by their accomplishments, not stars and stickers which fosters little more than dependency and resistance. ”
Teachers need to listen to students read, interact with students to find out their interests and choices to be able to negotiate reading goals which meet student needs.
Free Voluntary Reading
Students who participate in FVR:
Improve in reading
Increase their quantity of reading
Discover that reading is pleasurable
Develop superior general knowledge
Improve spelling, writing, grammar, reading comprehension, writing style, and vocabulary
Boost their understanding of English
Increase scores on reading tests and other subject matter tests
Become better thinkers
Increase their reading speed
Become motivated and interested in reading
FVR is dependent upon teachers’ trust, student choices, allocated time to read and quality reading resources.
What data sets are most helpful to you in humanising the Faces in your class, school and system?
How does knowing the data have an impact on what students learn?
How do you ensure that each Face counts and is accounted for?
How do teachers know what data sets look like for the whole school and system – beyond their class and school? In other words, do they get to see the big picture,too?
1. Begin by knowing the learners
2. Co-plan using student diagnostic data
3. Make learning goals (from curriculum expectations) and success criteria visible
4. Use continuous informal assessment during teaching
5. Deliver ongoing formative assessment and reflect on mid course corrections through formal assessment
6. Provide students with oral and written descriptive feedback
7. Create opportunities for peer- and self- assessments
8. Ensure that summarise assessment informs next steps for students and parents
9. Use the data wall process to see the big picture and the detail – the Faces – so that teachers self-assess and reflect on their teaching
10. Share learning with whole-school collaborative marking of student work.
How am I impacting the learning for all students and teachers?
How do I know?
Do I start with knowledge of the learners?
How do I select what is to be taught?
How do I make the learning goal easily understood to all students?
Do teachers do-construct success criteria with the students?
Are all students and teachers improving?
If not, why not?
Do I give descriptive feedback that is factual and objective and outlines how to improve?
Where can I go for help?
Set their own individual goals and monitor progress toward achieving them?
Seek clarification or assistance when needed?
Assess and reflect critically on their own strengths, needs, and interests?
Identify learning opportunities, choices, and strategies to meet personal needs and achieve goals?
Persevere and make an effort when responding to challenges?
– Ontario Ministry of Education 2010
5 Key Questions for Students
What are you learning?
How are you doing?
How do you know?
How can you improve?
Where do you go for help?
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