Traditional Approaches

Monday: Introduce new words

Tuesday: Write words 3 times

Wednesday: Write words in sentence

Thursday: Practice test

Friday: Final test

(OR, look up in dictionary, unscramble, configuration)


Spelling Competencies

Competency area

Auditory discrimination


Silent e

Vowel digraphs/diphthongs




Structural element

Ending changes


-Discriminate consonant and vowel sounds.

-Consonants in initial, final,medial positions; consonant blends

-Single-syllable words ending in silent e.

-Vowel digraph forms one sound (ai, ea) or diphthong forms blend (oi, ow)

-Ability to identify phonograms in initial, medial, and final positions; word phonograms.

-Ability to form plurals by adding s, es, changing f to v, exceptions

-Ability to divide words into syllables

-Root words, prefixes, suffixes

-Words which end in e, y, consonants.


Spelling Techniques

Students learn to spell more effectively when they:

Increase engaged learning time

Use self-monitoring strategies

Check their own spelling and make corrections

Use learning strategies such as clustering, rehearsal, and elaboration

Study similar words together

Frequently review previously learned words


Effective Spelling Programs (Graham, 1985)

Incorporated in general study of language -- written and spoken lang.

Employ a variety of methods and materials

Include regular meaningful writing activities

Multiple opportunities for self-assessment


Remedial Approach (Graham & Voth, 1990)

Limit at first to high-frequency and student’s own errors

Small units (6-12) that emphasize a common structural element

Periodic maintenance and review

Students predict and confirm

Practice missed words with systematic study procedure

Link instruction in spelling to writing

Teach strategies, use spelling resources


Self-Monitoring for Spelling

Say the spelling word.

Write and say the spelling word.

Check the spelling.

Trace and say the word.

Write the word without looking.

Check the spelling.

Repeat the above steps as necessary (adapted from Harris, Graham, & Freeman, 1988).


Self-Questioning for Spelling

Do I know this word?

How many syllables do I hear?

I’ll spell out the word.

Do I have the right number of syllables?

If yes, is there any part of the word I am unsure of the spelling?

Now, does it look right to me?

When I finish spelling, I’ll tell myself I’ve worked hard (Wong, 1986).


Use Word Lists

100 most commonly used words in writing (Horn, Table 11.4)

I, that, what, please, would

Spelling Demons

squirrel, sandwich, potato, guessed


Motivational Strategies


Peer tutoring



Attribution training




Spelling Mnemonics

Privilege: Special priVILEges are VILE

Laboratory: A LABORatory is for LABOR

Judgment: GM made a judGMent

Stationery: LettERs written on stationERy

Bargain: You can GAIN from a barGAIN

Relevant: The ANT was relevANT to class.

Obedient: If you’re not obeDIEnt, you DIE.

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