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Redesign of Spelling Curriculum

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  1. Redesign of Spelling Curriculum Word Study in Third Grade Jennifer Noel (Tovar) TE 842 Focus Project

  2. Description of Current Program • Spelling Lists taken from StoryTown reading curriculum • A pre-test is given on the words. If a student scores 90% or above, he/she studies a more challenging list of words that follow the same pattern • Students complete a Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe each week in class to practice words

  3. Best Practices in Current Program • Early word lists follow phonics patterns and onset and rime instruction which has been found to be an effective form on phonics instruction • Many word lists focus on prefixes, suffixes, and roots which “are the building blocks of big words” • Allows for differentiation based on assessment (assessment driving instruction) (Morrow & Gambrell, 2011)

  4. Deficits of Current Program • While the current program allows for differentiation for high level spellers, low achieving students have not shown much improvement over the year • In-class activities are not particularly engaging for students • Students become complacent in the routine and do not perform up to expectations

  5. Rational for Change • Low achieving students need differentiation and to work with spelling patterns that they have not yet mastered • High achieving students should be studying new word relationships rather than patterns they have already mastered • In-class activities should be engaging and fun while reinforcing skills at all levels • Students should have different experiences with words each week to avoid complacency

  6. New Program:What is Word Study • Word Study is the integration of phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction • Students gain a basic knowledge of the English language and how words are related to each other (phonics and spelling) • Students also increase their knowledge of word meanings (vocabulary) (Bear, et al, 2012)

  7. New Program:The Purpose of Word Study • Word study provides students with opportunities to investigate and understand the patterns in words • Knowledge of these patterns means that students needn't learn to spell one word at a time • It also develops students' abilities in phonics, word recognition, and vocabulary (Leipzig, 2000)

  8. New Program:The Basics of Word Study • There are distinct stages in a student’s phonics and spelling development • Students’ spelling abilities are assessed, then students are grouped based on the stage they are currently in • Differentiated instruction and hands on activities are given to each group of learners

  9. Standards Addressed • Common Core State Standards • RF.3.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words • Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes. • Decode words with common Latin suffixes. • Decode multisyllable words. • Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

  10. Anticipated Outcomes • Low achieving students will explore words at their level and move through the stages of development quicker • High achieving students will learn new patterns and word relationships rather than practice patterns they have already mastered • All students will be more engaged in learning and exploring word relationships

  11. New Instructional Practices: Assessment • At the start of the school year, a spelling inventory will be administered to all students in a class. • Elementary Spelling Inventory (Words Their Way) • Other phonics inventories will be administered to students as needed • Informal Phonics Inventory • Z-Test • Test of Knowledge of Onsets • Inventories will be administered again at each quarter to monitor student progress. (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  12. Stages of Development • After analyzing the inventories, students will be placed into 2-4 groups based on their current stage of development: • Emergent Spelling (Pre-K – Mid 1st) • Letter Name-Alphabetic Spelling (K – Mid 2nd) • Within Word Pattern Spelling (1st – Mid 4th) • Syllables and Affixes Spelling (3rd – 8th) • Derivational Relations Spelling (5th – 12th)

  13. Emergent Spelling • Letters to represent words, even if illegible • Bear is represented as MSDF • Students begin to represent words using initial or final sounds • Jam is represented by J • Students may write the initial sound, then add other letters • Fish is represented by FZTHSLT (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  14. Letter Name – Alphabetic Spelling • Students may use the letter name to represent sounds • Girl may be spelled GRL • Letter may be spelled LETR • Students include vowels, either correctly or incorrectly, which shows understanding of the alphabetic principal • Bear may be spelled BAR • Hen may be spelled HAN (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  15. Within Word Pattern Spelling • Students consistently spell words with short vowels correctly • Begin to show sensitivity to patterns within words • Make distinctions between long and short vowels • Use long vowel markers, although not always correctly • Bake may be spelled BAIK, but not BAK • Children begin to use –ed and –ing endings (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  16. Syllables and Affixes Spelling • Represents children’s understanding of how syllables fit together • Students consistently spell –ed and –ing words correctly • Students understand when a consonant needs to be doubled and when it does not • Learn conventions such as using –y and –le at the ends of words • Students master morphemes that have not meaning as well as tense or number morphemes (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  17. Derivational Relations Spelling • Students use semantic relationships between words that are pronounced differently to spell conventionally • Use the word fantasy to spell fantastic and fantasize • This stage may continue through adulthood (McKenna & Dougherty Stahl, 2009)

  18. Differentiated Spelling Lists • Each group of students will be given weekly word lists from the spelling stage they are in • i.e. Within Word Stage may get a word list of short and long a sound words • Lists can come from a variety of resources: • Modified from a Reading Series • Words Their Way word sort books • Other spelling program materials

  19. Pre-Tests and Word Sorts • Students are given a pre-test on the word list when it is introduced • Students then cut out and physically sort the words based on the pattern that is to be studied

  20. Independent Practice • Students engage in activities to reinforce the pattern that is being studied during Daily 5 (Word Work) • Additional word sorts • Games • Letter tiles and stamps • Wiki-sticks • Computer based activities

  21. High Frequency Words • Students will also keep a list of High Frequency Words that they do not know • Each week they will choose 5 of these words to study in addition to their regular word lists • Students will be tested on these each week through dictation sentences

  22. Weekly Assessment • Students will be given an assessment over their word list each week • Assessments will included additional “unknown” words to determine if a student is able to apply the pattern that was studied • Students will also be tested on the 5 high frequency words they studied each week during one of the daily 5 rounds or by a parent volunteer

  23. Materials and Resources • Words Their Way Word Sorts • Letter Name-Alphabetic, Within Word Pattern, and Prefixes and Affixes stages • Manipulatives • Wiki-sticks • Letter tiles • Various games (teacher made) • Student notebooks/Folders • For students to record and store their word lists, sorts, and written work

  24. Parent – Teacher Partnerships • Students will be assigned weekly homework packets as extra practice • Introduction letter to parents describing the pattern that is being studied • Activities for students to complete at home (Tic-Tac-Toe or Spelling Contract) • Suggestions for extra practice or additional support • Parents will also be asked to volunteer to help administer High Frequency Word assessments each week in class • Parent volunteers will also be able to help to prepare materials

  25. Best Practices in New Program • Allows for whole class instruction, but also requires small group lessons • Allows for differentiation for all levels of student achievement • Allows for more direct instruction of phonics to those students who need it, while allowing high achieving students to learn new word relationships • Builds parent knowledge of classroom learning and allows for parent and student interaction at home • Allows for parent involvement in school (Morrow & Gambrell, 2011)

  26. Existing Practices New Practices • Differentiation only for high achieving students • Boring independent practice activities resulting in students complacency • Relies on whole group teaching • Word lists and activities are already prepared • Does not build parent – teacher relationships • Differentiation for all levels of achievement • More engaging and fun games and activities used for independent practice • Requires on small group and one on one teaching • Requires more time and effort to prepare materials • Builds parent knowledge and parent-teacher relationships Compare and Contrast

  27. Reference List Bear, D. R., et al. (2012). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction (5th ed.). Pearson. Leipzig, D. H. (2000). Word study: A new approach to teaching spelling. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/80/ McKenna, M. C., Dougherty Stahl, K. A. (2009). Assessment for reading instruction (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Morrow, L. M., Gambrell, L. B. (2011). Best practices in literacy instruction (4th ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.