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Playing with Words: An Introduction to Word Study. HPS Summer Conference June 15, 2009 Melissa Park and Ellen Douglas. What is Word Study?. Process for addressing students’ developmental spelling needs Based on research by Read, Henderson, Beers, Templeton, Invernizzi and others

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Playing with Words: An Introduction to Word Study


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    1. Playing with Words: An Introduction to Word Study HPS Summer Conference June 15, 2009 Melissa Park and Ellen Douglas

    2. What is Word Study? • Process for addressing students’ developmental spelling needs • Based on research by Read, Henderson, Beers, Templeton, Invernizzi and others • Lets students discover and verbalize spelling patterns at their own rate, at their own capacity

    3. Research behind Word Study(see Bear et al., “Words Their Way”) • Stage-like progression of spelling development • Students move from noting concrete sound-symbol associations to developing more abstract connections between patterns and meanings • Development is similar across groups (children with disabilities, children learning English, etc.) • Relatedness of reading and writing, reading level to spelling ability

    4. If we can address developmental needs in spelling and in reading, we can move students down the road to fluency and grade level performance more efficiently and more quickly than if we ignore those needs.

    5. Stages in learning spelling • Emergent spelling • Letter Name • Within Word • Syllable Juncture • Derivational Constancy

    6. Corresponds to emergent readers Students are not yet writing—pre-phonetic writing Students acquire the alphabetic principle via development of phonemic awareness and concept of word Students eventually notice the most prominent sound in a word—semi-phonetic writing Sample spellings: [Scribbles] (early) BLZIB [random letters] (mid-stage) V for elevator, D for down (late) Emergent spelling

    7. Reading and writing are both labor intensive Students rely on the names of letters to spell words: “bed,” “jrip” Move from initial/final consonants, to blends and digraphs (bl and st) to short vowels, to affricates (j and ch) to final consonant blends and digraphs Sample spellings B, bd for bed (early) L, lp for lump Bad for bed (middle) Lop for lump Bed, lump spelled correctly (late) Plas for place Letter Name spelling

    8. Students have developed sight word vocabularies Able to “chunk” parts of words and process them more automatically than in LN Begin to understand long vowel spellings (ai, ay, aCe ight...) Begin to learn complex consonant clusters (scr, tch...) Homophone study is useful at this stage Sample spellings Flote for float (early) Plais for place Spole for spoil (middle) Driev for drive Chued for chewed (late) Within Word spelling

    9. Proficient readers Reading and writing to learn Are learning to apply pattern knowledge within syllables and across syllable boundaries, e.g. “hopping,” “butter,” “motel”… Learning the difference between spelling in stressed and unstressed syllables e.g. “contain,” “villain” Sample spellings Shoping for shopping (early) Damige for damage (middle) Confedent for confident (late) Syllable Juncture spelling

    10. Beginning to understand relationships of words with same root, for example, music/musician, compose/ composition, haste/ hasten, volcano/ volcanic Usually find students in this stage in middle school, though there are some in the upper elementary grades Sample spellings Oppisition for opposition (early) Prohabition for prohibition (middle) Spells most words correctly (middle and late) Derivational Constancy spelling

    11. So, how do you figure out where a student is? • Use Kathy Ganske’s assessment system found in Word Journeys • First, give the screening inventory to get a general idea of where each student is. • First and second grades can probably skip this inventory, as most students will be at the Letter Name level. • Then, give the appropriate Feature Inventory.

    12. jet ship bet got cap drum bump much with map hop plan that slid mud …etc… 25 words total, 5 per feature Feature A words: got, map Feature B words: ship, plan, that, slid Feature C words: bet, cap, hop, mud Feature D words: jet, drum, much Feature E words: bump, with The black letters are the targeted feature If the student spells the word correctly, she gets 2 points If she spells the targeted feature correctly but otherwise misspells the word, she gets one point--e.g. “bomp” instead of “bump” gets one point Letter Name Feature Inventory

    13. Stages and their features • Letter name • A: Initial and final consonants • B: Initial consonant blends and digraphs • C: Short vowels • D: Affricate • E: Final consonant blends and digraphs

    14. Stages and their features Letter name, Feature B: Initial consonant blends and digraphs Contrast s, h, and sh using pictures

    15. Stages and their features • Within word • F: Long vowels • G: r-controlled vowels • H: Other common long vowels • I: Complex consonants • J: Abstract vowels

    16. Stages and their features • Syllable juncture • K: Doubling and e-Drop with –ed and –ing • L: Other syllable-juncture doubling • M: Long vowel patterns (stressed syllable) • N: R-controlled vowels (stressed syllable) • O: Unstressed syllable vowel patterns

    17. Stages and their features • Derivational constancy • P: Silent and sounded consonants • Q: Consonant changes • R: Vowel changes • S: Latin-derived suffixes • T: Assimilated prefixes

    18. And what do you do once you know your students’ levels? • Group them according to levels • Give them weekly sorts according to their level • Different routine each day (blind sort, speed sort, buddy sort, word search) • Can use sorts for weekly spelling tests • Apply what they are learning to their guided reading material or content area reading • Can use some sorts that are at a higher level on a limited basis to teach useful spelling concepts, such as contractions or past tense spelling rules

    19. Beware… • Tricky scoring on feature inventories: • give partial credit for a mis-spelled word IF the targeted feature is correct: • for example: “drom” for “drum” gets partial credit because the “dr” is the targeted feature and was spelled correctly. • Incorrectly-scored feature inventories can put a student at a much easier level than she should be—which makes for boring word sorts!

    20. References • Bear, Donald R., Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton, Francine Johnston Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction. 4th Edition: 2007. • Bear, Donald R., Lori Helman, Shane Templeton, Marcia Invernizzi, Francine Johnston Words Their Way with English Learners: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction. 2007. • Ganske, Kathy Mindful of Words: Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8. 2008 • Ganske, Kathy Word Journeys: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction. 2000. • Ganske, Kathy Word Sorts and More: Sound, Pattern, and Meaning Explorations K-3. 2006