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Spelling and Word Work

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Kelsey Musselman

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Spelling and Word Work

"Word solving is about learning how to connect words in ways that generate more word knowledge. Word learning will be useless unless children can use the information while writing and reading."
Fountas & Pinnell
Word Matters, p. 99
Be aware of:
children who look up and away rather than trying to solve
children who have a 'learned confusion' and think there are 2 alternatives and that either response will do -- you must help them learn what is okay and what is not okay
1 - Children need to use a balance of their sources of information when solving words on continuous texts

Struggling readers tend to appeal rather than work actively at words... so:
Did they check the letter first?
Did they try SOMETHING?
Try to get them away from appealing
2 - It isn't always about accuracy -- sometimes it's about taking on a part of a word solving strategy or strategic behavior
"We do not want the brain to specialize in learning one response for each symbol. Why? Because English is not like that. It is more important that the reader adopt a different stance: 'it might be this or it might be that.'"
~Marie Clay
3 - Students need to be more flexible when word solving
Stage 1 - New Word
Stage 2 - Only just known
Stage 3 - Successfully problem-solved
Stage 4 - Easily produced but easily thrown
Stage 5 - Well-known and recognized in most contexts
Stage 6 - Known in many variant forms
5 - There are different levels of knowing a word
There are 14 Principles of how words work that we will come back to in just a few minutes - they are very important!
4 - Teachers need to be thinking about the concepts of how words work
Marie Clay's tips:
Arrange for repetition
Arrange for over-learning
Practice reconstructing with magnetics
Introduce tracing
Use games
6 - So what about high frequency words?
What could you do differently? Are you guilty (like we are) of focusing too much on 'patterns' and 'word families' than on these 14 principles of words? Don't be afraid to make a change!
We encourage you to think about how you address word work and spelling in your classroom.
14 Principles of How Words Work
Spelling and Word Work
Fountas and Pinnell say:
Demonstrate and teach word solving principles with whole group and small group lessons
Provide opportunity for students to apply the principles - hands on work with words in applicable activities
Teach for, prompt for, and reinforce problem solving while readers are processing continuous text

When Readers Struggle
, p. 242
1. Initial letters can be changed
go/so look/book make/take
2. Final letters can be changed
cat/can bed/bet hot/hop
3. Letters can be added to the ends of words
look/looks play/playing stay/stayed
the/them teach/teacher you/your
4. Words can be put together
in+to=into dog+house=doghouse
5. Initial letters can be upper or lower case
the/The Here/here is/Is
6. Middle letters can be changed
dad/did sat/sit got/get ripe/rope
7. Letter clusters at the beginning of words can be added or changed
play/stay sing/thing stamp/champ
8. Letter clusters at the ends of words can be changed
will/with must/much back/band
9. Letter clusters in the middle can be changed
sheet/shirt pail/peel chirp/champ
10. Letters can be added to the front of words or word parts
am/ham or/for up/cup it/spit
11. Some words sound the same but are spelled differently
here/hear to/two/too
12. Some words are spelled the same but sound different
read/red record/record
13. Words can be read through analogy
stump= st op j ump
crack= cr y b ack
trail= tr ee m ail
14. Letters can be added at the beginning and at the ending of words or letter chunks
at splat splatter
stand understand understanding
eat treat treating
am champ champion
ar art smart smartest
When teaching, keep in mind:
It is easier to be given the letters than to find them yourself
It's easier to work on single letters for sounds before clusters
It's easier to work on initial letters and clusters before middle ones
Most supportive level of instruction:

Notice the different concepts
book can up
look cat cup

Slightly less support from teacher:

go has What is the change?
(no) (had)
Much less support:

look play Child must initiate the word
( ) ( )
Least amount of support:

st am p
(student must make the analogy)
What is the ultimate goal?
We want kids to say: "This is like that."

The habit of linking needs to start early
"I have that word in my other book"
'brother' - that's like Brian's name
This story is like that other book
Hey, 'shoe/too' - they rhyme
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