helpful spelling tips for teachers
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Mr Donnellys Little Book of Spells
Word STUDY Standard Spelling Development Spelling is developed through familiarity. The more we are familiar with the word the more recognisable it is and the easier it is to remember. As word and sound familiarity increases students are able to generalise sound rules, like p says p, which in time they are able to apply to the spelling of unfamiliar words. Other rules follow. Visual generalisations follow sound generalisations. Visual generalisations include recognition of multiple representations for the same sound, silent letters and double letter patterns. The study of word patterns to this point is often referred to as phonology. Inflectional endings are the next patterns to be incorporated into our spelling schema. These are the rules for adding s, ed and ing. While inflection creates plurality and tense, it often creates confusion when applying conventional syllable knowledge e.g. clapped. To avoid this confusion, inflections should be removed when syllabifying words. From their knowledge of inflectional endings the developing speller becomes aware of affixes. Affixes are made up prefixes and suffixes and either changes the meaning or function of the base words on which they are affixed. Knowledge of the base word will often reveal the correct letter sequencing in medial syllables of challenging words e.g. special to speciality. Studying how words change from a base word is known as morphology. The final stage of spelling awareness is etymology. Etymology is the study of word history. Why is the Egyptian word for king, pharaoh, spelt with a ph? ph is a Greek reference indicating that at some stage in the history of Egypt that it was successfully invaded by Greece. English spelling often maintains spelling patterns for historical purposes. Over the years English spelling has been plagued by the notion of exceptions. Exceptions are a short hand way of disregarding irregularities in the phonology. However, far from having a language which is complicated by exceptions we have a beautifully robust language which is incredibly rule bound. Even invented words like humungous, blend sound groups from the more familiar words huge and enormous and maintains the ous pattern signifying its use as an adjective. It may be made up but it requires correct spelling. If a word appears not to be rule bound... look harder! The stages of spelling development have been various described as: preliminary, semi-phonetic, phonetic, transitional and independent (First Steps); emergent, letter name/alphabetic, within word pattern, syllables and affixes, derivational (Words Their Way); phonological, visual, morphemic and etymological (Spelling: Improving Student Outcomes). Word STUDY Word STUDY is a description of the stages if spelling development that can be easily used with very young spellers. Word STUDY is an acronym which stands for: well-known words, sounds, tricks, use a rule, derivations and years of age.
Word STUDYSpelling EASY and USEFUL WordsNo Excuse Words
We love it! Sound Charts
Real TextsOther vowel choices, Doubles, Silent letters, Homonyms & D: Delete A: Add R: Rearrange T: Trade
Consonants, a-e-i-o-u (short & long)
Use when writing
UUse a Rule
Use a Rule (+s, +ed, +ing) Inflectional endings: Tense Plurals The Big FiveRecognise (easiest not all) Have a go (show me board) Best Guess (DART) Check (authoritative text) Learn (WACAWAC)
Use when reading Does it have word family?Base Words Prefixes Suffixes
5W: Willingly O: Often W: Well Duration Frequency Intensity
YYears of age!
Share the story of words.
Scope and Sequence: Spelling (Queensland Studies Authority)
Spelling: Improving Student Outcomes CD-Rom (Literacy Professional Development)
Word STUDY Pat Donnelly
Well-known words Sight words Personal words KLA words Phonological knowledge Phonological Sounds Consonants Short & Long vowels Visual knowledge Tricks Other Long vowels (Diphthongs) Silent letters Doubles Homophones Word function knowledge Morphemic knowledge Use a rule Plurals Tense Meaning knowledge Morphemic knowledge Derivations Word level grammar Word history knowledge Etymological knowledge Years of age Word Origins, from history to emerging conventions
Well-Known Words The words you identify as being well-known is unique to you. However, some well-known words are shared by most people at certain stages of spelling awareness. The following represents some of the stages very early learners go through in developing their consciousness of spelling. 1. Word awareness: Words: exist; can be read from left to right; represent a single idea; remain constant; and contain letters. 2. Words as pictures: Highly personally familiar words that represent something as a whole without the need for sounding out e.g. Your name, Mum, Dad, Your friends names, McDonalds... 3. High frequency words: Small words used daily in texts like a, the, and, ... 4. Environmental print: Students use authoritative sources for perfect spelling by copying labels, words from the board, words on charts and in books. Sounds One way to introduce sounds is through narrative and personification. For example, I like to think of consonants as calm because of their stable nature and vowels as bossy. It is because of their stable nature that consonants are the easiest sounds to recognise. Within the group of consonants those that have a sustained or stretched sound, continuants and nasal continuants, are the easiest to identify precisely because they can be stretched. The /x/ sound, which is a combination of /k/ and /s/ should be introduced through words that have /x/ in the final position. After the stretchable consonants come those that explode. These are also known as plosives. These exploding sounds are also easy to identify because they are easily separated from their surrounding sounds. The final two groups are usually the hardest to distinguish. They are the consonants that whisper and those that blend. The Calm Consonants Consonants that stretch: f, l, m, n, r, s, v, z, x. Consonants that explode: b, k (hard c), d, g, j, p, t. Consonants that whisper: h, w, y (sometimes vowel). Consonants that blur (consonant digraphs): ch, sh, th, ng (non-distinguishable constituents) Consonants that blend: bl, br, cr, cl, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, pr, tr, tw, sc, sk, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, qu (kw) (distinguishable constituents) The area of greatest difficulty, especially for young children with non-standard pronunciation, is the distinction between closely related sounds like /f/ and /v/. The difference between these two sounds is extremely subtle. They form a pair of sounds that can only be distinguished by the degree of vibration they cause the vocal chords in the larynx (throat). In certain cases the sense of touch may augment ones aural discrimination.
23 Common Australian Pronunciations of Consonants Unvoiced /p/ Voiced /b/ /w/ and /wh/ /th/ (the, thong) /t/ /s/ /sh/ /ch/ /k/ /h/ /r/ /j/ /g/ /ng/ /x/ (ks) /th/ (feather, then) /d/ /z/ /y/ /n/ /l/ Nasal /m/ /qu/ (kw) Other
Bossy Vowels Every syllable needs one! Vowel sounds most often appear sandwiched between two consonant sounds however the vowel links more naturally to the final consonant than the initial one. Sound groups, or syllables, can therefore be broken into their two distinct parts, the onset and the rime. The onset is the initial consonant sound and the rime is everything after the vowel. In short words this pattern will typically be consonant, vowel consonant or CVC. From a single CVC word one can generate lists of words containing the same onset or the same rime. From the rime one is then able to separate the vowel sound from the final consonant. These types of lists are known as analogist or like lists. The study of words with common rimes is the most efficient way to introduces novice spellers to short vowels. The short vowels are /a/ as in bat, /e/ as in bet, /i/ as in bit, /o/ as in pot and /u/ as in but. There are a number of ways of categorising vowels however the following is possibly the easiest way to represent vowels to students.
Common Rimes The introduction of rimes should start with the simplest and move to the more complex. The following has been adapted from the work of David Hornsby. Sounds Short vowel & final consonant Short vowel & final consonant blend Long vowel (bossy e) Long vowel (two vowels walking) Tricks Pretend vowel /y/ /r/ influenced others a /at, /an, /ap, /at /ack, /ash, /ank /ake, /ale, ame /ail, /ain /eat e /et, /ed, /est, /ell I /ill, /ip, /in, /ill, /ick, /ink, /ing /ice, /ide, /ine, o /ot, /op /ock u /ug /uck, /ump, /unk
/ay /aw /ir, /ight /or, /ore
The Four Vowel Groups The four vowel groups are the Rowdy Monkeys which make the short vowel sounds, the Proud Peacocks which say their own name. These are often referred to as long vowels. The group which represent the /r/ influenced vowel sounds and the remaining diphthongs can be classified as Tricky Pirate sounds. Rowdy Monkeys Make monkey noises Proud Peacocks Say their own name Tricky Pirates Make pirate noises
The short vowels a-a-a Cap, mat e-e-e Bed, then i-i-i Bit, mitt o-o-o Tom u-u-u Glum
The long vowels Plate, gain He, reach, key, lady, field Pie, high, dry, kind Note, boat, snow Cute, due, crew
air ar ir or
The other long vowels Pair, care, oy Oil, boy, ant oo Book, bull Harm ew Moon, drew Dirt, sister, ow Cow, ouch hurt For, paw, talk, auto
The consonants, short vowels and long vowels that say their own name constitut