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Spelling Strategies

Key words: Instructional Strategies, Langauge, K-6

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  • Subject: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Cathy Brandt CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 20:01:53 EDT
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • I am in need of spelling strategies for upper elementary kids. I integrate my spelling with reading and vocabulary development. Most of the time the week's words come from the unit which we are studying or from whatever their reading material is for the week. The fifth graders this year are taking five words from the Spelling Book each week to make sure we are on target with "typical" curriculum and to hit a lot of the spelling rules.

    But, kids that are now facing more difficult vocabulary are also facing some frustration in trying to learn spelling and meaning (I DON'T do rote spelling)

    Would appreciate some ideas, strategies, parent tips for homework etc.

    Thanks,

    Cathy B.

    Document 2 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Jolinda Simes jmsimes@STTHOMAS.EDU
  • Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 23:30:40 -0600
  • In-Reply-To: <950913.200443.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Ahhhhh--spelling--one of those sort of elusive things that has to be taught. I struggled with this for many years until I hit upon The First 1000 Instant Words List in _The NEW Reading Teacher's Book of Lists_ (E. Frye, D. Fountoukidis, and J. Polk. 1985, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ.). Actually this book is a wonderful resource for all types of vocabulary development that can be adapted to spelling programs.

    The first 25 words on this list make up one third of all printed material. The first 100 make up about 50% of all written work. I've been amazed at how much better the kids have gotten at both reading and writing since I started using these words for weekly spelling lists and timed readings. These are words people just MUST know automatically without having to spend a lot of time decoding them. What is really nice is that you can also make lots of different groups to do some analysis if you want and, because they show up all the time in the things kids come in contact with in print on a regular basis, you don't have to make much effort to find ways to reinforce them outside of your spelling program. The context is always there to reinforce them.

    Students I work with often come in after a weekend and tell me how they were surprised to find this or that word scroll by as they watched captioned TV. They also are always quick to point out their Instant Words when they're reading the newspaper, etc. And what I really like is that words I probably never would have picked to be on a list are included while words I used to think were really important for kids to know how to spell early on are not included until much later in the list.

    Another advantage is that the first words include most of the function words found in English so when kids start writing more independently you can help them understand how to use these words in context. They don't just gloss over them as much when they read like I used to notice deaf kids do before I started to systematically use the words. The words are just in their spelling and sight word repertoire so their minds are freed up to concentrate on the syntax rather than trying to decode/spell words in addition to understand English syntax.

    So--I guess my advice is to incorporate some ROTE spelling into your program. It's kind of like memorizing math facts. Yeah, you can do a lot of math if you don't have your facts memorized, but you have to struggle a lot more to do it. I think ROTE is one strategy that is necessary for spelling because English has SO many convoluted rules and exceptions to them that sometimes rote is the only way. I would quit trying to incorporate specific vocabulary from reading selections and just go through the Instant Words. They will keep you busy through most of the upper elementary levels and if the kids get through those, the New Reading Teacher's Book of List is a great resource for all kinds of vocabulary and spelling development.

    Jolinda
    jmsimes@stthomas.edu

    P.S. This year I am teaching fifth and sixth grades and my kids take between 15-30 of these words per week for spelling. They don't always know what every word means every week, but they do know the signs. Then when they run across the words in their everyday contact with print and conversation they seem to pick up the meanings and functions of the words fairly quickly from context. We do continuous review until they have mastered "instant" spelling and reading of them all. Kids also start doing their own analysis like noticing "must", "need", necessary", "should", etc. all have the same sign, or "there" and "their" use the same speech and look the same for speech reading but are signed and spelled differently.---And they are forever finding all the little words in big words to help them remember how to spell things (ex.: "together" = to + get + her). Just this bit of drill and practice on Instant Words has allowed us to use a more whole language/thematic approach for integrating our curricula.

    Hey---! Can you tell I'm sold on these words or what?????!!!!!!

    Document 3 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Yetti Sinnreich YSINNREICH@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 08:43:21 -0500
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Hi Cathy!

    I have really enjoyed using Mecc`s spelling software for Apple II's with my students. You can enter the words from their stories and create different folders for different groups or individuals. The students can help you enter the words as you also enter "definitions" and sentences using the words in context. Then students can "compete" against each other in a fun arcade game called "Spellevator" even though they are using words from different lists. Once entered, you can create crosswords, word finds, tests and several variations of worksheets very easily. You can do cumulative reviews or partial word lists, too. It even prints out study sheets.

    Yetti Sinnreich, Kendall School

    Document 4 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: kathy mcfadyen mcf@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 08:06:54 -0500
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • I accidentally deleted Cathy's original post (new mail system, not yet adjusted) One strategy that worked for me was to have the students make spelling dictionaries, using an ordinary spiral notebook with about 5 pages per letter (only one for q, x, j, etc.). I also made a list of words from their speller for the grade-3rd (we never used the book--it was a whole language program), then ran off a copy for each student. They cut out the words by letter and posted them on the appropriate pages. Words that occurred in our literature and content area work were also added. Each student then started with a spelling grade of 100 (a real first for some of the students, who were hearing,BTW) Each time a student handed me a final edited copy of work, I would check for spelling. If there was a misspelled word in the paper which was (or was supposed to be) in that kid's dictionary, I took off 1 point. If the misspelled word was a new one, I spelled it and the student added it to the dictionary.

    I kept a master list of the class dictionary word and a supplementary list for each kid with his/her individual additions. It sounds complicated, but it soon became easy to work with. The kids liked it because they started out with a perfect score, it was up to them how hard they worked to obtain their grade, and there were NO TESTS! As time went on, most of the kids realized it was easier to learn to spell the common words than to keep looking them up in the dictionary.

    DISCLAIMER: there are no spelling mistakes in this msg; only typing mistakes!

    kathy

    ****************************************************************************

    Kathy McFadyen
    mcf@mail.utexas.edu
    Calhoun 431A
    c/o linguistics Dept
    Calhoun 501
    UT austin
    Austin, TX 78712

    ****************************************************************************

    Document 5 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Kathy Pongor KNPONGOR@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 19:29:49 -0500
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Hi Cathy,

    I think I might have shared this earlier but I use a simple spelling computer program called "Bee Smart". Admittedly it's basically a drill and practice kind of thing...but the bottom line is I have to tear the kids away from the program to get them to do other work! It has a couple of nice features, among them the fact you can set up your own spelling lists, modify the timer, plug in "helps", ect. The kids like it because it's very visual, if you're right...the bees dance around...if you're wrong they just buzz. And with any skills...the more your practice the better you get...and they have gotten better!

    Kathy

    Document 6 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: "LUCKER, JAY" LUCKERJ@SJUMUSIC.STJOHNS.EDU
  • Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 00:43:34 EDT
  • In-Reply-To: In reply to your message of Wed, 13 Sep 1995 20:01:53 EDT
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Cathy posted a request regarding strategies for helping children with spelling. Here's three that I have used with great success.

    Dear Cathy,

    These three strategies are successful because, I believe, they require problem solving, word play, visual processing, and challenges.

    1. In this strategy, the children are challenged to find how a group of spelling words can be grouped into different groups by as many different reasons as is possible based only on their spelling or visual form. That is, the children are given a list of spelling words and have to link all and any of the words that go together in as many different ways possible. For example, some of the groups could be: a. all end the same (not just one letter); b. all begin the same; c. all have the same little word in them; all are two syllable vs. these that are one syllable and the others that are 3 syllable....etc. The real goal here is that the children themselves are making up the rules and the rules have to be a variety of go togethers in the same list (that is, one reason for words going together is not sufficient). Challenging the kids really works.

    2. Little words in big words is a game in which the children have to identify as many little words within the bigger word. Any words will do, and, if you want, the children can make up some of the little words. Again, the children like the challenge and like to be creative finding little words. For example, the word challenge would be sounded and spelled as: c = /k/ + /hall/ + /en/ + /ge (sounded like "g" in go and rhymes with me)/.

    Hope these two games are helpful.

    Dr.J! @ St. John's
    <luckerj@sjumusic.stjohns.edu>

    Document 7 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Gretchen Miller ALV_SELVAGE@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 09:37:10 -0500
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • CATHY:

    For starters, I have a problem with calling them spelling words when in reality, we are expecting the kids to learn the meanings..

    I think it is more accurate to call them VOCABULARY. There are some tests that we use in school, SAT-HI that tests SPELLING......in such a way, that it is only judging how a word LOOKS.. not at all related to the meaning of the word....

    I am teaching my students vocabulary from the stories that we read, therefore they are getting context from the story and then the students must apply the same word in a sentence of their own. This has worked well with my 12-15 yr olds. Their recall has been ok-great. I also use the computer to help them learn the words-----the fingerspelling program allows me to put in my vocabulary words---and then the kids can practice telling what each fingerspelled word means......

    Good luck with your VOCABULARY lessons!

    Gretchen Kingan

    Document 8 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Cathy Brandt CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 13:16:39 EDT
  • In-Reply-To: Message of Thu, 14 Sep 1995 09:37:10 -0500 from <ALV_SELVAGE@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU>
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • I guess this is part of my struggle - I need help.

    Am I expecting too much of the kids? Am I trying to combine too much into one area?

    Spelling words are for us vocabulary words. I take them from their own dail writing, our reading material, unit concepts and the fifth grade spelling book. Because we teach an integrated curriculum their reading texts are a part of what we do with unit - so it all fits. But, by asking them to know the meaning, learn the sign, and the spelling am I asking too much of them? The kids are 10 and 11 year olds reading minimally at a high third, typically fourth grade level. A couple do read fifth grade material but comprehension is not perfect.

    So, should I separate these areas? Should we have a spelling list - only requiring the spelling of the word AND a vocabulary list where they are responsible for meaning only?

    We do have the add-in dictionary as Kathy suggested. Kids do this as a weekly project at home and bring the pages in on Friday to add to their notebook/ dictionary.

    Younger kids are doing fine. But, the older kids are meeting more and more difficult vocabulary. In Kentucky most all of our assessment is based on what the students can WRITE about the topic, concept or explain the procedure. Math and writing portfolios are kept and students are required to write and explain what they have learned. If they can't spell the vocabulary well enough for the reviewer to understand then what they know about the subject is not conveyed and the assessment is inaccurate.

    Sooooooooo - spelling to me has been a part of our writing which is simply an outgrowth and integral part of all we do. We write across the curriculum. Accurate spelling I've always believed was important as a part of that.

    Help! How do I help maintain the authenticity or meaningfulness of the tasks and keep it manageable and beneficial for the students and Leslie and me?

    Thanks,

    Cathy

    Document 9 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Gretchen Miller ALV_SELVAGE@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 14:30:56 -0500
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Cathy:

    I am not suggesting that spelling is not important.....it is. And you are correct in that the students are responsible for communicating in print and being understood...particularly on the literacy writing tests etc.....

    Spelling is indeed important..however, it is more than spelling that you are expecting of the students...hence, VOCABULARY becomes a pertinent term.

    I am confused tho abt your levels...since they are reading 3-4th , why are you using a 5th grade spelling book? That might be at the frustration level for 3rd grade readers... huh?

    Your activities sound great.

    Those students who are struggling with vocab, I would reduce the list perhaps or make the judgment call on whether to use words from THEIR lang/and books or using the spelling book list.....to me, both is too much. There ought to be a reason --in the kid's mind--- WHY they need to learn those words...and if the reason is becuz they are in the 5th grade book-- might not be enuf-----

    Gretch

    Document 10 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Lezlie Steffen LadyLLS2@AOL.COM
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 18:24:43 -0400
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • At my school last year we did language arts training with teachers preschool through fifth and this is such a concern with many of the upper grade teachers..... Working with teachers who themselves are Deaf we asked them and they constantly refer to patterns of fingerspelling...... when introducing a word to hearing kids we talk about syllables.... there are certain syllables in fingerspelling, too. Have the kids try to fingerspell the word quickly several times to get a feeling for the word..... how it has upswings and downswings.... etc.... its hard to explain without showing it ;-).

    Meaning is something that needs to be developed with your themes... :-)

    I hope this helps...... Other ideas out there????

    Lezlie Steffen
    K teacher at Texas School for the Deaf

    Document 11 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Claire Wells clwells@TENET.EDU
  • Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 00:24:06 -0500
  • In-Reply-To: <950918.105046.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Hello, Y'all,

    One of the things I have come to realize in reading this thread is that the way I thought about spelling (as a totally separate subject) 10 years ago, and the way I think about it now is very different.

    There is even more relevance to the individual child being able to correctly spell words in his spontaneous vocabulary, which he regularly uses for written language.

    If there is to be a generic spelling list for the entire class, wouldn't it be nice if all their written language samples were in the computer and you could compile them and print out a "class list" of frequently misspelled words? You could add in a few reading vocabulary words, as well, even as "bonus" words. The more words of high utility, the better. The kids don't want "gotchas". They want to be able to spell the words they frequently use, correctly.

    Spelling is important for expressive and receptive written language, both. So that covers every opinion, just about.

    Claire :-)

    ----- I wonder if Roberta Truax remembers me from the final D.C. Knowledge and Skills gathering? Cathy, tell her I said hi next time you talk to her :-) She's a great lady! Mega-smart! And so much fun! And loves kids!

    Document 12 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Spelling Strategies
  • From: Cathy Brandt CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 01:31:11 EDT
  • In-Reply-To: Message of Tue, 19 Sep 1995 00:24:06 -0500 from <clwells@TENET.EDU>
  • Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Yup, and I keep thinking and rethinking and I've only been teaching 8 (this is my 9th) years.

    >There is even more relevance to the individual child being able to correctly spell words in his spontaneous vocabulary, which he regularly uses for written language.

    Agreed here. Perhaps my question lies in is this a good place to bring in new vocabulary? If the child encounters it in reading or is a part of the new vocabulary for an area being studied, is Spelling a good place to integrate it as well? Or is this asking too much of the kid?

    Have exchanged some great private mail on this and am grateful for the opportunity to walk through this and think about it.

    >If there is to be a generic spelling list for the entire class,

    Wouldn't it be EASY if deaf ed classes were like this. We OCCASIONALLY will all tackle a joint list. But, even then it is different for older and younger kids.

    >better. The kids don't want "gotchas". They want to be able to spell the words they frequently use, correctly.

    Yup, and that's what I want. I'm just struggling with if I don't bring in new words at Spelling time, too then how long do they deal with these words before we have 'em spell 'em.

    >Spelling is important for expressive and receptive written language, both.

    Yup, and then how it relates to reading comprehension is another ball of wax.

    >----- I wonder if Roberta Truax remembers me from the final D.C. Knowledge and Skills gathering? Cathy, tell her I said hi next time you talk to her :-) She's a great lady! Mega-smart! And so much fun! And loves kids!

    I dunno. I'll ask her next time we chat. She really is a great lady. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study under her.

    Cathy

    Document 13 of 13

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  • Subject: Re: Intermediate Spelling Activity
  • From: Lezlie Steffen LADYLLS@AOL.COM
  • Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 12:20:18 -0500
  • Reply-To: For Persons who work with Students who are Deaf or Hard EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • Sender: For Persons who work with Students who are Deaf or Hard EDUDEAF@UKCC.UKY.EDU
  • I am currently going through a Frameworks --- Whole Language workshop and just read some interesting articles...... Spelling it seems is a difficult concept to TEACH.....

    Their recommendation is to use spelling words out of the students' own writing... look over several of the students writings and pick words that are often misspelled... this means that each child will have their own spelling lists..... Then have the children rewrite another essay using the words spelled correctly... then have them tested on these words after having an opportunity to read their own work as well as stories that also have these words used correctly.

    Any other ideas....

    Smile, Lezlie

    Uploaded by: Melissa Close/ Kent State University/ Deaf Education Major