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According to Hammond and Cramer in Spelling Research and Information (p. 68 and 73)

Whole Language

Language, whether oral or written, is best learned in meaningful social contexts.
Language arts instruction, particularly reading and writing, should be integrated.
Language is acquired and retained through meaningful use and practice.
Language is easiest to learn when it is presented whole rather than in isolated pieces.
Language instruction should focus on the individual language and experience of the learner.


Spelling is developmental:  As young people mature in the early years of school, spelling improves.
Young children's opportunities to experiment with the spelling system and to invent their own spellings hasten spelling achievement
Children's invented spellings are highly predictable and consistent, suggesting an underlying cognitive and linguistic system from which children generate their approximate and invented spellings, as well as their conventional spellings.
Meaning aids spelling and spelling aids meaning.

Teaching Strategies

From Words Their Way (p. 75-77, Bear, Templeton, Invernizzi, and Johnston)
Look for what students use but confuse
A step backward is a step forward
Use words students can read
Compare words that do with words that don't
Sort by sight and sound
Begins with obvious contrasts first
Don't hide exceptions
Avoid rules
Work for automaticity
Return to meaningful texts
According to Spelling Research and Information (Hammond & Cramer, p. 78)
Encourage invented spelling
Focus on meaning
Teach spelling

More specifically, teach:

Spelling Patterns
Spelling Structure Rules
Spelling and Meaning Relationships
Developing Spelling Consciousness
Spelling Strategies
Most Commonly Misspelled Words
In Spel . . . is a four-letter Word (Gentry, p. 28)
Teach spelling as part of the whole curriculum.
Have children write frequently.
Encourage children to invent spellings for words they may not have learned to spell.
De-emphasize correctness, memorization, and writing mechanics.
Respond to children's writing in ways that help them discover more about spelling.

Walters & Kehus, 1998


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