Teacher Questions

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How do we best educate parents about word study?

Show parents that spelling is a developmental process.
Let parents know that writing is important.
Advise parents not to be critical.
Introduce parents to the concept of invented spelling.
Persuade parent to make time for writing.
Encourage parents to have fun with spelling.

    (Gentry, p. 36)

What strategies help students study spelling words?

    (from Kathryn Marin in Spelling Research and Instruction, p.49)

For new spelling words


Look at the word and say it
Spell it aloud
Think about it
Picture it
Look at it and write it
Cover, write, and check it
Rhyming Helpers Link a word with a rhyming word
Problem Parts Identify the part of the word that gives you problems and study it extra hard
Create Memory Tricks Link tricky words with a memory helper that has the same problem letters
Using Memory Helpers Pair a word with a shorter, related word that gives a sound clue
Divide and Conquer Divide a word into smaller parts
Pronouncing for spelling Pronounce a word correctly or make up a secret pronunciation

from Spel . . . is a Four-Letter Word (Gentry, p. 32)

Fitzgerald Method (in Gentry, p. 32)
  1. Look at the word carefully
  2. Say the word
  3. With eyes closed, visualize the word
  4. Cover the word and then rewrite it
  5. Check the spelling
  6. If the word is misspelled, repeat steps 1-5
Horn Method (from Genrtry, p. 32)
  1. Pronounce each word carefully
  2. Look carefully at each part of the word as you say it
  3. Say the letter in sequence
  4. Attempt to recall how the word looks, then spell it
  5. check this attempt to recall
  6. Write the word
  7. Check this spelling attempt
  8. Repeat the above steps if necessary

From where should we derive spelling lists to be studied?

    Begin with frequently misspelled words, either from your students or a published list at that grade level.  Basal textbooks, trade books, or content area vocabulary may not be appropriate as reading vocabulary is designed to introduce students to new words, yet good spelling instruction should focus on words students already know and use in their writing (Marine in Spelling Research and Instruction, p. 51).


Walters & Kehus, 1998


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