Teaching spelling effectively continues to challenge many teachers. Over the years teachers have continued using traditional approaches that are largely based on lists of words. English is complex and requires an approach that will support students in learning a range of strategies in order to spell correctly when writing.
Our approach will guide participants to understand spelling as part of language and to consider various approaches to the teaching of spelling. The focus is on teaching strategies to improve students’ use of correct spelling when writing.
An introductory session explores the strategies students use when spelling as well as teaching strategies. Links are made to the Australian Curriculum. However, for change to occur a whole school approach must be adopted that will involve a longer process of learning and understanding the spelling process.
The role of proofreading as a strategy to improve spelling is a critical part of the spelling program. Recent research in schools has demonstrated that our approach to proofreading ( ‘Read and Spell’), results in rapid improvements in the student’s use of correct spelling when writing, that is, the transfer of explicit teaching of spelling skills when writing.
Certain aspects of Words Their Way (Bear et al) are incorporated as part of an effective assessment strategy and in particular the inventories are recommended as an effective way to both track and monitor students progress and to adjust teaching to better meet individual needs. However we believe the teaching of spelling has a range of aspects critical for success.
The development of a whole school approach in spelling requires a long term commitment to professional learning in order to understand the spelling process and to embed spelling within effective reading and writing programs.
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