I have heard of the Words Their Way program but never had a chance to actually look at it. This reading was very knowledgeable for me, especially being able to identify the different levels that students were at in spelling. My school does not follow a spelling program and right now my team and I are trying to figure out what type of words to include in a list. This reading gave me a great insight that spelling is going to have to be differentiated to that students level. There cannot be one general list given out to the whole class anymore. Each group of students will have to be given an appropriate list of words based on their level.

I think I am going to suggest that at the beginning of the year we give a spelling inventory test to see which level of spelling development each student is at. This will give us a better idea of what type of words students will need to be exposed to in order to progress.

I also like how this chapter kept connecting spelling to both vocabulary and comprehension. It is so true that they all work simultaneously together. Most of the time students who are at the emergent level in spelling are also at that level of reading as well.

One question that I still have this reading briefly touched upon is the topic of invented spelling. As a third grade teacher, I feel that this argument comes up all the time. Should you let the students write what they hear or should you correct them and teach them the right way to spell it? I believe in letting the students spell what they hear. Generally going through the stages of spelling. But on the other hand, they are learning this so late in the game, is it beneficial still or are they going to be falling too far behind? What is the best practice for students who are in the upper grades but functioning at an emergent level?


3 thoughts on “Orthography

  1. Christina

    Ally, I like what you said about differentiating your spelling lists. My first-grader came home every week with a spelling list of words that were far to easy for her. She had them mastered by the time she got home Monday afternoon, so there was not a ton of incentive for her to complete the assigned spelling activities. Not exactly the recipe for developing a love of school.


  2. Ally,

    I have the same question you do! It is something I go back and forth on all the time. One part of me feels they need to experiment with spellings and attempt at applying their learning independently. However, I recall as a student being corrected almost immediately if I spelt a word incorrectly and I do feel it made me a better speller because I did not form bad habits.


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