mossflower logo

A Deep Dive into Spelling: Supporting Students’ Spelling Development

Nov 7, 2024
Add tickets to cart

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades 3-6 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

This day will be jam packed with help supporting upper grade kids’ spelling. You’ll learn content and methods that you can bring into whole class and small group work, and you’ll also learn ways to assess your students’ spelling, to identify the handful of kids who need special help with spelling, and to provide those kids with that help. 

To start, we'll help you assess your students’ spelling, using a new spelling assessment we’ve created. You will also learn to look at students’ writing as a lens for understanding their spelling growth. This sort of analysis of student writing requires you to have a phonics checklist in mind and to go through a piece of writing asking yourself, “What does this writer have command over? What does this writer still need support with? Does this writer seem to mostly know short vowels? Long vowels? If not long vowels, which ones are causing trouble?” This conference day will help you answer these questions.

To better understand students’ spelling, you’ll also become more skilled at looking at spelling, thinking, “Is this right? Wrong? Smart but wrong?” For example, to spell make as mak is wrong. But to spell make as maik is smart but wrong, because that spelling incorporates a correct understanding of the long a spelling. In other words, your teaching will differ based upon the nature of the spelling errors you encounter. 

We’ll also discuss how to teach students to think through the question, “How do I spell the /__/ sound in this word?” helping students determine where in the syllable they hear the target sound as a way to identify the correct spelling. For example, the /ch/ sound is spelled ch at the start of a word, but if the /ch/ sound is heard at the end of a syllable following a short vowel, the spelling is likely tch as in catch.  The long a sound, too, tends to be spelled one way in the beginning or middle of a syllable and another way at the end of the syllable. We will take you through more spelling generalizations like these to help you support the students in your classrooms. 

All of this will help you with whole class and small group work, and you’ll leave the day feeling especially supported if you have access to Spelling Modules: Essential Building Blocks, the book Kara Arnold authored as part of the 3-5 Units of Study in Writing. Even without access to the 100+ micro-lessons in that book, you’ll leave with an armload of teaching methods that you can use whenever you want to teach students about spelling. 

Across this day, expect to:

  • Understand the research about why strengthening phonemic awareness is critical to helping students sound out and spell words with more accuracy, and deepen your understanding of the different components of phonemic awareness. 

  • Learn to help students transfer what they’ve learned in phonics to their writing, helping them rely on their phonics knowledge as they work to represent sounds. Think about how morphology can support students as they write, and learn ways to help students use this knowledge as writers. 

  • Become familiar with the coaching that helps students identify misspelled parts of words and help them use their knowledge of phonics to try spelling those parts other ways. 

  • Hear about lean coaching prompts that you can use to encourage students to draw on a variety of strategies to spell. 

  • Practice analyzing student writing alongside a progression to recognize patterns that indicate understandings and misconceptions about phonics and spelling.

  • Experience the power of building and sorting words, collecting and reading words, using rhyming, shared writing and interactive editing, and discuss how these methods can specifically support students' spelling.