Rethinking Spelling

As a child I was taught to memorize my spelling words. While at university, I was taught to teach spelling by memorization. For the majority of my teaching career I taught spelling by memorization.  That was until I read, “How Words Cast Their Spell” by Joshi, Treima, Carreker, and Moats published in American Educator, 2008.

The authors convincingly dispel the belief that memorization is the most effective way children learn how to spell.  This article energized the way I taught spelling.  The authors explained how half of the English words have predictable sound-letter combinations and another thirty-four percent of words are predictable except for a single sound.  They go on to explain that when children know these patterns it makes spelling predictable.

To help guide us through this new way of spelling my colleagues and I used the Spellography by Moats and Rosow.  We are all learning a lot about spelling and language thoughout this journey.

For more information you can purchase Spellography for Teachers – How English Spelling Works.