Scholarly Article Summary
Instead of focusing on a specific topic, an article by Treiman (2018) provides a holistic overview of spelling teaching. First, the article touches upon the importance of spelling words correctly. Treiman (2018) claims that misspelling can cause difficulty in comprehension, develop negative impressions in the reader, and decrease the reading speed. In order to become a strong spellers, children should be able to spell words from their active vocabulary as well and understand how the system works for spelling new words.
Even though many people believe that people become proficient spellers through continuous exposure to reading new words. Such a belief is called the whole-language perspective, and many people still believe it is true. However, recent research has shown that children can learn to spell faster when they are provided with systematic reading instructions. The reason for the phenomenon is that readers do not pay attention to spelling as they focus on the meaning of words, and sometimes people can identify the words without processing them entirely. Therefore, teachers should utilize consistent techniques to help children learn to spell.
In the early stages, Treiman (2018) encourages to utilize phonics approach to teaching spelling. Even though this approach has its limitations, it has been proven to be useful for children up to the middle of the second grade. Teachers are also encouraged to pay attention to the phonological context and graphotactic patterns to help students write unknown words. Teachers should also learn the typical errors children make and understand why these errors occur.
Knowing spelling phases is crucial for understanding the reasons for misspelling is crucial, and learning efficient strategies to address these errors is also vital. However, Treiman (2018) also notices that children can learn about some aspects of spelling on their own through statistical learning. In summary, the central idea of spelling instructions is to let learners understand how the system of the language works.
YouTube Video Critique. Words Their Way: First-Grade – Day 1 of a Sort
The video published by Rockwood School District (2015) provides an excellent example of how the spelling of non-intuitive vowels can be introduced. In the video, a teacher provides children with an opportunity to sort words with similar spelling patterns to memorize how they are pronounced. During the activity, children use scissors to cut the words from a short list and put them into four different columns. The approach seems advantageous for teaching spelling as it helps the children to memorize the combinations of vowels and phonemes they represent. When students cut the letter combinations, they use fine motor skills, which can help to learn the spelling when accompanied by continuous exposure in the text. Therefore, the activity seems beneficial in its design.
However, there are some limitations to the lesson performed by the teacher. The central problem is that children spend most of the time silent when they could have used the time for discussions or repeating the words. The multisensory approach to teaching spelling described by Temple et al. (2018) suggests that students should name all the letters one by one while pointing at them with the finger and or the pencil. The teacher could have used this approach at the beginning of the lesson when she was trying to familiarize the children with new words.
The material for the spelling section of the present project provided me with additional knowledge about the stage of spelling and strategies I can utilize to teach my students this aspect of literacy. I also revised my understanding of the importance of knowing spelling, which will help me explain to my students why they should pay special attention to it. The review of the book chapter by Temple et al. (2018) and the article by Treiman (2018) helped me to systemize my understanding of which approaches can be applied in different periods of spelling teaching. The critique of the video by Rockwood School District (2015) helped use the acquired knowledge to critically evaluate the work of other teachers and use their experience in the future.
The knowledge received from the section is coherent with my literacy philosophy, as I believe that continuous exposure to texts cannot teach children to spell words correctly without instructions from the teachers. While exposure is one of the critical components of learning spelling, people tend to pay little attention to the spelling of words when they are reading (Treiman, 2018). Therefore, teachers need to point at the peculiarities of spelling some words and discuss them during class.
Such discussions can be done online, which can improve the interest of children towards learning to spell. At the same time, students can practice spelling on their own at home using specialized software that trains to spell of difficult words, such as 7Spell Spelling Software, Spelling Made Simple, Hooked on Spelling, and Spelling Force (Ways, 2020). Spelling practice is the key to learning this aspect of literacy, and students can master the skill when guided by teachers.
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Rockwood School District. (2015). Words their way: First-grade – Day 1 of a sort [Video file]. Web.
Temple, C. A., Ogle, D., Crawford, A., Freppon, P., & Temple, C. (2018). All children read: Teaching for literacy in today’s diverse classrooms (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson
Treiman, R. (2018). Teaching and learning spelling. Child Development Perspectives, 12(4), 235-239.
Ways, M. (2020). Best spelling software – Review. Web.