Do I present spelling/phonic-word lists to students in numerical order?

Do not present lists in numerical order!

How many spelling / word lists should a student be presented with?
In an average school year with a weekly spelling list cycle, teachers should aim to cover 37-40 different lists for each spelling group.
Although 10 weeks of lists per term is ideal, with the disruptions that occur within a year 8-9 lists/teaching weeks may be more realistic.

Selecting lists for groups
If students are relatively age-appropriate, work broadly through the provided teaching sequences.

Focus on phonic concepts at a reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing and morpheme level. Typically, teachers can follow the recommended teaching sequence found in the Teaching Sequence Manuals.
The manuals can be downloaded here:
The manuals outline around 38 weeks of content.

If students are working below their peers, identify and target as many of the specific gaps.

By attending to the gaps, teachers can aim to move students forward as quickly as possible.
Each placement test for Stages 2-6 contains 16 concepts. For delayed studnets teach the 16 concepts to progress the students through the stages.
This means selecting phonic-lists that specifically target the placement test errors, rather than presenting the lists in order from #1.

Using ready to use spelling lists
Additioanal list options have been provided within the TimeSavers resources. This allows teachers some flexibility in selecting lists that target the specific needs of the students within their class, as well as catering to the range of abilities that may be present in a classroom.
The expectation is not that every list will be utilised within a year of teaching, but rather that options are available to reduce the planning load so teachers can meet the needs of the students within their class.

Updated on: 23/09/2022

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