If students are operating at high Stage 5 or Stage 6 levels, you will find that their spelling age exceeds 12 + years on a standardised spelling test. On one hand this is wonderful as these students are clearly advanced spellers. On another this produces challenges for the teachers who still need to cater for their needs and integrate them into a class process.

Usually these strong spellers encode well at a single word level, but do not transfer the words accurately into their oral language and written work.

Suggestion 1: Do not just focus on spelling. I would suggest changing this aspect of your literacy block to 'word study'. This will enable you to cater broadly for the range of needs that present in your class. Page 22 in the Whole School Literacy Plan attempts to represent this. You will see that when selecting the relevant boxes below you will be able to individualise the spelling/word study goals that reflect how students should work with their provided list words. For some students the primary goals will be the mastery of phonics and the 'sounding out as they spell' word attack strategy. For other students (from Stage 3) the knowledge of the words being provided should factor in and even be the most important focus. There is a significant section on this within the book Spelling Activities for the Middle and Upper Primary.



Suggestion 2: Do not advance students through the levels up to Stages 5 and 6 if their knowledge of the words is not established. There is little benefit to students if they can spell the words, but not know what they mean, and hence never use these complex words in their writing. Spelling (or word study) should be a medium to facilitate complex words transferring into written expression tasks. The Time-Saver's Stage 5 and Stage 6 contains different learning tasks for students to complete Monday to Friday during the Word Study block. Here is an example of one week:



Other PLD Resources That Support Strong Spellers

PLD's Time-Saver's Stage 5 & Stage 6 resource includes supplementary word lists for:
prefixes
suffixes
Greek & Latin root words and their meanings
Words easily confused &
Homophones

An example of a root word list from Time-Savers Stage 5 & Stage 6:


The popular Phonic and Sight Word Sequence 5th Edition contains many more words for you to use to make your own word lists.
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