Articles on: Literacy

What happens when there are several students who are operating at stages 3 or 4 in a Year 2 class?

Yes, select Stage 3 words ideally and if necessary over time Stage 4 words, however PLD also recommends the following.

Look for non-basic vocabulary when selecting the words; e.g. ge in Stage 3: hinge, singe, tinge, cringe, plunge, rage (but ignoring all other low vocabulary words int he list) and using dg also from Stage 3; widget, midget, ledger. gadget, fidget, budget (even though the student can likely spell these words). Hence words are selected not for their phonic concepts, but on the basis of more complex vocabulary.

Do not just refer to the lists of words provided as spelling lists, but rather WORD STUDY lists. I would also suggest changing this aspect of your literacy block to 'word study' and explaining this change to your parent's also. This will enable you to more broadly cater for the range of needs that present in your class. You will see that when selecting words you will be able to individualise the word study goals that reflect how students are to 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' (i.e. a 'word-attack' strategy). For other students (from Stage 3) the knowledge of the words being provided should factor in and likely be the most important focus. There is a significant section on this within the book that focuses upon semantics and word knowledge,

Do not advance students through stages 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. This may mean dropping these students to Stage 3 level vocabulary (even though great spellers).

Updated on: 05/02/2020

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