At CHPS, Spelling is taught explicitly within the context of both the reading and writing workshops, using a differentiated approach to support the needs of each individual student.
Spelling encompasses three main areas to ensure students have the tools necessary to attack unknown words as they write:
Phonology is the ability to hear the ‘sounds’ that students hear in a word. For example, in the word ‘shop’, we hear three sounds: /sh/ /o/ /p/. Students at CHPS are taught to use their ‘phoneme fist’ to help them identify the sounds (phonemes) in the word they are writing. They are then able to utilise the THRASS chart as a tool to help them make spelling choices for each of these sounds.
Morphology looks at the internal structure of the words and their make up. For example, the word ‘shopping’ has the base word ‘shop’ and the end of the word (suffix) being ‘ing’. By becoming familiar with various base words, prefixes and suffixes, students start to see patterns and are confident to make more accurate spelling attempts in their writing.
Etymology is the study of word origins and how they have changed throughout history. Often when students understand the origin of a word, they begin to see patterns emerge that assist them in spelling. For example ‘spect’ is latin, meaning ‘to see’ and appears in words such as ‘inspect’ or ‘spectator’. Having a strong understanding of word origin enables students to finely tune their spelling and understanding of more complex words in the English language.
Through both explicit teaching and exploration of the English language, students are able to learn to spell and understand a wide range of rich vocabulary to support them as readers and writers.