Spelling Skills

People often ask if spelling is still worth studying now that our computers and our phones have built in spell checkers. Answer: Yes and No.

Yes, the basics of literacy are a mastery of phonics and phonological skills. Students need automaticity on sound letter correspondence so that they can write and read without too much cognitive overload on the basics of encoding and decoding.  this is really important. For those who want to reach teh research on the importance of spelling automaticity, I quote:

Many people have questioned the importance of teaching spelling in an age when our computers and our phones often have spelling checkers and suggested words always available. Of course, these gadgets can suggest and approve words that are totally inappropriate to the context, frequently with comical results. There is an underlying question about the significance of spelling skills for literacy, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and writing skills. This article summarizes the research underlying the question of how spelling skills, such as automaticity, build reading fluency and comprehension. It addresses the question of the research base for the activities provided by VocabularySpellingCity.

No. the old style trivia contest where students learned by rote memory all the details of tens of thousands of words, this is no longer worthwhile.

However, in the first few grades, a weekly review by spelling or phonics rule of the basics is really important. Here are the best resources by grade for this:

More grades are better.  For instance….

By the way, the reason that I thought to write this was I reading an article about the common core math in elementary school and where it strives for automaticity.

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