>Spelling Skills

>Grade 5: A Spelling Program That Works: Spelling Through Morphographs

OK … so I am the very first to admit that when this spelling program came across my desk I hated the look of it … well, I hated the idea of it.
It’s totally, utterly & completely teacher directed, dry, came with workbooks and a script (that you weren’t allowed to deviate from) etc., etc.

But what the heck … it’s my job & it was handed to me by someone I trust in completely(!), and so …. I gave it a shot …

& guess what happened? Yup, that’s right! I found that I loved it! More importantly, my students did too!

It’s still pretty dry (it helps if you can be a little silly during the delivery) but the kids love it. They love it because they feel successful …. because it works!

So here is the deal (it’s called “Spelling Through Morphographs”.) &
here’s the drill:

1) All words are made up of morphographs.
2) A morphograph is the smallest part of a word that has meaning.
3) Morphographs are base words, prefixes and suffixes.
4) All morphographs have meaning.

Throughout the program students are taught to spell morphographs and the rules for combining them.
Students use these rules and strategies to spell thousands of words!

e.g.
To spell “repacking”:
– You know that “re-” means “again”
– You know that “-ing” means when you are doing something
– Therefore “repacking” is the act of packing again (and that’s how you spell it).

e.g.
To spell “misspelling”:
– You know that “mis-” means “wrong”
– You know that “-ing” means when you are doing something
– Therefore “Misspelling” is the act of spelling a word wrong (and that’s how you spell it).

Four a more complete outline check out the following site.
http://www.cashmere.wednet.edu/MS/Flagel/morphs.html

Anyway, you get the idea.

My Grade 5 boys also take the rules/skills they learn in this program and apply them to their reading; to decode words and figure out word meanings.

(As an aside: When reading it can be really hard to sound out words by breaking them into syllables if you can’t read the words. When my boys are really stumped I will sometimes tell them to break the words down into morphographs.)

Like any appropriate classroom approach this isn’t the only spelling instruction we’re engaged in. I use personal dictionaries, a word study approach, a multi-sensory teaching approach, phonics, games, etc.

I do however present a morphographs lesson 4 out of 5 days a week on average.

It’s just that good!
Who knew!!!!!

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3 responses to “>Spelling Skills

  1. >This program really works in my classroom. I have been using it for about 3 years now. My students "get it";it makes sense. They also like the fact that lessons are predictable. They kind of get into a groove. Parents love it too … it just makes good sense.

  2. >I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I was happy to discover your blog today. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps students learn their spelling and vocabulary words. You set up the students' spelling lists in the software and then students practice their words with SpellQuizzer. It really greatly helped my own children with their weekly spelling lists. I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in A Fly on the Classroom Wall. You can learn more about the program at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com. There's a video demo you can watch at http://www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another (http://www.SpellQuizzer.com/Community). I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.I'm currently offering SpellQuizzer free to any educator who contacts me at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com/Contact.htm so if you know of any other educators who might be interested please let them know. To qualify one must provide an email address that is affiliated with an educational institution.Thank you very much!Dan HiteTedCo Softwarehttp://www.TedCoSoftware.comhttp://www.SpellQuizzer.comhttp://www.CreateCDLabels.com

  3. We just started using Words Their Way last year for our spelling program and I was a bit nervous/apprehensive to get it going. Now that I have a year under my belt I’m much more confident with continuing this year.

    The morphographs certainly sound like an effective way to extend the spelling program. Thanks for sharing.

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