Phonics and Spelling

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Running Head: PHONICS AND SPELLING 1

Phonics and Spelling
Field Activity, Observation, and Reflection

February 13, 2013

PHONICS AND SPELLING 2 Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to gauge a child’s level of development in spelling based on observations and research through specific activities and literacy behaviors. Researchers have identified five stages that students move through on their way to becoming conventional spellers: emergent spelling, letter name-alphabetic spelling, within-word pattern spelling, syllables and affixes spelling, and derivational relations spelling (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton, & Johnston, 2008). I chose to do my specific research teaching three children, but in two different groups due to their age difference. I focused on the relationship between spelling and meaning during the derivational relations stage for my two eighth grade students, while concentrating on spelling patterns and rules for my second grader. Overall, I truly enjoyed the children and activities but most importantly I learned that having fun is the easiest and quickest way to motivate young children.

PHONICS AND SPELLING 3 Phonics and Spelling
Field Activity, Observation, and Reflection
“Students explore the relationship between spelling and meaning during the derivational relations stage, and they learn that words with related meanings are often related in spelling despite changes in vowel and consonant sounds (e.g., wise–wisdom, sign–signal, nation–national)” (Tompkins, 2010, p #). Hannah, age 14 and Jadyn, age 13, are two students I chose for this assignment and both demonstrated placement into the derivational relations spelling stage. In essence, spelling indicates meaning. Concepts such as consonant alternations, vowel alternations, and Greek and Latin word root and affixes are all examined at this stage. I chose a word study activity that focuses on spelling and vocabulary knowledge that grow primarily through processes of derivation—from a single base word or word root to a number of related words derived through the addition of prefixes and suffixes. Activity

For the consonant alternation I gave Hannah and Jadyn the example of sign/signal, explaining that /g/ in “sign” is soft, yet when the word is changed to “signal”, the /g/ becomes sounded. We did do a lot of oral instruction for this lesson. An example of this would be the words explode/explosion. I asked the girls¸ “If we use the /d/ sound for the first word and the /zh/ sound for the second word, what will explode change into?” Some hints I gave them were to repeatedly say the sound of /zh/, while looking at word parts and think about their meaning and similar words. Hannah answered “explosive”, but I asked them to say the sound of /zh/ again. Jadyn then answered correctly, “explosion” and helped me explain it to Hannah. I gave them worksheets with both consonant and vowel problems. Each problem provided the girls a given PHONICS AND SPELLING 4 word I wanted them to change to a new word by utilizing the soft and sounded letters. The four words were select, music, critic, and office. The vowel alternation activity was similar; long to short, long to schwa, and schwa to short words were the focus. Although both girls did very well, Hannah did better than Jadyn on the consonant alternation while Jadyn did better than Hannah on the vowel alternation. (Both worksheets are enclosed with examples and results.) Discussion and Student Response

Initially both girls admitted they had no experience working with alternations. After some coaching and several examples, they started to catch on. We did...
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