What Does Spelling Tell Us?

spelling Feb 15, 2024

A student came to my center with her spelling test in hand. While the errors were marked on the page by her classroom teacher, if we look beyond the idea of a spelling test, we can see what her spelling indicates as far as her learning and instructional needs. Why?

We can think of reading and spelling as being different sides of the same coin. Reading, or decoding, is applying the sound-symbol relationships and successfully blending them to read a word. Spelling, or encoding, is the ability to segment words by individual sounds and use the correct sound-symbol correspondences in written form. When students write, their spelling gives us great insight into their understanding of sound production and how they represent those in written form. Read more about the connection between reading and spelling in this past blog post.

This young student showed consistent miscues in the use of digraphs ch and sh. Upon first glance, one may think that she simply didn’t know the...

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