The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

Examining Your Spelling Program

Episode Summary

Literacy expert Sharon Callen talks about the best ways teachers can assess spelling performance through students' writing.

Episode Notes

When it comes to teaching spelling, teachers often wrestle with a few key questions:

"What is most important to teach about spelling?"

"How can I teach so that there is  transfer of spelling knowledge into a student's own writing?" 

"How do I find out what students need to know?"

And this isn't just limited to your class. Teaching spelling requires a strategy across the whole school - developing a scope and sequence to help schools know what students should learn as they progress as writers, and how to support students who need help with strategies that are usually dealt with in earlier or later year levels.

In this episode, Sharon talks about:

Enjoy the discussion.

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Analysing a Student's Writing to Check Their Spelling Knowledge by Diane Snowball ‘

The Usefulness of Onsets and Rimes When Reading and Writing by Diane Snowball

Spelling: A Suggested Teaching Plan K-6 by Diane Snowball

Teaching and Learning About Spelling by Diane Snowball

Notice, Say, Name the Letters, Cover, Write, Check - poster

Personal Word Walls

Rimes A3 Flip Chart - Mini Lesson resource

Greek and Latin Roots: A focus on Greek and Latin derivatives offers a powerful tool for teachers to nurture students' vocabulary development[]=135

Spelling Pattern Explorations: guide students in exploring the word of English spelling patterns. This approach to word study empowers learners to be active thinkers, explorers and discoverers. This is learning at its best.[]=128



It’s Quite True a Traditional Tale by Dutchman Hans Christian Anderson, retold by Lis Mathiasen, Illustrated by Judith Price



‘Spelling K-8’ by Diane Snowball and Faye Bolton


ACARA - Spelling


• Understand how to use knowledge of letters and sounds including onset and rime to spell words ACELA1438

• Know how to read and write some high-frequency words and other familiar words ACELA1817

• Understand that words are units of meaning and can be made of more than one meaningful part ACELA1818

Year 1

• Understand how to spell one and two syllable words with common letter patterns (ACELA1778)

• Use visual memory to read and write high-frequency words (ACELA1821)

• Recognise and know how to use simple grammatical morphemes to create word families (ACELA1455)

Year 2

• Understand how to use knowledge of digraphs, long vowels, blends and silent letters to spell one and two syllable words including some compound words (ACELA1471)

• Use knowledge of letter patterns and morphemes to read and write high-frequnecy work and words whose spelling is not predictable from their sounds (ACELA1823)

• Build morphemic word families using knowledge of prefixes and suffixes (ACELA1472)

Year 3

• Understand how to use letter sound relationships and less common letter patterns to spell words (ACELA1486)

• Recognise and know how to write most high-frequency words including some homophones (ACELA1486)

• Know how to use common prefixes and suffixes, and generalisations for adding a suffix to a base word (ACELA1827)

Year 4

• Understand how to use knowledge of letter patterns including double letters, spelling generalisations, morphemic word families, common prefixes and suffixes and word origins to spell more complex words (ACELA1779)

• Read and write a large core of high frequency words including homophones nd know how to use context to identify correct spelling. (ACELA1780)

Year 5

• Understand how to use knowledge of known words, base words, prefixes and suffixes, word origins, letter patterns and spelling generalisations to spell new words. (ACELA1513)

• Explore less common plurals, and understand how a suffix changes the meaning or grammatical form of a word (ACELA1514)

Year 6

• Understand how to use knowledge of known words, word origins including some Greek and Latin roots, base words, prefixes, suffixes, letter patterns and spelling generalisations to spell new words including technical words (ACELA1526)

Year 7

• Understand how to use spelling rules and word origins, for example Greek and Latin roots, base words, suffixes, prefixes, spelling patterns and generalisations to learn new words and how to spell them (ACELA1539)


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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

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