Students no longer memorize spelling words for a Friday test, as in years past, as teachers have found that it is more effective teaching spelling with reading and writing.
The way that children are taught the skill of spelling has undergone a major change.
Children still learn words for their grade level, but now spelling is integrated into English language arts, and not taught as a separate subject, according to educators at Oakland University, Oakland Schools, and Rochester and West Bloomfield School Districts.
A typical activity for fifth graders has students working in teams making lists of words with similar sounds such as th, ch, ny, and mp. The children increase awareness that the combinations have similar sounds and they apply what they have learned to spell other words with the same combinations.
“We just have too many words in the English language to memorize, especially for kids at risk who have memory problems,” said Michele Farah, literacy consultant, Oakland Schools Learning Services Department. She is planning a new program to help teachers with methods of including spelling in the new Common Core curriculum.