How Good is your Spelling? An Active Literacy Approach to Strategy Spelling

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team has been working with a number of Falkirk schools trialling the new materials contained in the Second Level Active Literacy pack.

The new spelling programme is run on a two week basis with the first week looking at spelling strategies and the second week looking at vocabulary building.

Word lists are divided into 13 sets of the most common tricky words with 15 words in each set. Pupils are to choose five of their own spelling words to add to these sets.

Sharon has been working with Miss McNally (P6/7) at St. Bernadette’s and Mrs MacLeod (P7) at Bankier Primary School on Set 1 in order to gather feedback from staff and pupils on the new programme.

Sharon is going to use the experiences and feedback from these trials at forthcoming training sessions for the new programme.

Sharon demonstrated strategies for three words: ‘accommodation’, ‘queue’ and ‘climb’ and the pupils then used the Reciprocal Teaching method to devise strategies for other words on the list.

Some pupils then incorporated at least half of these tricky words into a paragraph. Other pupils chose to present these in different ways including plays and other performances.

Feedback so far is very positive.

Which strategies did the pupils like best?

Accommodation
‘Two heads and two beds because it is easy to remember’
‘I like the two heads and the two beds because it rhymes’
‘Accommodation – the two cc’s are the heads and the two mm’s are the bed’

Climb
‘Climb the mountain because the M is in the middle of the word’
‘Climb because ‘M’ for mountain’

Queue
‘I like granny at the bus stop, it is easy to remember’
‘I think the granny at the bus stop with her four grand-children’

Pupils completed exit passes containing three words from the list and this assessment strategy demonstrated successful learning had occured.

An overview twilight of the new Active Literacy programme is being held at Camelon Education Centre on 13th May from 4 til 5.30 where the new packs will be distributed.

2 thoughts on “How Good is your Spelling? An Active Literacy Approach to Strategy Spelling

  1. All my pupils were actively engaged in this session and there was much evidence of reciprocal teaching going on as pupils discussed their different strategies for each word. The session built on their previous active literacy strategies from stages 4 and 5 which had been embedded and also involed co-operative learning strategies as well! Pupils enjoyed the activities and were able to spell the words later when asked.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment Susan. It was a super session and I am delighted to hear the spelling strategies are helping the pupils spell these really tricky words.

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