The Spelling Shed lessons were developed by applying the Science of Reading research and follow a systematic progression. The progression covers a range of phonics skills, high-frequency words, and morphological awareness, typically addressed in each grade level. At the beginning of each grade level, there is an intentional spiral review of previously taught skills, but they also include words of increasing difficulty. Throughout the progression, new and more advanced concepts/skills are delicately intertwined within the review. This aids in linking past learning to the new concept/skill and to reinforce and solidify learning.
Every grade has core foundational skills incorporated into the list progression, at varying degrees of difficulty, depending on the grade level.
The spiral review of core skills allows teachers the flexibility to use any grade level’s list for remediation and/or enrichment purposes. If students are ready for more challenging words relating to a particular pattern, educators can utilize a list from a higher grade level that matches the skill the class is working on. If students are struggling with a particular pattern, educators can use previous grade level lists, which will have a more in-depth focus on that pattern, to match students’ needs. In addition, there are extended learning lists in each grade level that have (ExL) included in the title. These optional lists provide further opportunities for intervention and/or review purposes. They also could be used as acceleration for students that move through concepts quickly and/or are ready to advance through skills. These lists can be skipped if needed. For best results and full coverage, it is suggested to follow the progression from beginning to end.
In the new Spelling Shed lessons, students will continue to build on the firm foundations built while studying phonics in their early years of education. They will continue to break down words into the smallest units of sound and cluster them into syllables in order to read and write words efficiently.
Through adult-led discussion and investigation children will become more secure in their knowledge of English orthography based on the frequency and position of the sounds within words.
Children will study morphemes, the smallest units of meaning within a word. Lessons include adult-led discussions and investigations into word parts, their meanings, and how this affects spelling.
There are lessons throughout the curriculum that consolidate children’s knowledge of common morphemes such as root formations, prefixes, and suffixes.
Most lessons in the curriculum include an etymology element that allows educators to teach the children about the origin of the words that they are learning about.
Children will be able to see how the English language has, over time, borrowed and integrated words and spellings from a range of source languages. For example, the latinate verbs which follow Latin prepositions in English words such as: -act (do), -pute (think) or -opt (choose).
“Research has shown that “spelling and reading build and rely on the same mental representation of a word. Knowing the spelling of a word makes the representation of it sturdy and accessible for fluent reading.”
(Snow et al., 2005)
“As an individual repeatedly associates phonemes to graphemes and larger units of language (i.e., orthographic mapping), these associations become ingrained in the memory and easier to retrieve with automaticity.”
(Ehri 1998, 2005)
“With practice, individuals begin to automatically connect words’ pronunciations, meanings, and spellings and this allows an individual’s speed and accuracy to improve.” (Perfetti 2007, Ehri 2014) This allows the cognitive resources (i.e., working memory) to be allocated to reading comprehension.
(Fletcher, Lyon, Fuchs, & Barnes, M.A; 2019)
“Failing to provide a grade-by grade spelling curriculum, and explicit spelling instruction is often a missing piece of literacy instruction and a major reason why so many of our students have difficulty with reading. Good spellers tend to be good readers, and many students are poor readers because they can’t spell.”
“Making the connection between spelling and reading is a transformational concept and a missing link that can lead to better reading and higher test scores.”