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Teaching-Engine
Spelling- Student Screen

In the Teaching-Engine, spelling has become an extremely useful and effective adjunct to reading. The spelling lessons are intended to be closely linked to the reading text and each supports the other.

Correct spelling requires a close knowledge of the exact letters which make up a word, so knowing how to spell a word correctly should mean that the word will be very accurately read.

The program provides a mechanism for inputting spelling words, breaking them up into syllables and providing sounds for the words, syllables, phonics or letters. Also there are many spelling exercises for various grades available with the installation of the program, the included CD and the website.

The student part of the spelling module includes a way to see and hear the proper spelling of a word and then to practice the spelling. After taking a test, the student can review the incorrectly spelled words and make corrections and practice again. A teacher or parent can review the test results and see where any spelling weakness may be.
Spelling Screen Shot
The above movie is of a Spelling exercise at about the Grade 2 level. It demonstrates a student practice and test as well as a tutor options screen.(2.47MB) Show Movie
To read the contents of the manual on Spelling click here (PDF format, 209 kB)
Spelling Discussion

With the Teaching-Engine a considerable amount of data is collected when students use the program. Spelling data provides many clues as to how a student is coping with literacy, Often, the difficulties with spelling occur with many students who also are not coping with reading. The nature of the spelling errors give some clues as to how the student is "seeing" the word. Also, the type of misspelling, the length of the word and the pattern of errors as words are practiced and tested give some additional hints as to what is going on with the student's learning process.

The first evaluation should be whether the student is being given work at the correct level. If a student is consistently obtaining spelling scores lower than 50 percent, then probably the spelling words are too long. Setting a student up for failure by giving work that is too difficult is not only a waste of the student's effort, but is also very demoralizing.

It would be impractical for a teacher to give a different set of spelling words to different students in the same class. However, with the Teaching-Engine, assigning different lessons to different students in a school computer lab is simple. If the program is being used at home, then it is really quite easy.

Analyzing the misspellings also can give further clues. For example, if the student consistently just spells words with a rough phonetic guess, and it never changes with every try, then he is likely not getting anything out of the practice. A student who is trying and does pay attention to the practice will have spelling results that successively come closer to the correct spelling with every practice-test cycle.

Other clues could be reversals such as with saw and was, letters mixed up such as a and o, m,n and w, and the very typical b,d,p and q. These kinds of problems can easily drop a spelling score from 80 to 45 percent.