StarSpell 3 Spelling Guide - StarSpell activities and the Spelling Route finding your place

This Guide aims to demystify how spelling is learned. It shows smart ways to help learners, both using StarSpell and with activities away from the computer. All the practice in the Guide is based on actual classroom experience

StarSpell activities and the Spelling Route finding your place

StarSpell's structure shows how StarSpell's five modes[§§§] fit into StarSpell's structure. Each is designed to help build competence in one or more aspects of spelling.

Now we need to consider how you might choose the mode you need.

First, we explain the purpose of each mode and how each works. This is a general outline. It may well give you all you need to make a plan of work to suit your learners' needs.

Next, for more particular detail, Which StarSpell mode for which learning need matches StarSpell activities to the stages of the Spelling Route. This section is arranged under the Spelling Route's headings. Stage by stage, it tells you which activities to use, and which lists; it also gives you some reasons as to why.

Finally, there are guidelines which explain how to get the best from the immensely versatile Spelling mode, along with further customising of StarSpell to meet chosen needs.

The StarSpell modes

How the modes relate to stages of spelling development, and to spelling approaches.

The Spelling Route sets out six stages of spelling development; and the subsequent sections describe what's involved in learning to spell at each of those stages.

In those sections, you will find recommendations as to the relevance of the three spelling approaches to any particular learning stage: when to go for Look & Learn, when to concentrate on Listen & Build, when to bring in Work within Words. These approaches are summarised in here.

In this way, the Stages of the Spelling Route lay out the background that underpins the usefulness of the five StarSpell modes.

So, your choice of StarSpell mode will have to do with your learners' particular stage of spelling development; and what that implies as to the best spelling approach or approaches at that point.

You will also recognise further connections between StarSpell and the background to learning to spell with Off-computer spelling activities.

It will be abundantly clear that all the modes are excellent vehicles for group teaching in front of an interactive whiteboard. To illustrate this, Pointers for StarSpell in class - sample sessions presents a number of descriptive scenarios. In general, the modes also prove effective and motivating with individuals and/or small groups at a workstation screen.

The five modes: an overview

The five modes are presented here in an order that, broadly speaking, could make a useful sequence of work, over a length of time. But of course we need to be responsive and fluid in the activities we offer our learners; this sequence must be adaptable to a very flexible running order. Aware of your learners' needs, you'll recognise opportunities to "mix and match" between the five modes.

1. The Tops & Tails mode is designed to help the development of phonic readiness.

2. The Phonics mode supports Listen & Build work. It helps the learning of letter-sound matches, along with the development of the phonic skills of segmentation and re-assembly of words.

3. The Spelling mode supports all three spelling approaches. The Listen & Build approach is supported through the learning of letter-sound matches, along with the development of the phonic skills of segmenting and re-assembling words. The Look & Learn approach is supported through the mode's basic Look-Cover-Write-Check structure. In addition, there are lists providing for the word-study involved in the Work within Words approach.

4. The StarPick spelling game provides supported practice in the cluster of skills that go into spelling a word.

5. The StarGuess spelling game provides the challenge of independent spelling.

The Tops & Tails mode

The Tops & Tails mode (found within Phonics Lists) is designed to help learners develop phonic readiness, which is detailed in Stage 1 of the Spelling Route - Discovering Words. Phonic readiness is reached when:

· Learners can hear that a spoken word is made up of a string of separate sounds: c-a-t (it is a tricky skill to "hear" words in that way).

· They are able to separate-out a word's sounds and juggle them around (an even trickier skill).

The Tops & Tails mode provides an experience in which these concepts are played out before the learners' eyes. It's a segmentation and re-assembly activity, and what it does for those processes is to bring them to life. It is good for whole class work with an interactive whiteboard. It is also an effective one-to-one resource.

This is how it plays:

· The word appears, with its picture and a context sentence, and StarSpell says the word,.

· There is opportunity to think about the word:

o Each time you click the Ear, StarSpell repeats the word.

o When you click the Radio, StarSpell reads out the context sentence.

o The word remains until you click Start.

· When you are ready, click OK. This makes the word split into top and tail, or onset and rime:

o Each glides off to a random position on the screen, the top first.

o As they move, StarSpell says the top, and the tail, clearly but separately.

· Now comes the chance for you or a learner to re-assemble the word:

o Click on the top, StarSpell speaks it and it returns to its place.

o Click on the tail, StarSpell speaks it and it returns to its place.

· With the word correctly re-built, StarSpell speaks the word again and a reward appears.

Remember! This is purely an activity to help develop phonic readiness:

· It's not a spelling activity: there's no typing of the word.

· It's not a reading activity: StarSpell reads the word aloud

The Phonics mode

Geared to the Listen & Build approach, this is a uniquely powerful learning tool that not only shows how words are built, but also lets learners re-build them. It's a segmentation and re-assembly activity, and what it does for the processes is to bring them to life

It is invaluable for whole class work with an interactive whiteboard, but can be used, with care, for individual or paired work too.

This is how it plays, through a sequence of Look, Say (Hear), Study, Segment, Re-assemble, Confirm, Consolidate:

Look

A word is presented along with its picture (if depictable) and a sentence to give the word a context. StarSpell can speak this sentence, so it's not a reading challenge.

Say (hear)

StarSpell says the word; it can be repeated as often as necessary.

Study

Learners have time to study the word.

Segment

Click Start to break up the word into its component graphemes that go to random parts of the screen. As each in turn glides away, its sound (phoneme) is spoken.

Re-assemble

A learner clicks each grapheme to re-construct the word. As each is clicked, its phoneme is spoken again, and the grapheme drops back into place. A miss-sequenced choice simply bounces back.

Confirm

When all the graphemes are re-assembled, StarSpell speaks the full word and a reward appears.

Consolidate

Clicking Again allows as many repeat performances as needed.

The Spelling mode

The Spelling mode is extremely versatile. At its heart is the learning routine known as Look-Cover-Write-Check (LCWC). However, it is able to bring together two approaches to learning to spell: its strength is to unite Look & Learn with Listen & Build. It is to be found in all three StarSpell sections.

This is how it plays, through a sequence of Look, Say (Hear), Study, Cover, Write, Check:

Look

The word is presented, with a picture (if depictable) and a sentence to put the word in a context; StarSpell can speak this sentence, so it's not a reading challenge.

Say (hear)

StarSpell speaks the word; it can be repeated as often as necessary.

Study

Learners have time to study the word. They can also read and hear the word in a sentence which gives it context.

Cover

The word disappears, after a selected time-span, or at the learner's choice.

Write

A learner types the word, then Return.

Check

Learners receive immediate feedback. Correct spelling is positively reinforced.

An incorrect spelling is analysed before the learner's eyes. Wrong letters memorably removed (binned!) and replaced, transposed letters memorably re-positioned; then another chance to spell the word correctly and earn the starburst reward.

Remember that Spelling gives printable results for the learner, while a diagnostic record of all wrong spellings is available for the teacher. Worksheets for each list are available, too (except for the Phonics Lists).

The StarPick Spelling Game

StarPick is available through the Extra button in the StarSpell Lists and the Yr2 to KS3 Support sections. The StarPick spelling game provides practice in the cluster of skills that make up the act of spelling; StarPick is designed to be a part-way stage towards that complete process.

Consider, bit by bit, what spelling involves. A speller has to:

· "Hear" the word's sounds mentally

· Keep them in mind long enough to call up the image of the sounds' letters

· Mentally hold these sounds-plus-images (letter-sound matches) in their right order

· Write them, and write them in the proper sequence for that the word.

StarPick doesn't push not-quite-ready learners into carrying out these tasks independently. By presenting the required letters on screen (albeit in random order), the mode provides scaffolding to support learners towards independence. It serves as a half-way house, a staging-post, towards becoming a complete speller.

This is how it plays:

· The word is pictured, at the top, while the letters are scattered across the screen; in the centre a set of dots represents the word.

· There is opportunity to think about the word.

· When you are ready, you spell the word:

o Pick your choice for first letter, click on it, and it slots into position as the first letter of the word.

o Click on the correct letters to complete the word.

o And if a wrong letter is clicked? No problem, it simply bounces back, leaving the space clear for another go.

· With the word assembled correctly you get points and a small reward.

Two notes of caution about StarPick

1. It scatters letters, not graphemes. For instance, for church it scatters c+ h +u +r +c +h, it does not scatter ch + ur + ch. For many learners this provides a useful bit of working out, but teachers should be aware of learners who may need further discussion to help them play.

2. Learners with difficulties in sequencing their spelling will first need plenty of practice on the Spelling mode.

Exploit the potential of StarPick

· Consider the support on offer: The player can see its picture if there is one; also, through the Preferences/Games menu,, you can let the player see the word's letter pattern, see its sentence, hear its sentence, even hear the word itself. Withhold or add just one of those supports: any one, and not only do you change the difficulty level, you change the actual nature of the task. Have fun trying it out!

· The addition of (satisfyingly massive) scores provides a further motivating element: either in self-challenge, or playing against others by keeping an eye on the scoreboard at the end of the game. (With this, players on different lists can pit against each other.)

The StarGuess Spelling Game

StarPick is available through the Extra button in the StarSpell Lists and the Yr2 to KS3 Support sections. Like the StarPick Spelling Game, the StarGuess game also provides practice in the cluster of skills that is spelling. However, StarGuess comes without StarPick's supportive scaffolding: StarGuess provides the true experience of independent spelling.

So, again consider, bit by bit, what spelling involves, in order to recognise the same processes in StarGuess. A speller has to:

· "Hear" the word's sounds mentally

· Keep them in mind long enough to call up the image of the sounds' letters

· Mentally hold these sounds-plus-images (letter-sound matches) in their right order

· Write them, and write them in the proper sequence for that the word.

This is how StarGuess plays:

· There is usually a picture, otherwise the screen is blank.

· There is opportunity to think about the word.

· When you are ready, you spell the word:

o "Hear" the word's sounds mentally

o Recall the graphemes representing the word's phonemes

o Mentally hold these sounds-plus-images (letter-sound matches) in their right order

o Type these graphemes in the correct sequence.

· You get feedback:

o Any wrong letters are dropped in the bin. This can provide some help, rather as in "hangman": players can use this information to narrow down their choices.

o Any letters spelled out of sequence get hauled aloft to demonstrate they're "out of order"; you must retain this information, because they disappear when you start to spell again.

· With the word spelled correctly, you get points and a reward.

Exploit the potential of StarGuess

This is an extremely versatile game, with enjoyable potential to interest and challenge spellers needing either extension or consolidation.

StarGuess in its default mode challenges learners as a game of real intellectual demand on several levels: spelling probabilities; recall of which letters have been knocked out of the running; meanings.

On the other hand, the difficulty level of the game can be eased. There is a gradation of support via the Games tab in the Preferences Menu:

· When you allow players to see the word's sentence, its picture if there is one, hear its sentence and hear the word itself, they are very well supplied with clues.

· Withhold any one of those supports, and not only do you change the level of difficulty; you change the actual nature of the task.

Have fun trying out these variations.

The addition of (satisfyingly massive) scores provides another motivating element: either in self-challenge, or playing against others by keeping an eye on the score board at the end of the game. (With this, players on different lists can pit against each other.)

Curriculum vocabulary revision

Don't overlook one most significant use of StarGuess for older students: as a revision aid for key vocabulary in Curriculum Subject lists, as in Quick On The Draw.

Use Preferences: Games to switch off the spoken word and the picture but show the sentence; then students weigh up various possible words to complete the sentence while they are also reviewing their curriculum learning.

You could ease the task by presenting it as a multi-choice question: give students a copy of the full list (perhaps use the facility to print out a worksheet), or simply allow them to look back to the list on the home page.

Matching StarSpell activities to the spelling route stages

Choice of the right StarSpell activity for your needs depends on the kind of learning you're aiming to promote at any given stage, described for each stage of the Spelling Route as "What learners need in order to move on".

StarSpell activities support each stage via the three learning approaches summarised in The Three Approaches:

· Listen & Build

· Work within Words

· Look & Learn.

These three approaches are present all through the journey to competent spelling; at times one approach will be dominant, at times another.

These are not mutually exclusive. Dip into them to mix-and-match what your learners need.

The rest of the section shows you how you can use StarSpell to support learning at each Spelling Route stage.

Preparing for phonics

Stages 1 and 2 of the Spelling Route

A general point: StarSpell augments plastic letter activities

When Off-computer spelling activities discusses activities for developing the later stages of phonic readiness, it lists the useful qualities of plastic letters. Letters in StarSpell share these qualities, and augment them through the attractive colouring and vitality that ICT lends. So, like their plastic counterparts, StarSpell's vividly coloured letters will:

· Turn invisible, mental concepts into visible practical tasks

· Provide physical control of intangible sounds

· Promote discovery, as learners experiment with letter combinations

· Be easy to slide around

· Be forgiving: errors disappear, without crossings out

· Free learners from the extra task of letter-formation

· Offer a game-like element

· Motivate by their sheer attractiveness.

But also, by being incorporated into StarSpell's lively demonstrations of how words are constructed, those letter-benefits are enhanced even further.

Developing phonic readiness with Tops & Tails

Tops and Tails plays a crucial role in demonstrating to children the basic concept of what a written word is, so it's useful as a game-like contribution to the later phases of Stage 1.

But it really comes into its own at Stage 2.

What happens in Tops & Tails is described in The Tops & Tails mode. It is time now to note the nature of the learning which ensues. Once learners are comfortable with the first idea of phonic readiness, that is, the auditory principle that words are made up of strings of sounds, they next begin to grasp the idea that words can appear as print, and that sounds are represented by letters. (See Phonic readiness.) Tops and Tails can make a major contribution to this concept.

Developing phonic readiness with Phonics Lists

In meeting the concept which Tops & Tails illustrates so vividly, learners are actually meeting phonics: we see phonic readiness merging with phonics proper. So, alongside their continuing oral activities, by the time they are able to distinguish the first phoneme of a word, pupils are usually able to get on with learning some simple letter-sound matches. They're at the cross-over stage between phonic readiness and phonics. (See Stage 2 - Preparing for Phonics.)

Certain lists in the section Phonics Lists are ideal for this: Phase 2: Introducing simple graphemes for phonemes including Set 6 and Set 7 in Phase 3: The remaining graphemes, with phonemes.

Use the Phonics mode, as it contributes to the development of phonic readiness in three ways:

· It gives practice in distinguishing the phonemes heard in a word.

· It gives practice in matching them to their graphemes.

· It gives practice in recalling their sequence.

At this stage of phonic readiness, use only the Phonics mode, and only the lists recommended above.

Useful StarSpell lists

Suitable lists are given in Preparing for Phonics: Lists.

Early phonics

Stage 3 of the Spelling Route

Phonic skills in Early Phonics

There are two parts to phonics: phonic skills and phonic facts.

So the development of phonic skills is one vital part of Stage 3 of the Route. All five StarSpell modes provide, by their very nature, experience of phonic skills. Because the key phonic skills of segmentation and re-assembly rely on the positioning of letters to reflect the sounds they represent, so every StarSpell mode using any list exercises these skills.

Phonic facts in Early Phonics

Alongside the development of phonic skills, the learning of phonic facts is of utter, crucial importance at this stage.

The phonic facts to be learned in Early Phonics are the straightforward letter-sound matches.

Your direct approach to working on phonic facts is to use StarSpell's Phonics Lists, Phase 2 to Phase 5, using the Phonics mode.

Phonics Lists. Phase 2 to Phase 5: Phonics mode

The Phonics mode helps in two ways:

First: animation clearly brings letter-sound matches to life, and this:

· Involves the learner's senses of sight and hearing

· Provides a vivid manipulating-letters experience

· Ensures that each letter-sound match is seen as part of a word

· Ensures that each word is attached to some meaning in sentence and/or picture. (A new letter-sound match sticks in the memory all the better for having been met in an interesting context.)

Second: generous repetition, as each sample word is part of a list of words all containing the target letter-sound match, which:

· Helps learners to isolate and identify the target letter-sound match

· Provides repetition to help learners memorise the target match

· Gives learners the power of analogy, as they extend their work. For instance, they can think If this word says 'car', then that word must be 'star'. And because I recognise this word, 'scene', I think that will be 'scent' ", and so on.

Using the Spelling mode with Early Phonics

The Spelling button in the Phonics Lists section allows words to be spelled conventionally, in addition to the phonics segmentation and reassembly of the Phonics button. Used carefully this can add a valuable learning aid. It is important though to be ready to use the Preferences menu to modify the learning experience. In particular, you might change the Display time to Click on OK to allow more study time of the word, to have an On-screen keyboard and to have StarSpell Speak the letter sound. It could be especially useful that a list's special letter-sound match is highlighted. Do remember, though, that the Spelling mode speaks and spells individual letters, not phonemes made up of digraphs or trigraphs.

This mode could be especially useful for pupils with a strong leaning towards visual learning.

Visual memorisation (Look & Learn) in Early Phonics

StarSpell has more than ample provision for the Look & Learn spelling approach. Every single StarSpell list with a Spell button lends itself to the approach, the Spelling mode having been designed around the LSTWC routine, which has a strong Look & Learn element.

And of course, those lists dedicated to High Frequency Words are hugely important.

At this Early Phonics stage there is useful extra 'mileage' in StarSpell Lists: Important 'sight' words: Words by theme.

As always in StarSpell, you can make your own custom lists to extend learning.

To make the most of the versatility of StarSpell's Spelling mode, do check out Customising StarSpell.

Further phonics

Stage 4 of the Spelling Route

Phonic skills in Further Phonics

As noted in the previous section, there are two parts to phonics: phonic skills and phonic facts.

In Further Phonics, the development of phonic skills continues to be a vital sector of phonic learning. All five StarSpell modes provide, by their very nature, experience of phonic skills. Because the key phonic skills of segmentation and re-assembly rely on the positioning of letters to reflect the sounds they represent, so every StarSpell mode using any list exercises these skills.

Phonic facts in Further Phonics

Now in Further Phonics, Stage 4 of the Spelling Route, learners need to master three areas of learning:

· Further new letter-sound matches

· The concept of alternative pronunciations and spellings

· Syllabification.

Learning more letter-sound matches

A straightforward approach to this area is simply to follow the StarSpell lists in Phonics Lists: Phase 5: Alternative pronunciations and Phase 5: Alternative Spellings.

This can be reinforced by Yr2 to KS3 Support: lists for Year 2, Term 1 and Year 5, Term 1.

However, The StarSpell Lists also introduce further new letter-sound matches, particularly in Further Explorations; see, for instance, List 5, Words ending in vowels. This opens up the availability of mix-and-match across all three StarSpell sections.

A mix-and-match example

Here's just one example of a work sequence available when StarSpell sections are utilised together. Such a strategy may seem elaborate when written out as below, but once it's actually applied, it will be seen as quite practicable. Moreover, it's richly useful.

· In sessions delivered in quite close sequence, use first one list, then the other, in your order of choice: StarSpell Lists: Prefixes and suffixes: Common Latin suffixes: -ssion, along with Phonics Lists: Phase 5: Alternative spellings :/oa /(y)oo/ /sh/ /zh/: using List 13, sh/ as in permission. Together these will give you a total word pool of nine words, and two facts about the target spelling: it's an alternative spelling for /sh/, and it's of Latin derivation. These different angles will be highlighted by the way each list displays - a slightly different focus on the target spelling.

· As learners work on the activities, encourage attention to the context sentences.

· Note how the letter-pattern practised is highlighted in Spell before the word disappears.

· Display only the letter-pattern in Spell, via the Display tab in Preferences.

· Use paper and pencil reinforcement by printing a worksheet (from the Management menu, not for Phonics Lists).

Suitable Lists

See learning new letter-sound matches.

The concept of alternative pronunciations and spellings

A major part of phonic-fact learning at this stage is coming to understand the concept of alternative pronunciations and spellings (multiple mappings). That is, while they are learning the new letter-sound matches that fall under this description, learners need to understand the concept at the same time.

There are two ideas you can introduce to help learners with the concept itself: classifications of spellings, and context.

The importance of classification

The organisations of the first two StarSpell sections (Phonics Lists and the StarSpell Lists) themselves provide useful "road-maps" to help learners grasp the idea of different classifications of spellings. The names of the lists have been designed to help classify the "spelling terrain".

So, enlist learners in navigating their own work path, initially through discussion and explanation, then let them find their spelling list as part and parcel of the spelling session.

In support of those two StarSpell sections, there is useful rehearsal of the multiple mapping of letter-sound matches in StarSpell's section Yr2 to KS3 Support, in the lists for Year 2, Term 1, and Year 5, Term 1. These match the term-by-term classifications of spellings in the English DfE's Support for Spelling (2009).

The importance of context

An important way to remember spelling alternatives, for instance, whether to use meet or meat, is to link spellings to meanings. So a key mnemonic for a word will often be the recall of its setting in a memorable context. It follows, then, that alternative pronunciations and spellings should always be introduced in a context; StarSpell's context sentences comprise an excellent resource.

Ideas for emphasising context include:

· Drawing attention to the context sentences, perhaps by showing only the target letter pattern of the list, while making sure the sentence is showing (set from Preferences tab).

· Using a printed worksheet (accessed via the Management menu). As well as a valuable word-list, this has a consolidating gap-completion exercise using the context sentences. Asking the learners to complete the worksheet before attempting the on-screen work is another way of drawing attention to the context.

· Mixing spelling alternatives. StarSpell lets you put together a custom list of your choice: let's say, some ee, some ea and some ie- as- ee words as one list. Work on it first in the Spelling mode, then as a StarGuess game, finally as a worksheet activity to be filed away.

· Exploration of the realm of homophones provides an enjoyable area of study, often combining humour with insights into what is meant by alternative pronunciations/spellings.

Suitable Lists

See the concept of multiple mapping.

Syllabification

Material to support the study of syllables appears in two sections: The StarSpell Lists and Yr2 to KS3 Support.

Syllabification in the StarSpell Lists

The StarSpell Lists contain an ordered sequence for learning about syllabification.

First, Further explorations: Syllables and spelling provides a careful introduction to the nature of syllables, progressing from compound words such as birthday, through the ways in which syllabled words commonly divide, to show finally the fairly unusual split that can occur between two vowels, as in lion.

Alongside that introduction you can go to Prefixes, suffixes, roots. While keeping in mind the distinction between a syllable and a morpheme, you will find these lists amenable to studies of syllabification (alongside parallel study of the same words as demonstrating morphemes).

· The first list under that heading sits very nicely with your introduction to what a syllable is. Prefixes, suffixes, roots: Living-word formation provides material for exploring the way our living language uses existing prefixes and suffixes to constantly coin new words: anti-work, fun-wise, etc.

· Prefixes, suffixes, roots continues to present material useful for an early acquaintance with the idea of syllables, in Prefixes (OE) on real words and Prefixes (Latin) on real words. In these two lists, prefixes are very clearly seen to be affixed to everyday words (across, defrost).

· Prefixes, suffixes, roots: groups 4-12 and groups 17-18 offer you a useful structure for deepening acquaintance with syllables. The words gradually become more complex as the lists progress, first through prefixes, then suffixes, and finally, roots. And the lists are sequenced to show first Old English derivations, then Latin, then Greek, an organisation which actually turns out to be "from easiest to hardest"! These lists comprise a useful word-bank on which to draw for the off-computer Syllabification activities.


Syllabification in Yr2 to KS3 Support Lists

Yr2 to KS3 Support also contains material to support work on syllabification. Reflecting Support for Spelling (DfE 2009), the groundwork is in place by the end of Year 2, as follows:

· Compound words in Year 2 Term 2

· Syllables and Spelling in Year 2 Term 3.

However, Year 3, Term 3 Add prefixes to existing words has material useful at an early stage of learning about syllables: Add prefixes to existing words. This shares some of the content of The StarSpell Lists' Prefixes, suffixes, roots: Living-word formation, and so is another example of where StarSpell's sections can usefully be mixed-and-matched.

A further large number of KS lists lend themselves to the study of syllabification, but, as dealing with morphemes, they are also fundamental to Work within Words, and are referenced below under that heading.

Useful lists

For a list summary, see Learning syllabification.

A reminder

Don't forget to take your learners to the StarPick and StarGuess Spelling Games. These modes provide consolidation of the learning acquired through Listen and Build strategies.

Work within Words

The generalisation of spelling "rules"

In Activities for Stage 4 we describe how spellers at some point need to internalise for themselves certain spelling conventions, or "rules". StarSpell provides source material upon which learners may base their understanding of these conventions, in The StarSpell Lists and the Yr2 to KS3 Support lists. As already recommended, helping learners to a tailor-made, mix-and-match experience based on these lists can prove extremely useful.

Useful lists

For a list summary, see Learning to generalise spelling "rules".

Developing morphemic understanding

See Stage 4 of the Spelling Route. The development of morphemic understanding is an area in which the Yr2 to KS3 Support listsreally comes into their own, alongside The StarSpell Lists.

The coverage is shown as a table in Developing morphemic understanding to help you use these two sections in parallel.

Then, beyond the computer, the lists named in the table also support, as a word-bank, the suggestions in Activities to develop morphemic understanding.

Developing etymological knowledge

Beyond Phonics, stage 5 of the Spelling Route. The StarSpell Lists offer two useful sets of lists for exploring etymology (word derivations and origins). In Further explorations, Groups 7 and 8 comprise a useful resource bank for the exploration of the history of words, while in Prefixes, suffixes, roots, Groups 17 and 18 (on word roots) also help learners to understand word origins.

The Yr2 to KS3 Support lists provide material. Year 3 Term 3[i], Year 4 Term 3[ii] and Year 5 Term3 show how knowledge of affixes (prefixes and suffixes) is based on common meanings. The topic of word roots is covered in Year 5 Term 3[ii] and Year 6 Term 3[ii].

Look & Learn

StarSpell has more than ample provision for the Look & Learn spelling approach. Every single StarSpell list with a Spell button lends itself to the approach, the Spelling mode having been designed around the LSTWC routine, which has a strong Look & Learn element.

And of course, those lists dedicated to High Frequency Words are hugely important.

In addition, there are curriculum lists which often benefit greatly from being approached as Look & Learn.

Finally, the Yr2 to KS3 Support lists implement the DfE (2009) Support for Spelling's commitment to a range of strategies for learning spellings, summarised as: "extending knowledge of spelling strategies and applying them to high-frequency and cross-curricular words". This is realised in its termly objectives, reflected in the corresponding groups in StarSpell's Yr2 to KS3 Support section:

· Year 4 Term 2[i]: investigate and learn to spell words with common letter strings

· Year 5 Term 1[i] and Y6 T2: spell words with a schwa

· Year 6 Term 1: use of independent spelling strategies

· Year 6 Term 2: revise and extend work on spelling patterns, including the schwa

· Year 6 Term 3: spell unfamiliar words by using what is known of word families and spelling patterns

To make the most of the versatility of StarSpell's Spelling mode, do check out Customising StarSpell.

Beyond phonics and nearly correct

Stages 5 and 6 of the Spelling Route

For these stages, continue the work with StarSpell outlined under the headings Developing morphemic understanding, Developing etymological knowledge and Look & Learn in the previous section on Further Phonics. Here you can make good use of your own custom lists.



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