Term

Summer 8-10-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Marcia Rockwood

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Laura Eiden

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Annaka Larson

Abstract

Teachers have been slow to adopt research-based best practices for spelling instruction. The purpose of this project was to identify effective spelling practices and reflect on the practical implementation of those practices in a first grade classroom. The research question was, how can teachers use research-based strategies to support elementary students as they develop spelling skills? This paper provides a review of English orthography and developmental spelling instruction before contrasting effective and ineffective instructional strategies. The author, a first grade teacher, conducts a self-study in which she implements formative assessments into her spelling routines and reflects upon the process of changing ingrained practices. The selfstudy revealed that information from the new spelling assessments gives a better picture of students’ spelling abilities than does the weekly test. The self-study supports the conclusion that teachers need more training in spelling instruction and more time for collaboration and reflection on their teaching.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Self-study

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