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Developmental Spelling Stages Preliterate or Emergent Letter Name – Alphabetic Within Word Pattern Syllable Juncture Derivational Constancy Characteristics of Each Stage Attempts toward writing Marks include strings of scribbles, drawings, & letter-like symbols Marks may be written in any direction or space across the page Typical of 3-5 year-olds Beginning to read & use inventive spelling Rely on names of letters; Prominent sounds represented, along with beginning & ending consonants and some vowels. Many sight words memorized Typical of 5-7 years of age Inventive spellings, but short & long vowels honored Blends frequently represented Most sight words spelled correctly Approximations represent what “looks right” Understandings develop in regards to: vowel-consonant-e patterns, r-controlled patterns, long & abstract vowels, & more complex consonant patterns An awareness of homophones & exploration with meaning Typical of 7-9 years of age Frequent errors in spelling unstressed vowels (the schwa) in multisyllabic words & also in consonant doubling Doubling and e-drop with inflectional endings (-s, -es, -ed, -ing) Long vowel patterns (ladle, complain) and r-controlled vowels (dreary, inspire) in the stressed syllable Consonant assimilation (in + relevant = irrelevant) Prefixes & suffixes (known as affixes) Typical of 9-11 years of age Relationships between spelling & meaning (morphology) Morphemes are preserved even when pronunciations change (condemn-condemnation; discuss-discussion) Silent and sounded consonants (haste, hasten) Consonant & vowel changes or alternations (express-expression; compose-composition) Greek and Latin roots and affixes Typical of 11 years of age through adulthood Bear, D.R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2000). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Ganske, K. (2000). Word journeys: Assessment-guided phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Henderson, E.H. (1985). Teaching spelling. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Sheets, W. (2013). Developmental spelling stages (handout for 2014 National Reading Recovery & K-6 Classroom Literacy Conference). Literacy Collaborative, The Ohio State University: Columbus, OH.