Guided Spelling Research
The Guided Spelling program integrates elements from four researched principles—developmental stages of spelling, word frequency, basal spelling instruction, and explicit instruction.
Developmental Stages of Spelling¹
The sequence of concepts in the program is based on the development stages that students naturally follow when learning to spell:
- Alphabetic: Consonants, short vowels, segmentation
- Patterns: Multiple spellings for single sounds (e.g. see, sea, theme)
- Joining word parts: Polysyllabic words, prefixes, and suffixes
- Meaning: Spelling from known words, for example, compete, competition
Students study words from the highest-frequency words in school materials, taken from two studies that analyzed more than 22 million words from 6,000 curricular materials to identify the highest-frequency words encountered by students.
The Guided Spelling program includes the following familiar features from traditional basal spelling instruction:
- A weekly word list to study
- Daily practice with the words
- A weekly test
- Frequent review
- Instruction in study methods
Based on the principles of systematic, explicit instruction, the lessons include:
- Presentation of material in small steps
- Guided student practice
- Detailed explanations
- Regular feedback and correction
- Henderson, E. H. 1990. Teaching Spelling. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Zeno, S. M., S. H. Ivens, R. T. Millard, and R. Duvvuri. 1995. Educator’s Word Frequency Guide. Touchstone Applied Science Associates, Inc.
Carroll, J. B., P. Davies, and B. Richman. 1971. Word Frequency Book. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Schlagal, B. 2002. “Classroom Spelling Instruction: History, Research, and Practice.” Reading Research and Instruction 42: 44–57.
- Rosenshine, B. 1995. “Advances in research on instruction.” Journal of Educational Research 88: 262–68.