A popular literacy program integrates spelling and reading instruction to boost student performance.
"Teachers using Reading Horizons Discovery are familiar with English spelling patterns and know how to deliver explicit reading instruction to their students. Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement takes that instruction one critical step further by carefully selecting and using words that match the Reading Horizons Discovery sequence of instruction and providing meaningful and effective opportunities for spelling practice." — Stacy Hurst, Reading Horizons curriculum specialist, former 1st grade teacher, and literacy coach
North Salt Lake, UT—On August 31, 2015, Reading Horizons is releasing the all-new Reading Horizons Discovery™ Spelling Supplement, developed in collaboration with teachers to enhance and integrate Reading Horizons Discovery reading instruction with explicit spelling instruction for first–third grade students.
Traditionally, spelling curriculum in the early grades has been disconnected from reading instruction. Under that model, students attempt each week to memorize a list of words that are not aligned with the letter patterns taught during phonics instruction—only to misspell the same words in their writing the day after they pass a spelling test. The Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement addresses this skills gap by integrating students’ reading and spelling instruction, which research has identified as a best practice for teaching spelling in early elementary grades.
The new Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement includes four components:
- Teacher-friendly Spiral-Bound Instructor Cards, which provide 15–20 minutes of daily, explicit spelling instruction and assessment for 36–38 weeks of lessons; weekly pre-tests; post-tests; and practice words
- A Teacher Resource Manual featuring an answer key and scoring information for pre- and post-tests; a variety of student activities; timelines; and additional information for teachers
- A Review Activities Manual, which includes review activities; a cumulative assessment to ensure skills mastery; and scripted practice/application activities for use in whole class, small group, or one-on-one settings
- A Student Engagement Resources CD-ROM, containing word sorts; cloze passages; Homework Pages; writing prompts; and templates for teacher-directed instruction, student activities, and pre- and post-tests
Integrating spelling and reading instruction is deeply appreciated by teachers participating in several 2014–2015 pilots of the Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement. Mrs. Hollingshead, a first grade teacher in a pilot, notes that the Spelling Supplement "reinforces what we are teaching in phonics.” Mrs. Wells, also a pilot participant, says, "I'm learning more about spelling even though I have taught [Reading Horizons] for years." Sandy Hoffman, another teacher in a pilot, explains, “This spelling program ‘speaks the same language’ as the Reading Horizons program. It puts the reading and spelling, the decoding and encoding, on the same page. It fills in the missing component of most spelling programs.”
The importance of teaching both encoding and decoding, as mentioned by Sandy Hoffman, cannot be overstated. Expanding on the connectivity between the two, Literacy Coach and Curriculum Specialist Stacy Hurst explains, "Accurate spelling reflects students' ability to integrate their knowledge of phonology (sounds in the language), orthography (the spelling of each sound), and morphology (understanding meaningful parts of words). Instruction in each of these areas requires that teachers learn the English spelling system and explicitly teach spelling (encoding) and reading (decoding), focusing on the same patterns. Teachers using Reading Horizons Discovery are familiar with English spelling patterns and know how to deliver explicit reading instruction to their students. Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement takes that instruction one critical step further by carefully selecting and using words that match the Reading Horizons Discovery sequence of instruction and providing meaningful and effective opportunities for spelling practice.”
She continues, “this product was developed in collaboration with teachers—and with contributions from teachers—because they were frustrated with other spelling programs. Reading Horizons Discovery Spelling Supplement is responsive to their needs.”
Ultimately, students will make the strongest case for using the Spelling Supplement. One of the students in the pilot program, 1st grader Melissa, keeps her endorsement short and to the point: "When you learn to spell words, it helps you read."
About Reading Horizons:
Founded in 1984, Reading Horizons provides teacher training, teacher’s manuals, and interactive software that empower teachers to effectively teach beginning readers, struggling readers, and English Language Learners. By learning the core of the Reading Horizons framework (The 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, Five Phonetic Skills, and Two Decoding Skills), students have all of the skills they need to read the vast majority of words in the English language. The Reading Horizons program is currently offered in over 10,000 schools across the country.