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A New Approach to Spelling Instruction (K-6)

Are you bored with teaching the same spelling lessons each week? This online course is designed for educators interested in learning a variety of ways to teach essential spelling skills to their students. Spelling is an essential and complex skill and an important component of the overall language arts curriculum. Instead of looking at spelling as a memorization process, spelling should be thought of as a building block of literacy development. In this course, teachers will learn a variety of proven ways to increase students’ spelling skills using interactive, developmental, and fun activities. Strategies such as word families, mnemonics, and self-correction model will all be shared. Teachers will also understand the developmental levels of spelling and how invented spelling fits in. Teachers will also be introduced to a variety of technology resources that can be used to promote spelling and vocabulary development. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This is an excellent course! The readings and resources were informative and changed the way I will be teaching spelling in my classroom. I can honestly say that this has been the most effective and informative graduate level course I have ever taken." - Thelma Leister


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $120 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $304


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Spelling K-8: Planning and Teaching” by Diane Snowball and Faye Bolton

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 97T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41492

Unit One

  • Introduction to Spelling Instruction
  • The Connection Between Spelling and Literacy
  • Spelling Assessments
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Common Core State Standards for Spelling
  • Invented Spelling
  • The Stages of Spelling Development
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Instructional Spelling Groups
  • Simple Spelling Games to Use in the Classroom
  • Mnemonics and Other Strategies
  • The Connection Between Vocabulary and Spelling
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Word Families
  • Technology and Spelling
  • Websites that Promote Spelling and Vocabulary Development
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Spelling Self-Correction Model
  • Integrating Spelling Instruction with Writing
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Commonly Misspelled Words
  • Spelling Principles to Know and Teach
  • Spelling Homework
  • Assignment #4: Develop two spelling lesson plans
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)