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Spelling Software Advice Please

Discussion in 'English' started by dexterwilliams, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Somebody gave me a brilliant idea for a Spelling program so because it's Easter I thought I'd have a go and am looking for some development advice. At the moment It's only got 6 words in it!... but you'll get the idea, just copy and paste this link into your browser:
    I know there need to be more words, which I am currently taking from this resource: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/tta/spelling/ks3list.htm but if you have any better sources that would be great.
    I would also like some game ideas. Hangman seems an obvious one, with the words spoken to students... a shoot the balloons with the correct letters in type of game.. and perhaps some sort of mis-spelling game.
    Any thoughts welcome...
  2. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    <ol>[*]Please correct the spelling of sentence![*]Thank you for taking the time to have a go at this.[*]I deliberately put in some incorrect spellings - it seems as if there is no limit on the number of attempts the program allows. It might be best to place a limit of maybe 3 goes and then show the correct spelling and let the pupil move on.[*]Do you intend to have a limit of perhaps 10 or 20 words per session with a final well done page and score page?[*]Who do you envisage using the program? What would be its place in the school curriculum? Whole class, small groups? Are you aiming at everyone, those with moderate difficulties or those with more severe difficulties?[*]Do you plan for progression? Whilst this list may be suited to the majority of Year 7 I suggest you look at something like Support for Spelling from the Primary Framework and see what words are used in the primary spelling schemes. Start off with easier words and then progress to more difficult words.[*]Some of the published tests for spelling ages are given in sentences. I assume these sentences have been researched and are 'good' for use in the context of a test. You could try looking at some of these to shortcut having to think up what could become hundreds of sentences![*]Before you spend too long on this - are you sure there is nothing out there already that serves the same purpose?
    [*]Hope these are useful thoughts - you did ask! [​IMG]</ol>
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

  4. Update:
    - Category Selection now means you can choose banks of words that are used
    - New Test game with scoring
    - I decided to spell "sentence" correctly!
    Thanks for the thoughts on this. So far I have been creating the general structure for the program, without worrying too much about the words, but it will now be very simple to add banks of words that people might like to suggest.
    If you can try out the Test and give some feedback on the scoring that would be great as I am trying to get a good default test, but then allow teachers to customise the scoring system (ie. change maximum points or number of attempts etc.)
    Let me know what you would like to see and I'll do my best...
    "loves cooking children and dogs but hates punctuation"
  5. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

  6. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    I had trouble hearing height.
    I merely pointed to the link for the OP as it is a similar program to the one he is developing - I was not recommending it to others.
  7. I agree that as a spelling program you essentially need to hear the words spoken clearly. At the moment I have just recorded my words with a computer microphone, but that is just as a proof of concept.
    If people were interested in using this properly then I have a friend with a recording studio where the word lists could be done in an afternoon.
    The problem is knowing how useful it would actually be and where to get some proper spelling lists from. I've tried looking on the DfE website, but while it is interesting to read about literacy strands essentially I just want to know: "What words would you set for which age group?" and "How would you categorise them?"
  8. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Your list of common spelling errors that you first linked to seems a good starting place. It has subject areas as well as the general list. You could choose to develop the subject specific aspect only in your program. Use the key vocabulary for each subject as well as the common error words in the document. Teachers might find this a useful addition to their subject resources.

    However, if you wish to develop it as a general spelling list I would suggest the following publications might be useful reading:
    Year 7 spelling bank from DfES:
    (I couldn't find this directly on the DfES website, hence the Bedforshire link)
    Literacy Progress Unit Spelling:
    Teaching for progression - spelling:
    These two may be useful too - especially as they give guidance about grouping the words:
    Year 8 word level:
    Year 9 Key Objectives has information about spelling:
    If you want to do this properly it will take a lot of research - are you up to the challenge?!
    I think your idea of putting the words into a sentence is a really good one. It clears up some of the problems with hearing the word out of context and not being sure what was actually said.
    I hope I have been of some help. Happy Easter. [​IMG]
  9. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Spelling correction x 3!
  10. There are lots of free spelling programmes. A good spelling programme should offer words within the context of a sentence and encourage children SEE and HEAR the spelling. There is a good example at www.schoolwork.bz Use the entry code ure321ty The programme encourages the child 'whisper-spell' words TWICE before spelling them into the programme - it does not use the keyboard since this takes users eyes of the screen. It also provies a visual context for each word. The spelling programme is the fourth of the resources offered there.
    Anyone who tries this should post their reactions here!

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