Sound Waves Spelling 17/2/22
When it comes to assessment, a meaningful approach will help you closely monitor your students’ progress. Sound Waves Spelling provides assessment options for Foundation to Year 6. In this article, we’ll look closely at the assessment schedule for Years 1 to 6 as they share a similar structure. These year levels include two types of assessment: the Spelling Diagnostic Test and Remediation Pack and Content Reviews. Each assessment has its own benefits and together they form a perfect pair to give you a comprehensive picture of your students’ spelling knowledge and application.
Let’s unpack what each assessment entails and see how they fit into your yearly plan.
The Spelling Diagnostic Test and Remediation Pack is a single-word spelling test consisting of 70 words. There are two versions of the pack, one for lower years students (Years 1–3) and one for upper years students (Years 4–6). The test allows you to diagnose students’ strengths and weaknesses in specific spelling concepts and use the targeted remediation resources where required.
Unlike other traditional spelling tests where whole words are marked as correct or incorrect, the Spelling Diagnostic Test focuses on whether specific components within each word are correct or incorrect. This in-depth approach to marking allows you to closely monitor students’ progress with specific spelling skills, such as their ability to use consonant digraphs, consonant graph blends, suffixes and more.
Administer the Spelling Diagnostic Test at the beginning of Semester 1 and Semester 2 (see assessment schedule below). This approach allows you to get the most out of the diagnostic and remediation process, where you:
Record students’ results in the Spelling Diagnostic Results Spreadsheet to automatically assign an achievement level (Not Evident, Developing or Achieved) for each focus component. The spreadsheet has a colour coding system that will automatically highlight cells red, yellow or green, making it easy to identify which students are sitting at Not Evident for particular spelling concepts. As an added bonus, the Spelling Diagnostic Results Spreadsheet allows you to input students’ results for both Semester 1 and Semester 2 so you can easily compare progress between the two sittings.
If any of your students do not demonstrate an Achieved level, use the resources from the Remediation Pack. The Remediation Pack includes activities, games and worksheets for each focus component so you can provide targeted support in a variety of ways. Use time on a Friday (outside the weekly spelling lesson schedule that runs Monday to Thursday) to conduct this remediation as required.
Content Reviews monitor students’ long-term retention of previously taught Focus Concepts and check their understanding of phoneme–grapheme relationships. There are eight Content Reviews per year level. Each review includes a section on single-word dictation, sentence dictation and Focus Concept activities.
Content Reviews provide you with regular feedback on students’ knowledge. Use this feedback to address misconceptions and inform future teaching.
The reviews can help answer the following questions:
We highly recommend using Content Reviews to replace a traditional Friday spelling test as they give you a more valuable picture of a student’s spelling ability as well as information that directly relates to the teaching undertaken in your spelling lessons.
You should administer a Content Review at the middle and end of each term (see assessment schedule below). Each Content Review should take no more than 40 minutes to complete.
The purpose of a Content Review is to look at students’ answers to get an insight into what they were attempting to do and what they do or don’t know, rather than assigning a mark or score.
If you notice a large number of students struggling with a particular Focus Concept, refer to the Scope and Sequence document to identify where and when you can address this through your teaching. Here are two possible ways to achieve this:
Together, the Spelling Diagnostic Test and Remediation Pack and Content Reviews provide a regular assessment schedule which is critical to check students’ progress and provide timely intervention or extra practice when needed.
The following assessment schedule shows how both types of assessment fit into a school year for Years 1 to 6.
Note: The Spelling Diagnostic Test is available in a lower years version (for Years 1–3) and an upper years version (for Years 4–6). The Content Reviews are specific to each year level.
Log in to Sound Waves Spelling Online and open the Assessment section. Click on the relevant year group tab to find all your assessment resources in one handy place. Here, you can access detailed information about the assessment, including all the resources you need to administer, mark, remediate and record results. In addition to being available in the Assessment section, the Content Reviews are also conveniently located within the relevant units.
So there you have it, an overview of the Spelling Diagnostic Test and Remediation Pack and Content Reviews to demonstrate how you will assess and monitor student progress throughout the year.
Note: Foundation also has its own assessment schedule. Refer to the Foundation tab in the Assessment section of Sound Waves Spelling Online.
Sound Waves Spelling
Want to add an extra dash of excitement to your next spelling lesson? If you’re using Sound Waves Spelling, we have some fun ideas for working with focus sounds.