Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influences of a student-centered approach to spelling instruction that incorporated the multiple intelligences. A goal of this study was to identify spelling strategies that students could choose to use independently while participating in everyday writing activities. Five third grade students who were identified as struggling writers provided usable data for this study. The students recognized their individual need to develop and increase their spelling knowledge as they made personal goals to improve their spelling skills. Students were introduced to a number of spelling strategies that they could use independently through small group instruction. The spelling strategies used by the students were assessed by observing students during small group writing instruction. As students came to words that they did not know while they were writing they attempted to spell the word as best as they could, circled it, and kept on writing. Then, students would conference with a peer or the teacher and they would look at words that were spelled incorrectly. After identifying misspelled words, the student was provided with an opportunity to come up with a strategy to remember how to spell the word correctly. Strategies included coming up with a mnemonic device for the word, chunking the word into memorable pieces, or experiencing the word through various techniques that incorporated the multiple intelligences. Within the classroom there was also an interactive word wall where students could add words as they saw fit. Furthermore, students used and developed their own methods to study their words. The main component of this study was that students were provided with choice, which ultimately led to their motivation and fossilization of their spelling skills. The results of this study indicated that the students greatly benefited from experiencing words in this way. Samples of their writing were looked at sporadically throughout the study and each time their writing was evaluated the students increased the amount of words that they spelled correctly.

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