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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell.

Use a checklist or a rubric that includes high-frequency words and spelling patterns the class has been taught. Students should not be penalized for words with patterns that have not been taught.

While spelling tests and dictation are easy to score, analyzing writing samples for spelling requires a rubric.

Sample rubric:

Mastery—80%+ of the words are spelled correctly
Approaching—60–79% of the words are spelled correctly
Intervention Needed—59% or less of the words are spelled correctly

A closed syllable is a syllable that contains only one vowel, spelled with one vowel letter and ending in one or more consonants that close off the vowel. The vowel makes its short sound. Examples of multisyllabic words with closed syllables include kitten, comet, pencil, dentist, and hundred.
A diphthong, also known as vowel blend, is the combination of two vowels in one syllable where two sounds are heard (e.g., /ou/ in cloud and /oi/ in boil). Note that the ou combination can function as a diphthong or digraph depending on the sound: It is a diphthong in the word couch /ou/ and a diagraph in the word cough /aw/.) In a diphthong, the mouth position shifts during the production of the single vowel phoneme. Examples of diphthongs are oi, oy, ou, ow, and ew.
A final stable syllable is a syllable that occurs in the final position of a word and has an unexpected but reliable pronunciation (e.g., -ble, cle, dle, fle, gle, kle, ple, sle, tle, zle, -tion, -sion, -ture, -age).
An open syllable is a syllable ending with a long vowel sound that is spelled with a single vowel letter (e.g., he, me, yo-yo, open, apron, baby).
An r-controlled syllable is one that includes a vowel followed by the consonant r, so that its pronunciation is influenced by the /r/ and is neither a long or short vowel sound (e.g., farm, her, first).
to write/form words from letters
A VCe syllable (vowel-consonant-e) is a syllable that includes a vowel followed by a consonant and a silent e. This makes the vowel produce the long sound. Examples of multisyllabic VCe words are reptile, explode, and compete.
Vowel digraphs are two vowels that stand for a single phoneme (e.g., ee, ea, ey, ai, ay, ie, oa, oe, ue, ui). Not included are diphthongs.
Students should be able to spell words with syllables containing long, short, or diphthong vowel sounds that use a letter combination for spelling (vowel teams). Vowel teams consist of two or more vowels that make one phonemic sound(e.g., ee, ai, oa, ow).

Related 2009 Student Expectation

This student expectation is related to the following SE from the 2009 reading/language arts TEKS.

(23)  Oral and Written Conventions/Spelling. Students spell correctly. Students are expected to:
(B)  spell words with common orthographic patterns and rules:
(i)  complex consonants (e.g., hard and soft c and g, ck);
(ii)  r-controlled vowels;
(iii)  long vowels (e.g., VCe-hope); and
(iv)  vowel digraphs (e.g., oo-book, fool, ee-feet), diphthongs (e.g., ou-out, ow-cow, oi-coil, oy-toy);


Bear, D. R. & Templeton, S. (1998). Explorations in developmental spelling: Foundations for learning and teaching phonics, spelling, and vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 52(3), 222–242. Retrieved from

Summary: Bear and Templeton address two broad questions in this article: What is our understanding of spelling development and how does this understanding fit within a broader model of literacy development? And what are the implications of the developmental model for spelling instruction and word study?