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What does it mean if my student misspells a word several different ways?

My daughter is in fourth grade. She is not a very good speller. The weird thing is, she seems to spell the words wrong differently every time. She spelled "straight" several different ways in the same paragraph. Why does she do that?

Sometimes these kinds of spelling mistakes are made because the speller has a hard time making a mental image of letters. This difficulty will make spelling very hard. Good spellers have the ability to picture a word in the mind's eye. After the speller is exposed to the word a few times, the speller can hold onto the image. However, this task is very difficult for some people. It is some times called "symbol imagery weakness." This same weakness may make memorizing words for reading difficult too. But aside from all that, knowing your daughter's specific strengths and weaknesses in this area will be important. The first step to any problem like this is assessment. Having your daughter assessed by a reading professional will be very helpful for you. Several of the same learning processes involved with spelling, are essential to reading. It sounds as if she has some strengths with spelling if she is able to think of several ways to spell words. Determining the gap between her strengths and weaknesses will help you to make the most informed decisions about instruction.

Tags: misspelling, spelling errors, reading assessment

  1. Lilian
    Reply 10/28/11

    Too many compliments too litlte space, thanks!

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