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  • Annemarie Johnson

Developmental Spelling Stages

Updated: Feb 26


Children progress through spelling stages on their literacy journey. J. Richard Gentry lists these five stages of development:

Stage 1 – Precommunicative

Stage 2 – Semiphonetic

Stage 3 – Phonetic

Stage 4 – Transitional

Stage 5 – Conventional

Follow this link to read more about these developmental spelling stages.

Kid Writing in the 21st Century, a book Gentry co-authored with Feldgus and Cardonick and that is endorsed by Richard Allington, teaches teachers how to honor children's developmental stages, build on strengths, and move them to more sophisticated spelling. This process helps them develop as spellers, but more importantly as readers and writers. Check out this video to learn more: What is Kid Writing?

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