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This book presents a highly practical approach to assessing children's spelling and word knowledge abilities and offering effective, appropriate instruction. Included is the Developmental Spelling Analysis (DSA), a dictated word inventory that enables teachers to quickly and easily evaluate students' stages of spelling development and their knowledge of important orthographic features. Detailed guidelines are set forth for engaging students in hands-on word study that is tailored to their specific strengths and weaknesses. Validated and field-tested, the instructional techniques described here reflect the author's many years of classroom experience. Particularly useful features of the book include narrative snapshots of children at different stages of spelling development; numerous examples of student work; suggested word sort activities for each orthographic feature; lists of recommended books and poems; and a focus on fostering a love of words through word play and language appreciation. Provided in the appendices are reproducible forms for administering the DSA, plus a list of over 12,000 words arranged by sound, pattern, and meaning-related features.