Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Gene Henderson

Second Advisor

Linda Estes


Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to compare the developmental levels of spelling in first and second graders with measured performance in the classroom over a period of ten weeks.

It was the hypotheses of t his study that children in first and second grade who were functioning at pre-Phonetic stages of spelling abiIity would have difficulty passing weekly classroom spelling tests . A second hypothesis was that students who were developmentally at higher levels would be able to achieve better on weekly spelIing tests.


In this study the spelling achievement of thirty-six first graders and thirty-six second graders at Garrett School In the Hazelwood School district was compared to their spelling developmental levels. Over a ten-week period. the number of words spelled correctly on tests was tallied and then compared to the developmental level of each participant.

Test scores of the students who were functioning at pre-Phonetic stages were examined to determine the percentage of students who were able to pass the weekly tests.

A Pearson r formula was used to determine if there was a correlation between developmental levels and spelling achievement.


Based upon the seventy percent of students functioning at pre-Phonetic stages who were able to pass the weekly spelling tests, this study does not confirm the hypothesis that students functioning at pre-Phonetic stages would not be ab le to pass weekly spelling tests.

Analysis of the data indicated that there was a positive correlation of .79 between spelling achievement and developmental levels.


Future research should be conducted to determine the influence knowledge of phonics has upon spelling achievement since the developmental levels are based on phonetic knowledge.

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