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The Reading Teacher's List of Over 5,500 Basic Spelling Words


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Arranged by Order of Difficulty on a Scale of 1.00 to 21.00 I (1.00) to psychology (20.10) and alphabetically from a (1.00), abandon (13.80) to zone (3.70), zoo (2.95).

Catalog # W215 - $30.00     8�x11 132 pp. in 3 ring binder  ISBN 1-56400-215-2

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  • The only scientific ranking of over 5,500 of the most commonly used spelling words in exact order of statistically proven difficulty which was based on the data derived from the late Harry Greene's The New Iowa Spelling Scale, University of Iowa, which is included in the book.
  • A separate alphabetical listing of the over 5,500 most commonly used spelling words with examples of words of the same statistical level of difficulty so that teachers can properly construct spell downs in which each round will contain words of exactly equal difficulty!
  • Completely cross-referenced to The Patterns of English Spelling so teachers can create their own Sequential Spelling Tests based upon their own students' needs and difficulty levels.
  • The rank ordering of the words enables any teacher as well as any researcher to quickly validate or replicate the data regardless of the quality of the schools or the students.
  • It allows researchers and teachers to quickly determine the effectiveness of any spelling series. Create a posttest with half of the words being words that had been studied during the year. The other half will consist of words not taught but having the exact statistical degree of difficulty.  If the posttest gains on both parts are the same, the gains can be attributed to natural incidental learning rather than the textbook.
  • Schools interested in having their spelling program scientifically evaluated should contact us.

A Partial Sample Page listing equivalents by difficulty

Difficulty Factor Words of Statistically Equivalent Spelling Difficulty
1.50 her was are be going land long man my play saw toy work
1.55 if add away back call cowboy room cat new
1.60 them bad came end fat hand his mother on read this sun fun
1.65 cars food had hot part run same school show week
1.70 cow five give got him house little most oil put tea way night
1.75 box bed down ago eat feet line times
1.80 about ball gave hard ran will bell do has May milk say stop
1.85 face from moon pay when bank books mail thing top town wood cap
1.90 letter more nut page sat save ship so two dear fish tree age
1.95 bee June law side stay stone game hope low pie six tell

Homophones:  add/ad  new/knew/gnu   read/reed/Reid  sun/son  week/weak  him/hymn  tea/tee/ti   way/weigh  night/knight box/Bach's feet/feat/fete  ball/bawl   do/dew/due  May/may  male/mail  wood/would  more/Moore   so/sew/sow/sol (as in do, re, me, fa, sol, la, ti, do)  two/too/to   dear/deer  be/beeBea  pie/pi


A Partial Sample Page listing words alphabetically giving Difficulty Factors (DF)

Target Word

DF

Target Word

DF

Target Word

DF

Target Word

DF

A-Amounting

accustomed.......

17.55

admire.............

8.25

ago.............

1.75

a................

1.00

ache....................

11.30

admired...........

9.35

agree..........

5.25

abandon..... 13.80 achievement....... 17.70 admission....... 12.80 agreeable.. 13.55
ability........... 12.15 acid..................... 12.90 admit............... 9.55 agreed....... 7.45
able............. 3.30 acknowledge...... 16.90 admitted.......... 12.10 agreement. 9.10
about........... 1.80 acknowledged... 17.15 adopt............... 10.50 agricultural. 17.00
abroad........ 8.70 acknowledging... 17.60 adopted.......... 10.10 agriculture.. 15.25
absence...... 13.95 acknowledgment 18.55 adorable.......... 11.05 ahead......... 3.40
absent......... 5.90 acquaint.............. 18.35 advance.......... 7.00 aid............. 5.25
absolute..... 14.25 acquaintance..... 19.25 advanced........ 10.30 aim............ 8.85
absolutely... 17.45 acquainted......... 18.35 advantage...... 10.75 air............. 1.40
abstract...... 11.95 acquire..............

17.20

advantages.....

12.20

airplane..

4.30

abundant....

15.25

acre...................

9.85

adventure........

7.95

airplanes..

6.60

abuse*......... 8.80 acres.................. 11.00 adventures..... 8.90 airport...... 3.05
accept.......... 11.85 across................ 4.20 advertised..... 12.55 aisles........ 18.55
acceptable... 15.35 act....................... 3.60 advertisement. 15.80 alarm......... 5.15
acceptance.. 16.70 acted............... 5.40 advertising...... 11.90 alas............ 11.00
accepted...... 12.85 acting............... 4.75 advice............. 8.50 alfalfa.......... 13.45
accepting......... 15.25 action................ 6.30 advisable........ 13.65 alike............. 2.85
accident........... 10.95 actions............. 8.00 advise............. 7.45 alive.............. 2.65
accidents......... 12.25 active................ 6.45 advised........... 8.75 all.................. 1.30
accommodate.. 18.80 activities........... 15.00 advises........... 10.25 all right......... 14.30
accommodation 19.40 activity............... 13.05 advising.......... 9.80 alley............. 9.05
accompanied...

16.30

acts**................

6.50

affair...............

11.45

alligators.....

16.25

*abuse is a heteronym.  When it is a noun as in the phrase child abuse, it is pronounced "uh b'YOO-ss."  When it is a verb as in the phrase "to abuse a privilege," it is pronounced "uh b"YOO-z."  All heteronyms are identified by the use of bold italics.

** All homophones are identified by bold letters.   Acts is a homophone of ax and axe.

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