FOSSIC (For Observing Study Skills In Children) has been devised to help the classroom teacher assess how well a child is studying - in school, and at home.
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Studies of spelling are not particularly numerous in New Zealand, the 2 standard bibliographies listing no more than 20 completed during the last 50 years. All but two of these studies appeared before 1970, and only five are more recent than 1960. The majority are diploma of education investigations, interred in university libraries and rarely, if ever, consulted. Of the others a handful have achieved, quite recently, in the context of the debate over falling standards, a position of some eminence and authority.
In the last few years there have been signs of a new interest, both in New Zealand and overseas, in the teaching of spelling. This is evident in the amount of space American and English journals have lately devoted to the subject, and in the appearance, last year, of a new Department of Education handbook on the teaching of spelling. As well, there is the work of two New Zealand researchers, John Nicholson and Peter Freyberg, who have demonstrated, in recent and separate investigations, that changes have taken place in the achievements of some New Zealand children.
Spelling research is making good progress. Two of the areas it is finding very fruitful are:
1 an examination of the words children write - and subsequently misspell;
2 investigation of how we recognise misspellings and remember correct spellings.
This set item contains examples of recent works, one of each type:
1 some of the results from a close examination of samples of writing from 1250 primary school children;
2 an account of one of the ways we make new words out of old, and the effect this has on spelling.
The ARBs are computerised assessment resources that harness the power of information technology within a school context and give users the capacity to match assessment and teaching.