Beyond the Rainbow: Retrieval Practice Leads to Better Spelling than does Rainbow Writing
- 497 Downloads
In three experiments, we compared the effectiveness of rainbow writing and retrieval practice, two common methods of spelling instruction. In experiment 1 (n = 14), second graders completed 2 days of spelling practice, followed by spelling tests 1 day and 5 weeks later. A repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated that spelling accuracy for words trained with retrieval practice was higher than for words trained with rainbow writing on both tests (η p 2 = .49). In experiments 2 (second graders, n = 16) and 3 (first graders, n = 12), students completed 2 days of spelling practice followed by a spelling test 1 day later. Results replicated experiment 1; spelling accuracy was higher for words trained with retrieval practice compared with rainbow writing (η p 2 = .42 and .64, respectively). Furthermore, students endorsed both liking and learning from retrieval practice at least as much as (and sometimes more than) rainbow writing. Results demonstrate that retrieval practice is a more useful (and as engaging) training method than is rainbow writing and extend the well-established testing effect to beginning spellers.
KeywordsSpelling Instruction Retrieval practice Testing effect Emergent literacy
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders [3RO1DC011 492]. We would like to thank Melissa Bishop, Dasom Kim, Soo Lee, and Brenda Wu for assistance with data collection.
- Bean, W., & Bouffler, C. (1987). Spell by writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Berninger, V. W., Vaughan, K., Abbott, R. D., Begay, K., Coleman, K. B., Byrd, K., Curtin, G., Hawkins, J. M., & Graham, S. (2002). Teaching spelling and composition along and together: implications for the simple view of writing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 291–304. doi: 10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Boushey, & Moser. (2006). The daily 5: fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers.Google Scholar
- Boushey, & Moser. (2014). The daily 5: fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades (2nd ed.). Portland: Stenhouse Publishers.Google Scholar
- Carpenter, S. K. (2011). Semantic information activated during retrieval contributes to later retention: support for the mediator effectiveness hypothesis of the testing effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 1547–1552.Google Scholar
- Ehri, L. (1987). Learning to read and spell words. Journal of Reading Behavior, 19, 5–31.Google Scholar
- Gates, A. I. (1917). Recitation as a factor in memorizing. Archives of Psychology, 6 (Serial No. 40).Google Scholar
- Graham, S., McKeown, D., Kiuhara, S., & Harris, K. R. (2012). A meta-analysis of writing instruction for students in the elementary grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 879–896. doi: 10.1037/a0029185.
- Lipko-Speed, A., Dunlosky, J., & Rawson, K. A. (2015). Does testing with feedback help grade-school children learn key concepts in science? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. Google Scholar
- Perry, C., & Ziegler, J. C. (2000). Linguistic difficulties in language and reading development constrain skilled adult reading. Memory & Cognition, 28, 739–745.Google Scholar
- Pyc, M. A., & Rawson, K. A. (2012). Why is test-restudy practice beneficial for memory? An evaluation of the mediator shift hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 737–746.Google Scholar
- Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: long-term improvements from quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17, 382–395.Google Scholar
- Shah, T., & Thomas, A. (2002). Improving the spelling of high frequency words in daily writing through the use of multiple intelligence centers.Google Scholar
- Taylor, S. (2011). A kindergarten writing center in action. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/2011/12/kindergarten-writing-center-action.
- Wagstaff, J. (2009) Using name walls to teach reading and writing (Scholastic Teaching Resources). New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. Available from: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/collateral_resources/pdf/83/9780545269483.pdf.