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Gentry Spelling

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									         Gentry Spelling Grade Level Placement Test

What is the Gentry Grade Level Test?
The Gentry Grade Level Test determines a student‟s spelling level according to grade. The
worlds generated on this test have been determined by researchers that look at the thousands
of samples of writing for a particular grade. They look for words that students cannot spell at
the beginning of a particular grade but have accomplished by the end. They also look at how
frequently students use a word (e.g., me is a grade one word on this grade level spelling test).

Why use this test?
This test helps teachers assess spelling performance in relationship to researched grade level
expectations. This test needs to be used in conjunction with ongoing monitoring and analysis of
student writing (e.g., First Steps, Gentry Developmental Spelling Test). The results of this test
are important when determining developmentally appropriate instruction. Gentry reminds us
that some students may never be „expert‟ spellers. What is important to establish is a „spelling
conscience‟. Habits are encouraged that promote caring about spelling when it is important to
do so (Gentry, 1997).

How do teachers administer the test?
    1. Introduce the test to the entire class.* “You are going to write some words to help us
       find out how you spell. Do your best. But do not worry if you don‟t know some words.”
    2. Offer help distinguishing between words. “Ask for a sentence when you need one to
       know a word I‟m calling. If I say „red‟, you might need a sentence to show if i mean „red‟
       dress or if I mean that “She „read‟ a book.”
    3. Ask the children to number columns one through twenty.
    4. Start at the grade level at which students can correctly spell most of the words. This is
       usually one or two levels below grade placement.
    5. Call out the list. Determine speed by watching as students write the word.
    6. Continue with consecutive lists.
       Stop when students miss more than half the words in a list.

*   Teachers may also choose to administer the test to students grouped according to predicted
    grade level.

Scoring the test:
Find the list where the child spells at least 10 words correctly. The highest grade level at which
the child spells 50% of the words is their grade level for spelling placement. For example, a
student scored 100% in Gr. 1; 70% in Gr. 2; 55% in Gr. 3; 35% in Gr. 4. This students is a
grade 3 level speller.
       The Gentry Spelling Grade Level Placement Test

                 GRADE ONE                                             GRADE FIVE
1.   all        8.    on         15.   you        1.   neighbour *   8.     hungry         15.       library
2.   me         9.    the        16.   see        2.   parties       9.     subject        16.       yawn
3.   do         10.   and        17.   is         3.   rotten        10.    claim          17.       midnight
4.   come       11.   one        18.   ten        4.   worst         11.    unknown        18.       steady
5.   play       12.   be         19.   was        5.   laid          12.    Canadian *     19.       prepare
6.   at         13.   like       20.   no         6.   manners       13.    officer        20.       village
7.   yes        14.   am                          7.   parents       14.    prove


                 GRADE TWO                                                 GRADE SIX
1.   jump       8.    fine       15.   hope       1.   jewel         8.     depot          15.       hymn
2.   apple      9.    off        16.   much       2.   thief         9.     ruin           16.       lettuce
3.   five       10.   bell       17.   seven      3.   avenue        10.    yield          17.       burden
4.   other      11.   say        18.   egg        4.   arrangement   11.    seize          18.       canvas
5.   that       12.   part       19.   sometime   5.   theme         12.    difference     19.       grocery
6.   more       13.   like       20.   wall       6.   system        13.    interview      20.       lawyer
7.   house      14.   brown                       7.   written       14.    zero


                GRADE THREE                                          GRADE SEVEN
1.   spring     8.    placed     15.   airplane   1.   possession    8.     agriculture    15.       straighten
2.   helps      9.    below      16.   learn      2.   yacht         9.     scientist      16.       establish
3.   farmer     10.   walked     17.   those      3.   thorough      10.    anchor         17.       laboratory
4.   people     11.   also       18.   cream      4.   gymnasium     11.    announce       18.       cashier
5.   bones      12.   often      19.   eight      5.   interrupt     12.    revenue        19.       wrath
6.   saved      13.   wrong      20.   carry      6.   athletic      13.    patient        20.       intelligent
7.   roof       14.   things                      7.   secretary     14.    pressure


                GRADE FOUR                                            GRADE EIGHT
1.   worry      8.    blame      15.   wrote      1.   fierce        8.     appropriateness    15.    restaurant
2.   twenty     9.    wreck      16.   iron       2.   analyze       9.     cheetah            16.    alliteration
3.   you’re     10.   November   17.   fifth      3.   committee     10.    schedule           17.    grievance
4.   dozen      11.   loud       18.   tomorrow   4.   predominant   11.    autobiographical   18.    vengeance
5.   thumb      12.   wasn’t     19.   writing    5.   pursue        12.    executive          19.    guarantee
6.   carried    13.   finish     20.   frozen     6.   chemically    13.    coincidence        20.    columnist
7.   surprise   14.   middle                      7.   financial     14.    seniority



                                                               * Edited for Canadian spelling and content.
                                                                Reprinted with permission from Publisher.
                                                                   J.R. Gentry (1997) My Kid Can’t Spell!

								
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