Mona Voelkel

Archived News

Diagnostic SWI/RT Spelling Assessment (Updated)


I’ve created a spelling assessment, with input from colleagues, that has been a helpful tool for documenting spelling achievement and progress. See the journey here

Dr. Peter Bowers refined understandings led to the revision. Three important concepts to be considered are:

  1. Markers are graphemes.
  2. Graphemes, just like a Swiss Army knife, have many functions. (Thank you so much to Naomi Suster for this illuminating analogy.)
  3. Markers have functions other than phonological. For example, the “w” in <two> marks an etymological, not a phonological, function.

 Upon reflection, I have removed the “Morphology” and “Phonology” headings and substituted, “Morphemes”, “Phonemes”, and “Graphemes” for the headings. Thanks to Dr. Peter Bowers, Lisa Ng, Mary Beth Steven, Lisa Barnett, and Naomi Suster for yesterday’s thoughtful discussion. 

If you’d like to learn more, contact me at




2 Responses

  1. Mona, I love your spelling assessment. Do you have a downloadable copy of the SWI/RT Assessment? Do you have specific words that you use?

    1. Dear Debra,
      Thanks so much! Here is the link to the download:
      Here is some supporting documentation:

      I either use misspelled words from the student’s spelling or I administer the spelling assessment from WORDS THEIR WAY and analyze errors using my assessment.

      Let me know if you have any questions!
      All the best,

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