Feb 24, 2009

Spelling Pathways

When I was ready to teach Kaytie and Nate how to read, I was recommended this book. It was cheap, and it looked good, so I bought it. We HATED it. Well, I hated it, the kids were not very fond of it. But we are nothing if not stubborn, and they learned to read in spite of the dry, boring book with no teacher instruction but more than enough long lists of words and non-words to read every. single. day! But, I couldn't ignore the fact that plenty of people seemed to really love this book, and I'm not one to bash for personal preference. So pretty much the book got tossed in the back of the school cabinet and I tried to forget the $$ I had spent on it. After all, the kids did learn to read.
So. Lately, everywhere you go (especially in Blogland) moms are raving about a new spelling curriculum. At least, it's new to me. And I felt drawn to it. The more I looked into it, however, the more I realized it is just rules and practice. Rules and practice. hmmm. Then I remembered that I had a book that had all of those rules in it! And tons of words to use as practice! And I can make flashcards just as well as the next person!!!
So. Here we are at the point of the post: I used my phonics book and developed my own spelling program.
We started with easy 3-letter words, just to get a feel for mental spelling. I pulled words straight out of the book, and made picture cards of these words.



The kids choose 3 to 5 cards, and write these words by sounding them out in their heads. This was very easy for them to do, and they enjoyed it, for the most part.

Next, I wrote out the first rule on an index card.




I pulled the practice words from the book and wrote them on pieces of index cards. (I wanted them smaller than the rule-card, but just as sturdy)




I added a few sentences made from the practice words, some home-made spelling tiles, a laminated sentence strip, and a wipe-off crayon.




This is our "kit" for the spelling rule. All in one baggie, they have the rule, words that use the rule, sentences, and tools to practice writing the rule, the words and the sentences. Once they know this rule and can write the words correctly without having to see the word, then I will do the same for the next rule. The practice sentences will get harder, however, as I will use words from previous rules as well as the current one.
We are still in the beginning stages of this program, but I will try and keep you updated as we go along.
In our first session, we went over the rule and talked about it. Then I made words with letter tiles, leaving out the first letter, and she had to look at the rule and decide if the word started with a K or a C. For independent work, I'm making a list of the words with the first letter off, and she can just use letter tiles to complete the word.

2 comments:

Dan said...

I was happy to discover your Spesamor Acadamy blog today. I was unable to find an email link in your profile. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software drills the child on their words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in the Spesamor Acadamy blog. You can learn more about the program at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com. There's a video demo you can watch at http://www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm. I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software
Dan@SpellQuizzer.com

One More Equals Four said...

Wow! what a great idea! I think I will incorporate this with my current Spelling program for my kindergartener! We use the Spelling Power method, which is great for older kids but not great for primary. Like you, I already have the rules and the word lists! Thaks for a great idea!

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