Tuesday, October 7, 2014


It's always interesting to me to see how everyone does Spelling in their room. It's so varied for each classroom. I have had several teammates ask me lately about my spelling plan, so I thought I'd write it out here.

I want  the kiddos to become better spellers and not just memorize the words for the week. We focus on spelling patterns, rather than the individual words. After practicing the pattern, students should be able to encode the words (spell) and also decode words (read) that follow the same pattern. The goal is to master the spelling pattern and not just memorize individual words. This helps not only in spelling words, but in reading. I also think it's very important to focus ont he meaning of words, so we really delve into what the words mean so they remember it better and can see the pattern in words.
We take a spelling pre-test each Friday. These are over the regular words from our Wonders Reading Series for the next week. These words haven't been taught or practiced yet, so I for sure know if they already "get" the spelling pattern. It is a quick pre-test just to see what they already know. If a student gets all of the words correct, then I know that they are familiar with that spelling pattern. I don't want to just test them to be testing them, so I give them challenge words. These words follow the same spelling pattern, but in a harder format with more advanced spelling patterns. For example, if our regular spelling words were short u and we had the word "mud", then a challenge word might be "club", which sticks with the same pattern, but adds a blend to make it more challenging. I like this because I can differentiate spelling just like I do everything else. 

If they have challenge words, I write it on their pre-test, and circle their challenge words on their newsletter and homework, so they know to practice those words for the week. Some weeks, I have several on challenge words, other weeks, I just have a few.

I give the weekly spelling test on Friday after practicing it in class and on their homework. I call my challenge words friends back to my table and I whisper their words to them as I call out the regular words for the rest of the class. I also give everyone mystery words. These are words that they haven't practiced, but go along with the spelling pattern. This way I know for sure that they have mastered the pattern and not just memorized the words. I also give 2 sight words from our weekly story, so they are practicing them each week as well. Finally, I give 2 bonus words. These are much harder words that follow the pattern. They aren't expected to know these words, but if they get it than yippee! I have given bonus points in the past, but the last 2 years, I have just given a skittle for each bonus word they got correct. They LOVE the skittle! Haha! They love the bonus words and can't wait to see what they are each week.

I love doing spelling this way and I love being able to differentiate and make it fun for them. How do you do spelling in your classroom?

My packet this week is all about spelling! Check it out if you'd like some cutesy spelling pages each week.

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney