Ways To Practice Your Spelling List

For daily spelling practice, Aidan uses a spelling notebook to practice his word lists. Instead of just copying the words, however, he can choose from any number of ways to practice the list. Here are some of the ways that he uses the words, one for each day.

Write in alphabetical order


Use each word in a sentence

Find more words that follow the rule

Write a story using the words

Break into syllables

Write each word 3 times

Illustrate the words

Make a crossword puzzle or word find

Make a word ladder

Write in cursive

To make a spelling notebook, choose a spiral bound notebook with an appropriately sized line width. Inside the cover, paste a list of ways to practice such as the one above. Add a pocket or folder using a large envelope to store the weekly list in. Write the child's name and school year on the front cover and at the end of the year you will have a great record without any work at all!


Sarah said...

I know this comment doesn't belong with this post....but I just wanted to say thanks for the comment on my blog!!! It's nice to be reminded that I'm not the only mom who has felt the way I am feeling! :)

Lisa said...

Thanks for the great resources! I'm still trying to decide what I want to do for spelling. I have MCP's Spelling Workout but still not sure what to do....I wish I could see a copy of your books.

Angie said...

Question about 'find more words that follow the rule' is there a particular set of lists w/ rules you use? Very neat idea!

Heidi said...

Lisa I wish I could share them with you!

Angie- Yes, like right now his lists have long vowel sounds so find more words that use the same pattern. We use Words Their Way as our spelling curriculum (its on amazon) and use the weekly sorts as our lists. I don't test them, but I want him to get plenty of practice writing the words correctly. That particular idea wouldn't work if the lists weren't sorted by common rules, but could apply to theme lists.

Lisa said...

could you write down the different levels from start to finish for me? Is there a teacher guide that you need? I know you told me once but I obviously forgot...

Heidi said...

There is a teacher's guide on amazon that would tell you more about the method than I ever could. It is more expensive than the other books and I don't own it because Tim got many of the resources through the training he took. The individual books have basic information on the sorts and with some confidence you could figure it out easily enough, although you wouldn't have the placement tests, once you start the levels you just move up and you can always give the final assessments (which are in the ind. books) as pretests and if they get 100% then obviously you can skip that unit!

The first level is Emergent- This is basically to practice doing sorts and has lots of concept sorts (wet/dry, what room?, things like that) and also works with rhyming words and nursery rhymes. Has some beginning consonant sound sorts as well. Caleb did this level last year. It is a great stand alone preschool language curriculum for 4-5yo in my opinion. We skipped around and didn't go in order at all.

The second level is Letter Name Alphabetic- This is more consonant sounds and introduces almost all (all?) of the blends at the end of the book. It starts with word families and 3 letter phonetic words which is where Caleb is starting this year and I think it will take him 2 years to finish this level. Aidan did the second half of the book last year and around the end of the book when he knew many blends is when his reading really started taking off.

The third level is Within Word Patterns- This is long vowels and vowel patterns. Aidan will take two years to finish this book for sure. The first unit is a transition between picture/word sorts to all words which is where he is right now as I introduced the spelling notebook. Prior to that point, the focus (in the first two books) is not on whole words neccessarily but mainly on individual sounds within the word.

The 4th & 5th levels are Syllables & Affixes and Derivational which I don't know as much about because we haven't used them yet. It gets into HARD words though and in the training Tim took it said many adults don't ever spell past the 4th level. I probably don't.

The whole method is about hearing the sounds and then learning the rules and seeing and writing the word correctly many times. The whole thing can be done without any formal spelling tests if you want, or you can add them as the kids get bigger.