It's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive, for our weekly What Worked Well Wednesday post! Today I wanted to share with you the resources I use for my spelling program!
When I first started teaching, I created a spelling program based on sight words. As the years went by, I began to feel that a program based on sight words was only encouraging memorization. I felt like that strategy wasn't getting to the core of what a spelling program should be, which in my opinion was to apply the phonics and language skills that they had learned in my language arts program to spell unknown words.
I searched around TPT for a product that might meet my needs, and came across this one from Khrys Bosland:
My school does not use Reading Street, but the set-up and the structure of the spelling lists were perfect, and I believe that this is a resource that could be used in any classroom, regardless of what basal program you use.
The product comes with spelling lists for each week. I don't begin my lists until week 7 of the school year, when the students are just starting to get some letter sound knowledge, and we've already established homework packet routines.
The program starts out with 4 words, and by the end of the year, it increases to 10. Many of the words used for the spelling lists are common CVC, CCVC, and CVCe words. I take this opportunity to also review word families. I use Marsha Maguire's word family posters to display words that we have already went over in our spelling program. At the end of each week, we add the words that we worked on to our word family wall.
During the week, the students have a practice sheet, where they can choose different ways to practice writing their spelling words. This sheet is turned in at the end of the week. If you would like a free copy of this spelling word practice sheet to use, just click on the image below!
On Friday we take our spelling tests. We are just starting for this year, so some students are easily writing all the words, some students are just getting the beginning sounds, and some students are writing jibberish : ) The joys of teaching kindergarten, and all the different levels that our students enter into our class with! : )
After setting up my spelling program like this, I noticed a HUGE jump in my students reading scores at the end of the year! I had all but two students at first grade reading level and many above that at the end of the year. Every year, my class is comprised of 100% ELL's, some know more English than others. Their capacity to learn not only how to speak a new language, but to read and write in it as well never ceases to amaze me. The two that were below, came in with zero English at the beginning of the year, and even though they did not get to first grade level, they made ENORMOUS strides in their reading and writing. I credit the increase in my students' reading scores to this new spelling program, that encompasses so much of the phonics and word family skills they need to be successful, and utilizes very little class time to reinforce these skills!
I hope this spelling information can be of use to you! Please link up below with the Kinder Tribe to share what worked well for you in your classrooms!!