Language Arts - Spelling

Sample of our Spelling Lessons for a week:
Some tips and processes we use in our Spelling Program and our general day by day spelling lessons.

I teach spelling rules weekly.  If I notice a particular phonics/spelling rule that he is struggling with during our reading together, I will make a note of it and use that for the next spelling rule.

Day 1

Go over current week's spelling/phonics rule first.

Read off list of words related to the week's spelling rule.

My son prefers to write on the white board but you could do this part orally as well.  I read the words to him and he attempts to spell them.  I tell him first to picture the word in his mind. Then using the spelling/phonics rule he sounds it out one syllable at a time.

If he spells the word correctly we move on.

  • The kids start off their spelling list for the week by copying the spelling rule into thier notebooks.
  • If he spells the word incorrectly he I tell him the correct spelling and he writes it in his Spelling notebook. 
  • We continue this way until he has a list of about 10-15 words. 
  • He studies the words and repeats the spelling rule.
  • If there were any words from the prior week that he did not master, we add these to this week's list and review the spelling rule from that week.
  • Here is a document you may like to use.
If there is a deficiency in a rule I will collect several words that relate to this rule and teach them together.

Sight words are personalized .  I add sight words in as they encounter them in thier reading and struggle with them.  We continue to practice and test on them until they are mastered.

Day 2:
We start by reviewing this week's spelling rule and then another oral 'test' of the week's spelling list.  We will review the number of syllables and using the rule to decode and spell the words. 

  • For each word missed, they will write each of them three times in their spelling notebook.
  • Once they have done this, I ask them to spell the missed words back to me orally one more time.
Day 3:
As with all of the other days, we begin by reviewing the rule of the week and a quick oral review of the spelling words.  Its a great way for me to 'test' their comprehension of the rule and their ability to apply it to their word list.

This day can vary greatly on the spelling activity depending on how well the kids are absorbing and applying the spelling rule for this particular week.

Some of the ways we spend Day 3 are:

  • Have the kids write sentences for each of the words they are still struggling with.   Sometimes I will give them a list of 4-5 words (including words they did spell correctly for practice) and tell them they can write one sentence or 5 sentences as long as they include each of the words given AND include them appropriately.  My son in particular enjoys creating wacky sentences with several of the words in them.
  • Create a word search or crossword puzzle using the week's word list and have the children solve it. Here is a link to a free program online that you can use to build your own puzzles.  
  • Choose several words for the child to look up in the dictionary.  I recently bought my 8 year old son his own Scholastic Dictionary.  I was surprised at how excited he was!  He couldn't wait for spelling to look up his words that day! 
  • Look up synonyms for spelling words.
  • Make spelling words plural and discuss phonics rules for making this word family plural.
Day 4:
  • On Day 4, we spend some time reviewing the rule again and I give them another 'pre-test' on their word list.  We do this orally and take our time working on words that are still giving them trouble and sounding them out by syllables.  You could easily add any of the activities above from Day 3 to Day 4 but I give my kids a break on the writing for Spelling on Day 4.  By this point, they have usually mastered most of the word list.

For the words they haven't mastered, we spend time practicing and discussing them orally until they are comfortable with the word.

Day 5:
  • Post test.  I give the kids their weekly spelling test on Day 5 (normally Friday for us).  I will read the word twice and then use the word in a sentence.  The children are expected to write the word on their paper and then they let me know when they are ready for the next word.  My children are still young and currently I am looking for them to commit these words to memory and master them - not win a speed spelling contest ;).  I will often repeat the word if they need me to and I say the words slowly and clearly.

  • After the test, I review the words with my kids.  For any misspelled words, we review the rule (Yes, again! :) you can't review this enough - it should be commited to their memory- a 'peg' to hang later information on).  I then have the children copy the misspelled words correctly onto another page that we insert into their notebook to be added to next week's list.  We continue doing this each week until the word is mastered.

I hope some of these ideas help you in your homeschool Spelling journeys.  Click here for some FREE notebooking pages I created to help my children maintain thier Spelling notebooks.  Please feel free to use them for your personal use but if you choose to share them, please share them by forwarding the link to this blog versus downloading the files and emailing them directly to friends and family.