One of the hardest things for me to figure out my first year teaching was how to help my students master their spelling words. I tried a few different approaches, but over the past two years I have found the perfect spelling blend for my classroom. Each week, I give my students a spelling word list with twelve words for them to memorize. Six words come from the Fry word list and the other six words focus on a specific spelling pattern for the week. These spelling patterns align with the new patterns I introduce or review in class during the week.
Each Monday, my students receive their new spelling word list. I like to spend some time giving a pre-test to see which students are already familiar with the words. The easiest way I have found to do this is by saying a word aloud and having students write the word on their whiteboards. This pre-test is not graded, but it does offer me a quick snapshot of how much time we should spend working on the spelling patterns during the week.
Along with their word lists, my students also receive a sheet of flash cards that they can use to practice their spelling words in the car, at home, or anywhere else they go! I encourage parents to keep these word cards in a bag at home and frequently review as the year goes on.
We complete literacy centers four days per week in our classroom. One of the workshop rotations is always a spelling center. This center is always filled with a few different print and go worksheets that my students can complete independently. My Spelling Centers for Any Word List are perfect because they do not need to be changed each time I pass out a new word list. A few student favorites include writing silly sentences, rainbow writing, and spelling words with yarn or playdoh. You can read more about my spelling centers in my Introducing Weekly Spelling Words Blog Post.
To reinforce spelling word learning at home, I give out a daily spelling homework page that is great for any word list. I love these worksheets because I can prep multiple copies in advance and pass out on a daily basis as needed. On Thursday afternoons, I always send home a spelling practice test for spelling homework. The test must be given by a parent or older sibling. I have found this really helps parents to identify any words that students need extra help with before they take their Friday spelling test. You can find these worksheets in my Spelling Homework for Any Word List activity packet.
Every Friday morning, I pass out testing folders and give the spelling test. I know taking tests can cause a lot of anxiety as students get older, so I like to give them this practice starting in first grade. There are never any consequences if students do not do well, but there are always incentives available to students who receive 100% on their spelling tests. One of my favorite incentives is to have students complete a sticker chart in their Student Data Tracking Incentive Booklets for a special prize! I have found this really motivates my students to practice and try their best!
I hope this post has left you with a few ideas to implement in your own classrooms. All of these Fry Word Spelling Resources can be found in my TpT store. Click the links below to grab them!
Written on April 22nd, 2018 by Laurin Brainard