Saturday, April 30, 2011

Personalized Spelling

Every child has their own 8 personal words that they are to practice during the week (both at school and at home). I pre-tested the children on the words that they should have learned while they were in kindergarten. Any word that they knew, I highlighted on my master list for each child. Any words not highlighted will be future “personal spelling words.” By the end of 1st grade, children should be able to read and write the 1st 100 hundred words on the “Fry Word List” (see below).

Students will receive their personal spelling word list each Monday (if we are only in school 3 or less days that week, I do not send out a list, but please review previous words). On Monday, they are responsible for making “rainbow words” with their personal words. “Rainbow words” is writing in pencil each word, and then trace them using at least 5 colored pencils. I ask that students trace the entire set of words one color at a time (tracing them 5 times in total). They will then bring their words home to practice nightly. Students practice their words every day while in school using materials such as: playdough/clay, stencils, letter tiles, magna-doodles, magnets, and

I assess the students using multiple methods throughout the week. When a student demonstrates multiple times that they can spell one of their personal spelling words, I highlight it on my master list for him/her, and then they get a new word for the following week. Example: John demonstrates that he knows 6 of the words, but is having trouble with 2 of his words. John will keep the two that he is having trouble with the following week, but will also get 6 new words to practice.

The following are some ideas as to how to practice their words at home:


· Paint with water- Dip a Q-tip in water and practice spelling the words on the chalkboard. The words will disappear like magic, leaving the chalkboard clean!

· Shaving Cream Practice-Let your child finger paint on the table tops. Have your child practice their spelling words in the shaving cream.

· Scratch n' Sniff- Use a new sensation to teach the alphabet or spelling words. Write letters with glue on paper, then sprinkle with Jell-O. Makes a super scratch n' Sniff when tracing over the letters.

· Finger paint Bags- Freezer strength zip lock bags and fingerprint make great writing slates. Place a dab of finger paint (Tempera paint can work, although, not as well) in the zip-lock bag, tape the bag closed for extra strength. Then lay the bag flat on the table, write the word on the bag. The word will disappear like magic.

· Disappearing Act- Help your child perform a real disappearing act. Children write their spelling words with chalk on black construction paper. Then you can spray and watch their words disappear and return.

· Spelling Magic- Try a little magic to teach spelling words! Have your child write words on white construction paper with white crayon. Then paint over the paper with watered down tempera paint. Words appear like magic!

· Individual Whiteboards- Have your child practice writing their spelling words on small whiteboards or chalkboards. They love it!

· Magnetic Words- The parent arranges assorted magnet letters on a cookie sheet or magnetic white board. Students use the letters to form the weekly spelling words.

· Computer Words/Typewriter Fun- Have your child type their spelling words ten times each on the computer. Use different colors and fonts and print it out!

· Paint Your Words- Have children use small paint brushes to paint their words.

· Salt Box Spelling-The parent pours salt in the lid of a box (approx. 1/4"). The child then practices the words in the salt.

· Alpha-bit Spelling- Children use cereal to reproduce their spelling words. Don't forget the have a snack with the words you make.

· Sandy Words- Have your child write their spelling words in glue, sprinkle sand over the glue. The child can then trace over the words with their fingers for practice. They make terrific flash cards! (Colored sand makes I even neater!)

· Rainbow Words- Have your child practice words with felt pens, alternate colors for a rainbow look.

· Put It In Print- Have children cut out the letters from a newspaper to spell the weekly spelling words.

· Use alphabet stamps and let them stamp out their words on paper.

· Write words as "stairsteps"









· It is fun to do on graph paper.

· Use Wikki Sticks to bend the sticks into the desired letters to form each spelling word. After forming the Wicki Sticks, do a crayon rubbing of each word on a piece of paper.

· Window spelling: Buy a couple packs of Crayola window markers ($3 each at Wal-mart) and the kids can write their words on the windows.

· Make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle at with the spelling words.

· Fun Pens: students copy the words in "fun pens". You can find them at the Dollar Store or Walgreens. They light up, or are wiggly, or gooey, etc.

· 30 Second Words: Students fold paper in quarters. Write the spelling word in one corner of the corner. The teacher gives the students 30 seconds to write the word as many times as they can.

· Give each letter of the alphabet a value. The students must find the value of each spelling word. For example: A=1, B=2, C=3.. and so on.

· Sorry! (a.k.a. Snap!) Write the spelling words on wooden sticks along with two saying SORRY! Put the sticks in a cup. Students team up and play. When they choose a stick, they must spell the word without looking to keep the stick. If they misspell the word they must put it back. If they get a SORRY! stick, they must put all their sticks back. The one with the most sticks at the end wins. You can keep adding new spelling words to old spelling words as a review through the year as well.

· Write spelling words in white crayon -or any light colored crayon, then paint over them with watercolor paint. The white crayon acts as a resist and the words "magically" appear.

· Comic Strip - create a comic strip using each of your spelling words

· Water Wash - (Warm day required!) Use a paintbrush and water to write your words on the sidewalk!

· ABC Order - Write your words in alphabetical order. Then write them in reverse alphabetical order.

· Riddle Me - Write a riddle for each word.

· Story, Story - Write a story using ALL of your spelling words.

· Sentence Please - Write a sentence for each spelling word.

· Wordsearch - Make a wordsearch puzzle

· Memory Game - Make pairs of word cards. Flip them over and try to match the pairs!

· Scrabble - Use Scrabble tiles to spell your words.

· Sing Them Loud, Sing Them Soft - Have your Mom or Dad sing the letters of a spelling word to you in a loud voice. You echo the spelling and then sing it again softly. Now BOTH of you sing the word in the voice you choose!

· Swat Words - Write out your spelling words in big letters on a big sheet of paper. Give your parents clues like we do during Morning Meeting. ("The first letter is _ and the last letter is _.") See if they can "swat it" with a fly swatter!
1st Grade=Words 1-100

2nd Grade=Words 101-200

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