I’m curious…. in your already crowded instruction schedule, does spelling have a place? Have you found a way to make it more than just giving a list of words on Monday and assessing on Friday? Resources for teaching spelling are often hard to come by and sometimes it feels like with the intense focus on more critical thinking skills in literacy, spelling instruction has become an outdated practice.
But I think we can all agree we all want our students to be strong spellers! Spelling is important! It is related to reading. If students can spell well, they will read well. It’s related to writing. When students spell well they can focus on communicating their ideas, rather than worrying about how to construct words. Poor spellers may also draw negative social judgements, and no one wants that!
Years ago, my district didn’t have a spelling program, so my team and I made one ourselves! I love it so much that I continue to use this program more than 10 years later! It includes a variety of activities that allow for students to interact with words many different times, in many different ways.
If you are looking for a spelling program to use with your students, or maybe just looking to freshen up your spelling activities then you have come to the right place. Today I’m excited to describe to you the spelling bundles I have created, as well as share many free spelling activities you can grab and get started with right away!
In my classroom, spelling instruction and practice takes place during literacy centers. Since I have control issues To be sure my students clearly understand what to do for each activity, I model and my students do the same activity for that rotation of centers. After they have learned all the spelling activities I hang a menu board and they are able to choose whichever activity they’d like during word work.These activity pages could be used to practice spelling or sight words as a center, morning work, or homework. My students enjoy the variety.
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Spelling Word List Activities and Assessment Bundles
So while the activity pages I’ve shared above could be used in centers, as morning work, or homework, I know there are teachers who are looking for more. When I posted this image on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago, I got a lot of questions about it. People wanted to know how I actually teach AND assess spelling. I know there are many teachers who were in the same place my colleagues and I were in years ago, with no resources to teach spelling and feeling unsure of where to start.
I’m happy to now share with you the details about the spelling bundles I have created and I hope they can help. These bundles include a years worth of weekly word list activities and assessments. Here’s how I use them in my classroom…
At the beginning of the week after I explicitly teach the new spelling pattern, I give my students a word list to practice what they have just been taught. It also serves as one way for parents to know the new spelling words to practice at home. (Plus, they get a little handwriting practice in too).
During the week we practice the words during mini lessons with our whiteboards, word sorts, and dictation sentences. We use the word cards in our pocket chart to sort the words by a sorting rule, or often I print 2 copies so my students can play memory with them with a partner.
My favorite part of the Spelling Bundle is the assessment. This assessment makes it clear if a student has memorized their spelling words. It shows me if they really understand the spelling pattern and can transfer their knowledge of the pattern in untaught words. I dictate the words list words we have practiced throughout the week. The “star” words are words that we haven’t practiced but follow the same spelling pattern.
Students must edit the silly sentence and write it correctly, then finally they read (to themselves) the bottom sentence and draw a picture to show comprehension.
I created spelling word list activities and assessment year bundles for each grade K-3. Look down below to check them out!
There is so much teachers are required to do and also want to do with our students each day. Spelling often seems to be one of those things that is required and we want to do, but it feels overwhelming because we don’t have resources or know where to start. I hope that by sharing the activities I use in my classroom and the resources I have created, teaching spelling in your own classroom can begin to feel a bit more manageable and meaningful.