Portable 38's Weekly Spelling Program
1. Pretest (15 words)
This is a teacher-directed lesson. The word list is drawn from high-frequency words used in students’ writing at the intermediate level. I give this pretest to the class orally, using each word in a sentence for context. When the entire word list has been dictated, I reread the words, allowing students to examine their spelling and to make any necessary changes. This step emphasizes the importance of self-proofing and encourages students to locate their own spelling errors. Next, I reveal each word on the overhead and spell it orally, as well. Finally, the students compare their spelling of the word with mine and correct any errors. (Students should self-correct the test using colored pens or pencils). If appropriate, there may be a short class discussion of spelling patterns or generalizations.
2. Students Generate Weekly Word Lists (12 words)
Students choose up to nine misspelled words from the above pretest. They add these in corrected form to the center section of the weekly word list. I then provide 3 Latin/Greek derivatives to add (in conjunction with the ongoing study of Latin & Greek root words). Students fill in the remaining slots on their Word Lists from their own personal “Harvest Lists.” These Harvest Lists are kept with me at all other times. Every student’s list is different, as it is comprised of each child’s “spelling demons” – words they misspell in their everyday writing. The lists are ongoing, and will include “repeat offenders” from time to time. With the twelve-word Word List completed, each student always has the option of adding a thirteenth “Bonus Word” which I provide. (If the bonus word is spelled correctly on Friday’s final test, the student receives one extra credit point.) Finally, students turn in their lists to be checked for proper spelling.
1. Spelling List Returned
The list (and a copy) are returned to students. One copy will remain at school in the writing folder, one can be taken home for further study.
2. Partner Activity
This is a day for partner spelling practice. These activities may include:
A. Spelling Hang Man: Exchange spelling lists and challenge each other with words from each partner's spelling list. Spelled words should be written down. An incorrect spelling results in your partner adding one more body part to the gallows.
B. Bounce Spelling: A partner gives you a word to spell from your list. Bounce and catch a tennis ball for each letter in the word (while your partner checks for accuracy).
C. Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe: Partner A says the first word on Partner B’s list. If Partner B writes it correctly, that person gets to put an X or an O on the grid. Partner B then gives a word to Partner A. The first person to get three marks in one direction wins.
D. Back Words: Exchange lists with a partner and spell each word on his/her back using a finger. Have him/her write each word on paper and check their spelling as you go.
E. Baseball: After exchanging spelling lists, the player on defense asks the player on offense to write one of his/her words. Each correct spelling means that you get a base. An incorrect spelling is an out. Three outs and the other player is up to spell.
1. Spelling Tip of the Week
This is a teacher-directed mini-lesson on some spelling rule or generalization.
Each student LOOKS at the correct spelling of each word from the word list. Next, he/she COVERS that word and then WRITES it from memory. Finally, the student CHECKS the spelling of the word with the model. If incorrect, he/she repeats the process with the same word. If correct, the process is repeated for the next word on the list.
Students are partnered up to give each other a practice test. Every student will learn how to give a test -- using pacing and giving words in context (i.e. using the word in a sentence). When complete, tests are corrected by the partners. Misspelled words should be studied for Friday’s final test.
Students use the same procedure as on Thursday’s practice test. Any misspelled words on this test will be added to individual Harvest Lists for future study. The teacher collects the tests, records the progress of each student, and returns them the following Monday.
We will spend 10 –15 minutes a day on these Spelling activities. For those students who need additional practice at home, a copy of their lists will be sent home on Tuesday for that purpose.