Does anyone NOT use spelling books?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by **Mrs.A**, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2009

    This is my first year teaching and my gradel level has weekly spelling words for each Harcourt story. The kids have a pretest, complete a chapter in their spelling books and then a test of Friday. I did not like the spelling book and felt like it was just busy work. I didn't see the benefit of using the books.

    Next year, because of budget cuts, we wil not be ordering any consumables, which means no spelling books. :D Our team will be getting together to discuss how we will be doing spelling next year. I would love to do Words Their Way, but the fourth grade has not been trained, which is unfortunate because the third grade team uses it.

    So, how do you do spelling without spelling books??

    Also, does anyone NOT do spelling words? We spent a lot more time on spelling than we did on vocabulary words this year. Would it be more beneficial to skip spelling words and spend more time on vocabulary words. Any thoughts on this???

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 25, 2009

    Hello fellow first year teacher :)

    I use WTW and I was never trained, either. It's really hard at first. I was lucky my mentor had used it and could answer my questions for me. Once you get into the swing of things it gets easier. The hardest part for me was making 4 spelling lists every week (because I have 4 reading groups). Now I simply do a google search for my skill (such as "prefixes with inter") and make my list from that. I print off lists into w Word document (I make a 6-cell table and so each sheet has 6 word lists on it). My kids glue the lists into their WS notebooks on Mondays. I also type up a simple skill sheet on a strip of paper and they glue that in, too.

    I keep a running list of the skill sets on spellingcity. com which has been a lifesaver, both for my management and the kids' benefit. I highly recommend it. If you want to have a peek at my lists, PM me for my user name. The lists aren't easily accessible unless you know the teacher's name.

    One last thought....You mentioned wanting to spend more time on vocab. One thing I love about WTW is it seems to allow more time for vocab. I'm still getting the hang of it, but this style of teaching allows for more vocab instruction. I spend a lot more time on vocab with WTW than I did with Harcourt. It seems so natural with WTW. Since each list is so skill-specific you can spend more time on the word's meaning rather than its spelling.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I also use Word Their Way...no spelling books. Love the spelling sorts, the conversations my kids have about words, and the word work we do as a class.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I have the Harcourt spelling WB to go with the series. I stopped using both mid-year. We read novels and I choose vocab words from them. However, we have a weekly test on social studies content area words - the same list is for spelling and vocab. I know I'm not hitting spelling patterns, phonics, etc., but I don't care. This is for 5th grade.

    Some ways we practice: 3X each, one sentence per word, spelling ladders, spelling crosswords, fill-in-the-blank for morning work, using the words in lessons. They see some of them highlighted in the social stdies text (which I also don't use exclusively).
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I haven't used the spelling lists in our reading series for years. I think they are way too easy for my kids. Instead I have made my own lists that change from year to year. I get my words from suggested 5th grade words to master, lists I have found online, vocabulary for different subjects and reading stories/novels, and words they frequently misspell in their writing.
     
  7. K_luv30

    K_luv30 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2009

    I stopped using the Harcourt as well. I googled '4th grade sight words' and made a list from there. Then I enter the word list into www.edhelper.com, and it creates a variety of printables and activities based on those words. That website is awesome (and not just for spelling)!
     
  8. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Apr 26, 2009

    Does anyone here not use them while the rest of the school does? I would LOVE not to use my spelling book because it is busy work. Half the time the "clues" don't even make sense in the book.

    The problem is, is that the books are ordered for the whole school. If I didn't use them, it would be a problem because it would be wasting money. I have been in a Words Their Way classroom and have the book so I would like to use that.
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2009

    I think most of the other classes in my school use the spelling lists, but I don't. I use the Month-by-Month Phonics and Vocabulary for 5th grade book that goes with the Working With Words block of the Four Block Lit. Model. I try to focus on prefixes and suffixes, commonly misspelled words, words frequently used by 5th graders in writing they need work on, and Greek and Latin roots. You'd think they'd hate the roots, but they love them. We do a variety of word sorts, prefix sorts, word building (you know those excercises where our teacher wrote a word of phrase on the board and told us to make as many other words from the letters as we could? It's like that but in reverse. You give them the letters scrambled and they have to build as many words as they can while trying to figure out the magic word that can be built from all the letters.) I also pull in activities that work include the vocabulary books we have, analogies, synonyms, antonyms, all the other nyms, etc. I just call the class word studies so it covers everything.
     
  10. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2009

    Thanks for the input, everyone... I'm going to be rethinking how I'm going to be doing spelling next year.

    I definitely want to spend more time on vocabulary instruction.
    I want to teach more structural analysis strategies so students have the tools they need when they come to words they don't know. I want them to do more activities using their weekly vocabulary words. I'm reading a great book called "Bringing Words To Life", Robust Vocabulary Instruction. I want to implement some of the activities they suggest in my literacy centers.

    This was my first year teaching and I am so excited about some of the changes I want to make in my classroom next year!! :woot:
     

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