Spelling in First Grade

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by teach12, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. teach12

    teach12 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2009

    I would like to know how everyone does their spelling. In the past I have had individualized spelling lists, with each studnet having 10 words. Although there are a lot of things I like about this, I still feel like they are doing more memorizing rather than thinking of the spellig of each word. I think if they all had the same words, it would be easier to do class activities to really emphasize the rules and phonics that go with the words for the week. Does that make sense?? SO...I would like to know not only how you create spelling lists, but some of the activities and things you do without those words during the week. Also, do you give a spelling test each week? When in the school year do you start spelling? Thanks!
     
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  3. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Our school uses the Houghton Mifflin phonics and spelling workbook.The class does the same spelling list because they are made up of some high frequency words which they are held accountable for by the end of the year. We introduce the words on Monday morning and then they do learning centers where 2 of the centers are spelling based. Tuesday we review the words by putting the letters to movement.(the class sometimes makes up the moves for the words) Wednesday we review moves and chants. Thursday they practice words at home, Friday they all take the test. We do give provisions to the children who are behind and sometimes allow oral testing. They also have weekly spelling homework where they pick an activity off a chart. (parents sign off on activity). We start spelling right off the bat... end of second week of school 1st list goes home.
     
  4. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Okay, here's my spelling program in a nutshell. I have a sound/spelling that I focus on each week. In the beginning it is the short vowels. As the year progresses the sound/spelling focus becomes more difficult (ie. digraphs, dipthongs, etc.) My list has 10-12 words on it. 6 words focus on the sound/spelling that week and 4 review several sound/spellings from previous weeks. Occasionally I will add 1-2 High Frequency Words if I see them constantly mispelling them. Those words are on our class word wall so they find it on the wall to spell. While I do grade for accuracy I also use my tests to look for areas where students need additional sound/spelling practice. This is one way I create small groups. Hope this helps :)
     
  5. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Oh yeah. I do the Big 5 in my class. I will include the new sound/spelling and old sound/spellings in my stations for students to get continuous practice from. I also give them fun ways to practice spelling at home.
     
  6. 1stesl

    1stesl Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    we have 10 spelling words each week that follow the pattern of the week...we also have 5 'challenge' words....that get credit if the get it right but it doesn't count against them if they miss a challenge word...we do have 1 or 2 words each week that are sight words
     
  7. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2009

    the whole class has 3 of the same "core" words for whatever pattern we are working on and the rest of their words are from their personal spelling lists. We start off with 6 words; 3 core words and 3 personal words. If they spell their personal words correctly, it is highlighted on their spelling lists sheet so they know not to choose that word on future tests. If the word is spelled incorrectly, they know they must choose that word as a personal word next week.Tests are on Wednesdays, and they get their new list on Thursday. It makes them retain the info over the weekend. We start spelling the 2nd nine weeks and use a variation of the Fountas and Pinnell buddy study starting the 2nd semester.
     
  8. KinderBelle

    KinderBelle Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    How do you decide the pattern you're working on? I'm new to all of this. Could someone give me an example of a set of words they might use for a given pattern?
     
  9. 1stesl

    1stesl Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    We start with the short vowel word families....the first one will be -at, words for that word pattern are: cat, hat, bat, rat, etc.
     
  10. KinderBelle

    KinderBelle Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Ohhhh...duh! :p Thanks 1stesl
     
  11. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2009

    I also use word patterns to develp the list. We begin the 2nd week of school with 6 words and 2 bonus words (tricky words). For Homework they circle the words following the pattern in a poem, write them in abc order, and complete a pre-test at home. I integrate the words throughout the week in class. I have them posted in a pocket chart too.
    [A tip not mentioned yet:Give a practice test on their dry erase boards before giving the test on the spelling test paper. Also, in January we add a dictation sentence using the current and recent words. The sent. is worth 100 points and includes 8 graded words, a capital letter and a punct. mark to equal 10 pts. each.
     
  12. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2009

    my first set of core words are short a sounds... i don't have my list with me but they would be something like:
    cat, as, rag
    the next week is short e..something like: set, ten, peg

    I don't necessarily do a word family each week.
     
  13. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 18, 2009

    I did a spelling sentence for grade 1 with the first one being:
    The man ran.

    We practice -an words.

    We expand the sentence:
    The tall man ran.
    The tall man ran to school. etc.
    At test time, I test "The man ran." but also add one longer sentence we created as a challenge.

    Sentence two is:
    Dan and Pam saw the ram.

    Eventually our sentences are 2-4 sentneces long.
     
  14. foxteach1

    foxteach1 Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2009

    I taught first grade for several years, and used the ABeka curriculum for spelling. It's a Christian school/home school curriculum so you may not be familiar with it, but is systematic phonics and it's tied to their Phonics and Language books as well. I tend to be a more hands-on type of teacher, but I have to tell you this program works and works brilliantly. My students (of all levels) were always at least at grade level by the end of the year and most quite a bit beyond that. Basically, you want to teach the kids the phonics rules so they can decode the language and not have to just memorize words. You can find used A Beka curriculum on lots of home school websites and even Ebay--get the Spelling (and even Language and Letters&Sounds books if you can) and just check out the system.
    In addition, I added a method for teaching the two sight words that were part of each weekly lesson that is quite unorthodox, but again, worked incredibly well. Part of the Davis Dyslexia method, kids actually make the sight words out of clay snakes and then look at it and say, "You say 'the'; t-h-e". Then they close their eyes and picture the word and say it backwards and forwards. This is part of the method that can actually keep dyslexic kids from developing a lot of reading issues, but I found that all of my students' spelling grades jumped up when I began using the method in my class. We would go over the phonics rule for the week on Monday, do the clay sight words on Tuesday, do the Spelling Book pages Thursday, have a bee or some sort of game to review on Thursday, and test on Friday. You can read more about Davis methods on their website. It's really amazing and it works!
     
  15. ms. yi

    ms. yi Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2009

    I'm against traditional spelling programs and have been doing individualized spelling for the past couple of years. I kept the weekly quizzes in -- which were individualized so I administered 18 a week! -- only because I thought parents would freak out over not having them. I had limited their words to 5-7 to help me with the process and I had them check it themselves and they were not graded or collected. Again, I only did it so that the parents wouldn't be too upset over not having a traditional list.

    This year, I'm completely taking away weekly quizzes. Why? Because they're ineffective and take up valuable instruction time. Most teachers just give the list, assign homework and give a quiz. Most students already know half the words, so they memorize the few that they don't, ace the test and later misspell those same words in their writing.

    Does this mean that I'm not teaching spelling? Of course not. But we need to keep spelling in perspective. It's a courtesy to readers. It does not determine your writing ability.

    I will be teaching spelling patterns (during guided reading), strategies for learning new words, how to use resources and will set individualized spelling goals for each child. There will be no quizzes but I will conference with them and collect information from their writing samples.

    I don't give spelling grades. There is no section for spelling on the report card. However, I do look at the students' writing holistically and determine their writing grades from them.

    Sorry if I sound preachy. :blush: I just have strong feelings about the subject.
     
  16. foxteach1

    foxteach1 Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I used the A Beka phonics approach (Open Court is similar; basically just a phonics-driven program where the spelling is tied into the language book where they learn the sounds progressively). On Monday, we went over the featured phonics sound or blend. On Tuesday, we did the two sightwords in each lesson. I use the Davis Dyslexia approach for this (and have seen incredible retention!). Make the word out of snakes of clay (my kids made their letters the first week of school as we reviewed the alphabet and I kept them in little plastic drawers with their names; make out of Sculpey so they never dry out!) Then talk about what the word means. Get the kids to focus on the word and say to their clay, "You say ____" Then they close their eyes and spell the word forwards and backwards. Check out the Davis dyslexia site for more on why this works, but it does, and not just with dyslexics!
    On Wednesday, they did their spelling book pages. Thursday was the Bee or other review game, and Friday the test. Kids who needed it (dyslexic, LD, etc.) could also take the test orally with me if they bombed it!
     
  17. missamie

    missamie Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Our school uses the rebecca sitton spelling list - it's 1200 of the most commonly written words. The children start in 1st grade and move through until they complete the list, hopefully by 4th or 5th grade. This is my first year in 1st grade at my school - k for past 6 years. We just did placement testing and came up with roughly 3 main groups (I team teach) and two independent spellers - one really low and one REALLY high. We give 8 words from the list a week, we also print out spelling activities from spellingcity on line and I also have a font program that has the dotted lines so we send home the words with correct handwriting for them to practice requiring them to use correct upper or lower case letters and write legibly to get the words correct.
    That's what we started but we don't give our first spelling test until this Thursday. We'll see how it progresses this year. - wish us luck!!;)
     
  18. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2009

    I am glad someone posted this topic. I am torn. When I taught 4th grade, I was very "anti-traditional spelling", if that makes sense. My first year teaching 4th grade, I refused to do spelling tests, but even after sending home information about research suggesting that traditional approaches to spelling do nothing to improve students' spelling, I had parents freaking out. So, I started doing a word wall and used words that our 4th graders needed to know (content vocabulary, words with prefixes/suffixes, contractions, compound words, etc) and gave those as our spelling list. Now that I am teaching 1st grade, I see the value of spelling "tests" as data collection tool for me (I can already see which students have NO concept of beginning/ending sounds, and some who have no concept of letter sounds), but I don't feel that they are really a good way to teach spelling. I am still trying to find my way as a primary level teacher, so I need to think about what I will do as the year goes on.
     
  19. CandyKisses

    CandyKisses Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2009

    Okay - We have one spelling list a week. We start the list on Monday, practice it till Thursday, then test on Friday. I give them a homework packet on Monday, and then it's due on Thursday. It does count as 10% of their grade, if they don't hand it in on Thursday (isn't completed, "did it" but forgot @ home, etc) then they lose 10 points per day (ex: handed in Friday - gets a 90% IF it's 100% correct, kwim?).

    Homework is a review or practice of concepts or skills we have worked on in class. Total time should only be 10-20 minutes.

    For example, for week one of spelling, the words are:
    Can/Hat/Mat/Bad/Pan/Had/Back/Pack/Quack/Rack/Sack/Tack/Dig/Kick/Win/Pick/Pig/Pin/Path/Shack/Dish/That/Wish/Thin/Fast/Go/Stop/Ship/Bus/Map

    Their usual activities are: make a sentence out of each one of the words (can use more than one word in one sentence - just as long as they use all the words). They have an unscrambling paper that they have to unscramble the words for that week. They write them in alphabetical order. Then they take a home pretest. We take a pretest in class on Thursday also. If all the kids are really struggling, then I will take into consideration giving an extra week to study them some more.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I use Words Their Way to individulize instruction- I have 4 spelling groups. I guess you could use the lists and sorts 'whole group' to teach about patterns/spelling generalizations.
     
  21. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Oct 14, 2009

    Hi everyone,

    For the last ten years I have been doing my spelling the same way because it has been extremely sucessful.

    On the first day of school I send home the first 100 words from Dr. Fry's list of the most commonly used words in the English language. This is the only true "high frequency" word list because it was determined by an impartial party - a computer.

    The first 10 words are the words for week one.

    the, of, and a to, as, with, his, they,

    These ten words are the most used words in the English language, both in speech and in writing, so doesn't it make sense to learn them first?

    Week 2

    in, is, you, that, it, at, be, this, have, from

    Week 3

    he, was, for, on, are, or, one, had, by, word


    Week 4

    but, not, what, all, were, she, do, how, their, if

    etc.etc.etc.

    By the time they learn the first ten words they know the bulk of the words they will ever encounter.

    I give the ten words of the week for homework every night and make it a penmenship lesson, too. (We don't formally teach penmanship.) They trace the word first then write it four times neatly.

    Every Friday there's a Spelling Test on those ten words.

    That's it!! Good Luck!

    Teacherman
     
  22. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Oct 14, 2009

    For the last ten years I have been doing my spelling the same way because it has been extremely sucessful.

    On the first day of school I send home the first 100 words from Dr. Fry's list of the most commonly used words in the English language. This is the only true "high frequency" word list because it was determined by an impartial party - a computer.

    The first 10 words are the words for week one.

    the, of, and, a, to, as, with, his, they, I

    These ten words are the most used words in the English language, both in speech and in writing, so doesn't it make sense to learn them first?

    Week 2

    in, is, you, that, it, at, be, this, have, from

    Week 3

    he, was, for, on, are, or, one, had, by, word


    Week 4

    but, not, what, all, were, she, do, how, their, if

    etc.etc.etc.

    By the time they learn the first 100 words they know the bulk of the words they will ever encounter.

    I give the ten words of the week for homework every night and make it a penmenship lesson, too. (We don't formally teach penmanship.) They trace the word first then write it four times neatly.

    Every Friday there's a Spelling Test on those ten words.

    That's it!! Good Luck!

    Teacherman

    P.S. It's nice, to, because the children and parents always know what words the kids have each week and what they have to do for homework each night.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  23. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Oct 17, 2009

    How do you like the switch from K to 1st? I may be doing that next year! Thanks!
     
  24. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Oct 17, 2009

    That is so logical, I love it! Thanks!
     
  25. legoofy

    legoofy Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2009

    What activities do you put on the spelling homework chart?
     
  26. legoofy

    legoofy Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2009

    What activities do you put on the spelling homework chart?
     
  27. legoofy

    legoofy Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2009

    individualized spelling lists

    I have been doing traditional spelling list for years but I am now seeing the relevance of individualized spelling list. I keep thinking if they know how to spell the word to begin with why have them spell it again? Shouldn't I give them a new word to challenge them.

    I am having trouble putting this into place. I don't know how to organize it. Where do I get the additional words from and how do I give spelling test for several different word lists?


    Thanks for any help you can give!
     
  28. malia

    malia Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Hi, legoofy, I kinda had that same debate with myself earlier this year. I didn't want to give everyone the same list every week, because you get the third that always get 100% without even studying, the third that gets maybe one or two words wrong, and then the third that will never get anything correct because it's beyond what their level at the moment. I wanted to give them words they used and had difficulty with, on their own level, so it's a challenge for everyone. But I couldn't figure out how to do it.

    When my son was in first grade last year, his class had individualized spelling tests. So I happened to meet up with his teacher at a workshop over the summer, and asked her how she ran it. And I've adapted it to my classroom, and it works pretty smoothly--much more than I imagined it to be!

    What I started with was giving everyone a test on the first 100 sight words (from Fry's list). Any word they spelled wrong would be what they had to work on. Also, words I saw in their writing (like cousin, beach, etc.) that they used a lot and misspelled were also added to their list. All of that was kept in the child's spelling folder. Every Monday, I'd write the words for the week in their spelling tablet, which was due back to me on Friday. The activities they had to do was write each word 5 times, alphabetize the list, and use the words in sentences. Then on Fridays, they did the spelling test. I pulled them in small groups (4-5 in a group), and they all could sit next to each other without barriers because they all had different words. And I'd just go down the list from their folders. It takes less than 5 minutes per group. Then I send them back to work on their sight word book, while I do the next 5. I get through all groups within the 30-minute skills block we have. Then Friday afternoon, I paste the spelling test paper into their spelling tablet, and if they got any wrong, it goes back on their list for the next week. Otherwise, I put the next words from their list in their book, and it's done. Again, it moves much more smoothly than I originally anticipated. After the first semester, I plan to have the kids give each other the spelling test (which is what they did in my son's class) to help cut down on time. We'll see how that goes! ;)

    But I am glad that I changed to this system, because not only has it helped them with their writing because it's words they actually use, but it's helped them with their reading, as well, since it's from the most frequently used words list. The next step is to see if the whole grade level will adopt this, too, next year! :unsure: That'll be some hard convincin' to do!

    Anyway, that's what I do for my class. If it's not clear, feel free to pm for clarification. :)
    Thanks!
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 3, 2009

    It sounds like you guys are so well organized on this. I give everyone the same 10 words and they study it for 2 weeks, and then test on Friday during the second week. Of course, I am in Mexico and these kids are in an English immersion school, so we take 2 weeks to do 1 week worth of language arts...
    My kids take spelling home for homework, but we also practice it in class with stair spelling, writing on their white boards, and I am also going to incorporate a new center with letters for them to put the words together...
     
  30. ReadingTeachH

    ReadingTeachH Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2009

    Most first grade classrooms give out spelling lists of 10-15 words (10 words and 5 high frequency words) on Monday and then test on Fridays. The words in spelling lists come from word families and they progress in difficulty throughout the year. The usual activities that accompany spelling words are sentence creation, plugging in of spelling words in worksheets, word finds, word sorts,... There is an excellent book called "Words Their Way" which not only provides you with assessments to find your student's spelling stages but it also provides a plenty of word sorts/spelling practice materials and ideas. I personally believe that too much of our instructional time is spent on spelling drill. Students memorize the words and then quickly forget them as they receive new spelling lists. My main goal is to teach my students to recognize patterns in spelling which will help with future writing and chunking in reading. We also use spellingcitycom for home practice and readingisfun.me has some great suggestions when it comes to reading instruction in primary grades. I hope this helps :)!
    Good luck
     

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