Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spelling Scaffold

As I was going through my photos for yesterday's 5 For Friday Post, I found this picture of spelling tests I had taken right before the break, and I remembered that I had wanted to share something that has really increased my student's performance on their weekly spelling tests.

I use Words Their Way, and we work with the patterns and rules, but for some reason, a large majority of my students were still failing the tests each week.  When a large majority are having a difficult time, I know I have to change something about my instruction.

I asked one of our special ed teachers if she had any suggestions since I have a few of her kiddos.  She suggested shortening the list and using boxes for the tests.  Well, I decided to try it for ALL of my kids.  We now spend three weeks going over a pattern with a test over one row plus two words from a previous test that are a surprise to the students (to ensure that they don't just learn it for the test, but keep it in their memory.  I also print out spelling boxes for the test using this worksheet generator from Soft School.  The only issue I have is that I have to remember to cut of the top before I photocopy because the words are printed at the top.  I left a list like that for a sub once - oops!

Once I started doing this, the test scores became all A's and B's - and my students are actually transferring the spelling skills into their writing!

What do you use for your spelling program?  Any other tips or advice?

PS - Don't forget to enter to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card!  If your wish list is anything like mine, you can use all the help you can get in making a dent in it! LOL!

1 comment:

  1. I used to make a box sheet for each test as I had a student who was diagnosed dyslexic, and I thought, what's good for one, is good for all. However, at my current school, we don't use words their way and their spelling words don't come in much of a pattern. Also, if they all make A's and B's then the ones who need reading interventions aren't allowed to get them, so unfortunately I have to have some failures. Bummer I know.. But still had to tell you that I can relate and that it is a great idea!


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