Friday, February 8, 2013

Spelling and Grammar Practice

I'll admit it...I'm not a big fan of the weekly spelling lists. We all know how it goes. The kids study the words, ace the test and then forget how to spell the words the next week. I wish I could teach spelling patterns/rules throughout the year and not have a weekly test. My district's report card has a space for grading spelling tests, so I have to do them.

Last year, my team and I changed our spelling program and I think it makes it a little better. Some of our units last for two weeks so that we have more time to work on the patterns. Also, each student has their own high frequency words during the unit. My students are supposed to practice their words at home every night. I usually send home some activities for them to use, but I don't collect the work. I really am not looking for more papers to be turned in to me. During the week, I do like to have a few lessons about the spelling pattern. We do lots of sorts, work on whiteboards and even task cards.  I'm always looking for new and meaningful ways to work on spelling.

A colleague of mine introduced me to a spelling activity last year. The activities incorporate grammar with spelling.  Each week the students work on two grammar skills using their spelling words. For example, this week my students were working on singular/plural and past tense.

spelling blog

I love these activities because my kids are learning to spell their words, but working on grammar skills with the words.  They are great little assessments as well.  After the kids turned in their work, I realized that many of them didn't understand the concept of singular/plural.  They simple wrote their spelling words and then added an "s."

Singular: unusual  Plural: unusuals

Guess what we are working on next week?

Another reason these activities are great is because each skill is only practiced four or five times each.  When we work on nouns, they write five of their spelling words that are nouns.  The practice and quick and meaningful.  I can tell if they get it from those five examples.  Some of the skills we practice are: synonyms, antonyms, rhymes, abc order, endings, nouns, adjectives, verbs, prefixes, suffixes and syllables.

Last year, my students did all their work on lined paper.  They needed to learn to label and number the paper.  To save time labeling, erasing, forgetting how to number the paper, I decided to just make the sheets on the computer.  Now I can pull a sheet, copy it and work on those skills for the week.  Now I feel a bit better about the weekly spelling lists because they students have a purpose for using their words.  If you're interested, feel free to check out the whole package on Tpt.

It has been wonderful seeing so many visitors from 4th Grade Frolics.  My way of thanking you for coming over is to put these on SALE! 

spelling blog

I'd love to hear your thoughts about practicing spelling words.

Enjoy your weekend!


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