Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spelling Lessons

We have recreated our spelling lessons. Our old lessons were basically a list of words that the girls would write sentences with to memorize them...my oldest dd is a pretty good speller, it's my younger dd that struggles with spelling. Instead of getting better she was just getting worse! I went into serious prayer, and I believe I was led to find this wonderful Spelling Curriculum for the wonderful price of $120.00 is what it would cost us for what we would need to start with, which isn't bad considering the curr will stay with them all the way through 7th grade. But it might as well be $1,200.00 because we just don't have the extra $$. So, I was back on my knees. Then I came across this article 'Word-mapping~ how to study spelling word' that article lead me to other articles about Elkonin Boxes. One of the last articles I came across was The Penny Push it was the first and last with all the others sandwiched in between that gave me the inspiration to create our own system for our own family. Truly it was an answer to my prayers. Praise Yah! We have been using this system just two days...TWO DAYS! and already my youngest dd has learned 8 words! And what is really incredible about this is they can't wait to do spelling lesson! Yes, it's true! While we are doing our lesson they have said over and over "mama, this is so much fun" and the thrill of knowing the words after each lesson. Truly this is from Yahweh! OK so here is the system I was lead to create:

I looked over some of their writings; narratives and such. And found their misspelled words. Put them on a list and took the first 10 words. I made a grid and used all the letter, each letter had it's own block, cut the grid up into tiles that looked something like this:
I then cut up 'sound blocks' the pink square & rectangle shapes.
The toothpicks are used as breakers between syllables.
Now I set the mixed up letters of a spelling word in front of them. And I have them Listen to me as I pronounce the word slowly. I asked them to listen to see how many syllables the word has.
(just a note, the ly at the end of the word is placed wrong, I did this when I took the pic it should be on one sound block not two)
Now, this is where the fun starts, so they say. For the word 'struggle' they tell me it has two syllables. So I slowly pronounce the first syllable sounds, and ask them to count ONLY the SOUNDS, not the letters. When they know the number of sound they pick out the sound boxes to place the letters on. It is a this point they add the toothpick breaker for the next syllable. We continue on to the next syllable and place sound boxes and letter next to the toothpick. I've made up a study sheet to help guide them through a study process of the word:

Here is what is on the work sheet:
  1. The spelling word: (they do not fill this in until the very end of the study, it's a mini spelling test, to help them apply everything they have learned).
  2. How many syllables?
  3. Listen for how many sounds are found in each syllable.
  4. How many sounds does the word have?
  5. How many letters does the word have?
  6. If the word has more letters that sounds explain why: this question helps them to take a good look at the word and explain the why, which is really just reviewing phonic blends or spelling rules such as the blend str is only one sound and the le found at the end of the word is one sound.
  7. Is there anything you want to remember about this word? This question also helps them to remember tricky things in the word such as the silent e at the end of the word struggles and the fact that the bossy e is not bossy at all because the u is a short vowel sound.

After they work through this lesson they can go back to question #1 and without looking at the word write out the spelling word. Wow! they were thrilled that they didn't have to write sentences or write the word ten times but really studied the word with great results.

Again I give all glory to my heavenly father Yahuweh/The LORD for leading me to find a system for my girls.

This is a pic of the game I made on OpenOffice program. The idea wasn't mine by taken from a yahoo group I belong to. Anyway it Spelling Battle Ship and yes it's played just like Battle Ship but instead of ships we use spelling words. I'm trying to bring in more spelling games into our lessons so this is a good start for now. I'm trying to figure out how to emplement Bingo into a spelling game...

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