Are you pushed for time in your small groups? We know that our students need so many things, but where do we start? How do we incorporate both reading and spelling into our small group time?

For me, it all about finding a balance with short, simple tasks that can help students in reading and spelling.

Flash Cards

I review flashcards with various blends, digraphs, or vowel sounds, depending on the group. We fly through these at the beginning fo the group to build automaticity and review sounds that are difficult for us.

I often pull the 3-5 blends that are used in our spelling list that week or from the past few weeks.

Manipulating Sounds

Letter tiles are incredibly helpful for a variety of reasons. Asking students to change one letter at a time allows them to begin segmenting sounds orally, breaking down the words, tracking, and so much more.

It’s a staple in what I do every day. We practice our spelling words using letter tiles.

Pound the Word

This is such a helpful strategy that can help students in both reading and spelling. Whether they are decoding a word or encoding a word, they can pound it!

Using their pounding fist, your students can segment the word into three parts. Then, they can match the sounds to each part of the word.

Memory Challenge

This is such a FUN activity to do with your students. Currently, I’m only doing this with my higher level students who are working on vowel teams. We challenge our memories to see if we can remember various vowel teams.

It’s a great way to practice phonics skills in an isolated way to build automaticity and give students something to recall later.

Teaching Spelling Rules

Take time to slow down and teach the spelling rules. Then, practice them over and over. When you see a word that fits a spelling rule, take time to stretch it out or highlight the word.

80% of words DO fit a spelling rule. We just have to know it and meet students where they are!