Point to the Letter That Says…
On Mondays, we typically keep things pretty simple. We are usually learning a new grapheme or reviewing something from previous instruction. After spelling a word, I’ll ask my students to point to the letter or letters that say a particular phoneme. This is also a great time to review prior graphemes. Even though we might be practicing the /sh/ sound, we can still take a look at words that have a magic e. It really helps keep many sounds top of mind.
We also use this time to count the SOUNDS that we hear, not the letters.
Point & Say the Sounds
On Tuesdays, we focus on blending words. After students have spelled a word using their letter tiles, I ask my students to point to the word and say the sounds together. As a group, we say each phoneme and blend them together. This is the crucial focus to teaching spelling.
For students with difficulty with working memory, we use this time to practice a strategy to help them decode in smaller pieces. Have you ever had a student who attempts to decode a word, says every phoneme beautifully, and then says a completely random word?! If so, they are typically struggling with working memory. They are unable to store three or more sounds in their brain in order to properly blend them together.
During this routine, we blend two sounds together. Then, we add the third sound. If there are more than three sounds, we repeat this process and add a phoneme each time. Does it take longer? Absolutely. But this strategy may also be the easiest way to combat poor working memory.
Can You Think of a Rhyming Word?
On Wednesday, we usually pick a word or two and find words that rhyme. Due to time, we don’t find rhyming words for all of our spelling words. I strategically pick a few that we’ll use to produce rhyming words. We also attempt to spell the rhyming words on the board together.
By Thursday, we’re ready for our weekly spelling test. Each of my students have different goals for independence. For some groups, I produce the sounds in the words, and I am asking them to independently match the letters to my sounds. Other groups might be trying to independently spell without using their letter tiles.
Spell As Many Words As Possible
On Friday, I like to give my students their Ziplock baggie with the letter tiles that they’ve been using all week. They also get a dry erase board or a boogie board. They can use their letter tiles to create as MANY words as possible.
Sometimes, they remember their spelling words from the week. Other times, the letters can be used to create other words that just weren’t on the list! It’s a fun Friday activity.