Every one to two weeks your child will have a new list of spelling words. The purpose of these word lists goes far beyond spelling. The lists are coordinated with specific English Language Arts units whose duration lasts between one to two weeks. Within the unit students will use words to practice phonics, vowel sounds and spelling patterns. They will also use the words to learn parts of grammar. For example, this week the focus is on nouns and the basics of sentence writing. Students use their spelling words to create sentences, paragraphs, or entire stories based on their level of challenge. When they’re done, they will underline all the nouns they find. In this way, they have practiced sentence writing, story writing, and connected their writing to nouns.
The word sets coordinate with our student’s readings; students see and recognize their spelling words within the readings. The readings come from Story Town text books. Each class will have two to three choices of readings and students will use the reading that best coordinates with their level of proficiency. Spelling words will be differentiated in three forms:
· First, a set of 10 to 15 basic words that all kids must study and be tested on.
· Second, basic set plus 10 to 15 more complex words for students who need more challenge.
· Third, bonus words, a set 5 to 8 words that are very robust and complex for students who need more complexity.
Students will study the words that are appropriate to their level of proficiency. They will always have a set of basic words and any student, if he or she so chooses, will always have the option of choosing to copy and study the additional word sets. It’s been my experience that most students go for the option of copying and studying all words. They like to stretch themselves and try harder, if given the chance. It is our expectation that all of our students work at their level of proficiency, therefore, if a child’s differentiated at a higher level, they must do more than the basic set of words. Nikki and I will ensure that all children are working at their capacity.
Students will copy their spelling words into their English Language Arts Journal; they will also copy them into their daily planner so they can bring their word sets home to study with you. It is their responsibility to copy them into their planner correctly. We will check to ensure that words are spelled correctly in their planner, but it would be great if you could double-check also. They should write the word three times and use it in a sentence. They will have one to two weeks to study words with a spelling test at the end of their unit. Please continue checking your child’s daily planner’s agenda every day.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Nikki Falbo or me. Thanks so much,
Maureen Childs, Principal/English Language Arts Teacher
Nikki Falbo, English Language Arts Teacher/4th-5th Grade Teacher