Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Shamrock- Spelling, Word Family Sort
Confession Time: One thing that I have not done well these past couple of years is to include activities that show word family patterns. Both LD and DD learned to read easily and early. Once they were off and reading, I guess I never saw much "point" in going over these kinds of things. But then... then I saw LD struggle as a writer. He has worked hard on the very mechanics of writing. He works on Handwriting Without Tears and has done lots of copywork. All this, however, didn't make a dent in the struggle he had with free form, creative writing and the spelling that went along with that skill.
This year we added in All About Spelling. Like so many others have said, this program has been a wonderful addition to our day. LD has gained a lot of confidence and we are making slow, but steady progress. The magnetic tiles mean that we can leave the letters up on small white board.
At times the All About Spelling lesson went on a bit long for LD. Once I made these notebooks, our lesson times became more consistent. (LD and DD each have their own notebook, but I put both there so you could see the two different pages in each notebook.) There are two kinds of pages -- on the first there are two columns: "My First Try" and "Corrections." At this point, he really only uses one column (if he makes a mistake there was enough room to make a correction on that line), so the second column is used the next day. If I had to do it over again I'd just write "Spelling Practice Page" with numbers 1-10 and the challenge words (two columns). The second type of page is "My Words to Learn." More about this in a sec.
So here's how our lesson generally goes: When we first start our lesson, as I'm pulling things out, LD copies his "Words to Learn" from the previous day correctly into the column next to it. Then we do the lessons, pull down tiles to make words, etc. Then at the end of the lesson I have him write out 10 words and a "challenge word." Of these 10 words, 3 words are usually review words, 4 words are generally from the lesson presented that day and the last 3 words and challenge words are from a list called "The 1000 most common words" or something like that. Since this list includes a lot of "sight" words, it's been a good way to incorporate words I feel he really should know for his creative writing. (Let me know if you want the link to the high frequency word list and I'll hunt it down.) For any words he spelled wrong, he copies them onto a second page labeled "My Words to Learn" at the end of his lesson.
Cherry Carl has a wonderful set of posters with word family groups (see the photo below which includes 4 of these "posters.") What's lovely about them is that you can choose the rule you want to emphasize and she has already created a page of words (ng, nk, ck, long A, etc. etc.) You can find that file here it has over 70 pages of word family groups.