Thursday, August 15, 2013

Spelling Resources

 After avoiding a calendar for the better part of June, July and this far into August, I have gone into panic mode when I realized that next week, I will be back in school full time. Next week is the week we spend countless hours fighting sleep while in Professional Development, get exposed to a plethora of ideas and changes that will be implemented this year in Professional Development. My room is ready. My room is ALMOST ready. I feel like I need one of those professional interior decorators on tv to come into my class and help me spruce things up after seeing how many new teachers we have and how many of them have apparently tried (and been successful with) EVERY cutesy project on Pinterest!
   My Word Wall is done...complete with student names, because although that technically is NOT vocabulary, they love seeing their names on the wall, even for a week or so. My ribbon thing worked well even though I did not have clothespins....I improvised with paper clips. And yes, I forgot to take pictures!
     I told you in my previous post how I would be using my word wall and the why. Now I will address what I plan to do for spelling....because if you know anything about 2nd graders, you know that spelling is usually NOT a strong point. In a world of text spelling, phonetic spelling, and people who plain out do not care about spelling, I want my 2nd graders to be able to spell well and communicate their ideas. Let's face it, when you come across someone who cannot spell, their ideas, no matter how brilliant they appear on paper, just do not come across. (Or is that just me?)
   SO, with that in mind, I have a plan for their spelling. Our district had adopted a Language Arts program a few years ago, that I was NOT happy with. For one thing, the patterns they taught and the order in which they taught them made absolutely NO sense. Not to mention when we lined up the patterns taught with the ones required by our TEKS, there were several that were below 2nd grade level (that they spent too much time on ) and some that were never addressed (that we were still responsible for). SO we sought out several different options. Last year, I piloted Words Their Way in my classroom. I loved it. The kids loved it. The parents loved it......AND the kids learned to spell from it. So, winner, winner, chicken dinner! We decided this year we were ditching the one that went with our adoption and going full force with Words Their Way. It makes sense....its hands on....its progressive!
       So, our kids will be doing word sorts in class and at home with their homework. Yes, we will be giving spelling test on Fridays. AND we will include words that have the same pattern but were not on our 'list'. The point being we want the kids to realize you can spell rhyming words with the same pattern by changing the initial sounds. We also will be keeping a personal word wall for those words we constantly spell wrong. This may be different for each student.Some need sight words on there, some will not. I also have lists of words in my room in related categories. (Baseball, School, Home, October, etc.) in addition to having commonly used sight words available for the kids to use at any time. I am including my Personal Word Wall here....I print them off and glue them on the inside and outside of a file folder. The kids love it because they can use one of my 'fancy pens' to add words to their word wall, but are expected to spell it correctly afterwards.
    Happy Spelling!

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