Have you ever worked so hard and long on a project that you feel like you just gave birth to a new baby? Yep...meet D. Spelling, my new baby, at just over 300 pages long!
Let me take you through a little tour of how I use this in my classroom. It took my years to figure out how I could differentiate spelling in my classroom in a way that I could manage easily. Maybe it will help you out, too!
Every Monday, I give my students a pretest (template included). Students who earn 80% or higher on the pretest will study List B words for the week, all other students will study List A words.
The great thing about my word lists is that List A and List B follow the exact same pattern. This makes it super easy for me to teach whole-group mini-lessons on the pattern that all students can apply to their word lists. Each word list has 10 words and then all students have a common 5 words for the week, for a total of 15 words to study.
After our pretest, I pass out our word list card for that week. Students highlight their word list and attach it to their metal ring. This ensures that students have all words for the year for constant review. I do not want students to just memorize their words for the week and then forget them. We are constantly reviewing our past words through games and activities. In fact, once per quarter, I give a "random sampling" test (template included) where I randomly pull 20 words from past lists to make sure students are internalizing these patterns instead of "get and forget."
Having the words on these cards also ensures that students always have their spelling cards with them. If they need their words for homework, for class activities, or to study at daycare...no problem, they have them at all times! My students keep them in a pencil pouch that resides in their daily take-home folders.
The biggest challenge with differentiating (to me anyway) was actually giving the spelling test! How in the world could I give multiple tests at once?? I've heard of teachers letting children give the tests to each other and, maybe I'm too controlling, but I knew that just wouldn't work for me.
My format uses several different formats to meet the needs of all learners. It also allows me to administer different tests at the exact same time! The first half of the test is the same for everyone...and this is the part that the teacher calls out. First, there's the "choice" section. This section is just that - teacher's choice! You can use this section for word wall words (existing ones you use, or we've included some for you that coordinate with our lists!) or for content words (like names of shapes during a geometry study) or transfer words. Transfer words are my personal favorite. They ask students to take the weekly pattern and apply it to new words. We've included transfer words (and prompting) for you if you'd like to use that option!
The second part of the test is the "traditional" format. The teacher calls out 5 words and students write them. These call out words are the 5 words from the "both" list so that all students complete this section at the same time.
The bottom half of the test is where the differentiated lists come into play. First, students must read a sentence, locate a misspelled word and write it correctly in the box. We included multiple words with the spelling pattern in the sentences so that students aren't able to just look for the pattern...we really want them to use their "eagle eyes" and edit which always proves a little more challenging.
The last section of the test gives students multiple spellings of a word and they have to circle the correct spelling. This is often how students will be tested on spelling on standardized tests so it proves to be great exposure and practice.
This packet is a 30 week spelling program. It contains 26 weeks of lists (that's 52 word lists in all!) and has 4 weeks built in for "random sampling" which makes a 30 week program. We've even included the time table of how we implement the program to help you out.
Here's a peek at some of my favorite spelling practice activities that I included for EACH word list in this pack.
And to wrap it up, I include a spelling menu that I use as a homework option. You can read more about my spelling homework in my homework series HERE.
The packet includes a 15+ page overview to explain all of this in a little bit more depth. If you're interested you can find it in our shop at Teacher's Clubhouse. AND it is 50% off for the first 24 hours, so what are you waiting for???