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Sequential Spelling 1 Staple Bound – 2006
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This is the only method of teaching spelling that eliminates the Study-for-the-test-and-forget-by- Monday syndrome. Each of the 7 levels has 180 daily tests of 25 words. The AVKO approach uses its d
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I went to private Montessori kindergarten and we learned to read (spell) based on word patterns. The very first word I learned was "an". From there I learned "ant" and "can". Soon followed "at", "cat", "mat" and "ate". I was reading simple sentences by the end of the second week in Kindergarten and feeling SO proud of myself! (So much so that I have remembered it forever!) After a frustrating spelling year, I wanted a positive spelling experience for my son so I hunted for home school curriculum that would help. Imagine my delight when I found this series. The workbook arrived at the beginning of May and I couldn't wait to use it! The first lesson is "in", "pin", "sin", "spin". That's it. They have the AWESOME suggestion of using a whiteboard with colored markers. You ask the child to spell "in" on their paper and then show them it is spelled i-n by writing it in green on the lap sized whiteboard (ours is from Lakeshore Learning but Crayola has one too). Have them erase their "en" spelling and write "in". Next ask them to spell pin. Most kids will "cheat" by using a little logic and adding a letter p to the word in. This is what you want! They have spelled pin correctly. Even if they spell "pen" they have spelled a real word. You then explain you are spelling pin as in safety pin, not writing pen. You write the p in black in front of the green "in" on your whiteboard to show them. Next word is sin. They write what they think it is (now having easily picked up on the pattern) and you let them watch as you erase the p on your whiteboard and replace it with s to make in become sin. By this time you can HEAR the knowledge clicking into place in their head! There is a pattern. You are helping them find it and they know they can rely on that pattern to spell words properly. If they follow the pattern, they will be spelling their lists of words correctly and if they encounter something new later, they will automatically, unconsciously look for the root-word patterns they have learned to help them remember how to spell it. This is how I learned how to read/spell and it served me incredibly well. After being taught this pattern-based word recognition ONE YEAR of my life in Kindergarten, I always placed somewhere in the top 5 spelling bee finalists every single year of public elementary school without me having to study the spelling bee master list. I could pick out the word families just from hearing words. As a high school junior I scored a 32 on my ACT english portion, in part because of my good start and the confidence it gave me in school. Sadly it seems that root-words have been ousted in favor of sight words but I feel that there is enormous wisdom in approaching spelling in a pattern-based way.
I have been very, very pleased with the arrangement of this book. The word lists get longer pretty fast but you can cut them in half or thirds and work on them over several days, which is what we will do. My son has already recognized number patterns in math and has soared beyond his peers to simple multiplication concepts because of that knowledge. The same principle can be applied to spelling. There are letter patterns and good spellers can see them and hear them. Since my son was familiar with math patterns I was able to explain that words can work the same way. Past spelling test scores were dismissed as he began to crank out multiple "in" words spelled correctly during our first and second lessons. I'm sure this will continue through all 180 lessons in the book, although this will last longer than 180 days as the lists build up to 12 words by Lesson 3, 16 words by Lesson 4 and 25 words by Lesson 9. However, each lesson begins to introduce more than one root word family so it is SIMPLE to divide the lesson into halves or thirds of 3-4 words per day, which I would suggest for Kinder/First Grade students so they grasp the important patterning concept without being overwhelmed. Amazingly, the book is for STARTING sequential spelling and could be used by any age student, including a high school senior. There is no age limit to when you can learn to spell based on root word families!
This is THE spelling curriculum I was looking for to teach my son the same valuable knowledge I was given and I can slice and dice the lists of words any way I want to in order to strengthen his spelling pattern awareness. If your experience has been similar to ours and especially if you have a son excelling in math but struggling in spelling, this book is worth the teensy, under $20 price for a year's worth of curriculum and a lifetime of spelling success!