Saturday, November 16, 2013

11.18.13 Classroom Newsletter

Differentiated Spelling in our Classroom:
On Mondays, our first grade students take a spelling pre-test to determine the spelling words they will study for the Friday post-test.  List #1 words are grade level words and the list #2 words are above level.  Each week, both spelling lists include six words with a new conventional spelling pattern, two words with the previous spelling pattern and two word wall (irregularly spelled) words.  
Through a variety of hands-on activities, we work on spelling every day in school during our Word Work block.  (Common Core Standards: RF.1.3.g - Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.  L.1.2.d -Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.)
Last year, I had a group of super spellers who enjoyed the challenge of working with enrichment words and needed words more challenging than the list #2 words.  Again this year, I have a group who is now ready to take on the challenge of the third spelling list.   I reviewed spelling data from the past few weeks and it makes sense.  Eight students received 100% on the list #2 spelling test last week, and the week before, six students earned 100% on their post tests.
(Although I have 3 lists now, I will not change the format of the pre-test paper. My students' families will choose the appropriate list for their children.)
I also have a few students who are not yet ready to study ten words. For now, those children are working with five words; three with the spelling pattern and two word wall words. 
The Word Wall is not covered during the spelling tests so the children are able to locate and copy the words (another skill!)  This is a picture of the Word Wall in August.  An additional 40+ new first grade words have already been added.
In order to accommodate the third spelling list, I revised the format of the weekly newsletter and homework sheet. 

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