The majority of words in the English language follow spelling rules and can be sounded out. Some words, however, also require visual strategies in addition to knowledge about spelling rules and phonograms. For instance, when there are several “long e” patterns to choose from, how do we know which pattern to select? Words like meet and meat follow phonetic patterns but have no rules to tell us which spelling is correct for which application.
All About Spelling implements several strategies to help students master spelling patterns that must be visually discerned:
- When a word is introduced that has a homophone, a cue sentence is included next to the word to indicate the appropriate meaning and spelling.
- When a sound has two or more possible spelling patterns and no rules to apply, All About Spelling introduces those patterns one at a time, with plenty of space and plenty of lessons between each pattern. In the case of ee vs. ea, for example, ee is introduced in Level 2, while ea is introduced later in Level 3. The student has a lot of time to become proficient with one spelling pattern before another spelling pattern is introduced, which helps prevent confusion.
- All About Spelling uses Word Banks for sounds with more than one spelling pattern. The student reads the Word Banks to establish a visual memory of a particular spelling pattern and the words that fit into it.
- Dictation phrases and sentences throughout each level use spelling patterns and words learned in previous lessons so that the student has ongoing practice and review with difficult patterns.
- The Student Packets also provide materials for ongoing review. Students use Word Cards to review words they learn in the lessons until those words are mastered. The Mastered Cards are then reviewed several times per level; students can review all of the previously learned words or just cover the tricky ones. The Word Cards are always shuffled so they aren’t in order according to pattern. Also, any time a student misspells a word in dictation or in his everyday writing, that Word Card can be put back into the Review pile until it’s really mastered.
- Starting in Level 3, the student will keep a homophones list and complete several lessons that cover various homophones. In addition to writing the homophones, the student also completes exercises in which the parent or teacher reads a sentence and has the student point to the correct word on his homophone list (such as meet or meat).
If your student needs additional work on homophones, or if you would like fun games and
worksheets to occasionally add to your spelling program, check out All About Homophones.