How Do I Use Sequential Spelling
The basic structure of a Sequential Spelling Lesson is quite straight forward.
- Say the word.
- Use the word in a sentence.
- Say the word again.
- Give the student time to write the word down.
- Write the word on a white marker board or a chalk board. (Paper will work if necessary)
- Have the student correct any mistakes
- Start the process over with the next word.
Helpful Tips and Reminders:
- Each "lesson" of Sequential Spelling is really a test. If your child does not do well when something is called a test, simply call it a lesson.
- You will get your best results if Sequential Spelling lessons/tests are given every day. It is recommended that you give one every day of the calendar year if possible, but every school day will work. Because the curriculum is laid out in approximately 4-day chunks, it is best for retention if you can give lessons four days in a row. If teaching time is an consideration, you might wish to look at the DVD version which enables the student to do the lessons on their own.
- The student does NOT study or even see the words before the lesson or test.
- Do not let the student see the previous days' words while taking the tests. It is particularly important that they not see the words from the lesson just before the current lesson as this will enable them to "cheat", even if it is subconsciously. For this reason, using the Student Response Book is helpful and convenient.
- Aim for 10 minutes per lesson. Each Sequential Spelling test should not take longer than 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes, cut the lesson off, even if you have not finished all the words.
- We generally recommend that everyone starts at level 1. This is an ungraded program. Tell your student that it is like learning to play a musical instrument. Everyone, no matter what their age, has to start at the beginning and progress through the levels of learning. A student in 6th Grade would not jump right into 6th Grade piano simply because that is the academic grade they are in. They would need to start at the beginning and work their way up.
- It is helpful to have a white marker board or a chalk board. The instructor shows the correct spelling on the board (or a piece of paper) after giving the student time to write the word down. This should take place before going on to the next word. Do not give the entire list and then write the words on the board.
If the word is misspelled, the student immediately corrects his own mistake on his paper. It is important that the student make the corrections as this will help to establish the correct spelling in his brain. Corrections need to be made before the next word in the test is given.
- When giving the test, give the word, use it in a sentence if possible, and then give the word again. For ready-made sentences, consider using "Word Families in Sentence Context." This book is available as a free e-book for when you purchase an AVKO Membership.
- Use different colors to delineate the patterns when showing the words. Show the word family's pattern first (generally the ending of the word) and then show the onsets and endings. For example, the word "spins" is in the "-in" family. Show in, then add sp to the beginning (in a different color than in). Then add s at the end (in a different color than in but can be the same color as sp.)
It is important to write the words out using the two (or more) different colors for the student to see. Do not just do the lesson orally. Seeing the words as well as hearing them and writing them helps the brain to lock in the word patterns. You will not be nearly as effective if you do not write the words out for the student to see.