The Use of Color in Sequential Spelling
Using color in Sequential Spelling can be extremely helpful for many students, especially in the beginning lessons, and for students who do not see the patterns in words by themselves otherwise. If you are working with just one student, and he gets the word that is given correctly without hesitation, there is no need to show in color how the word is spelled. Just a simple word of praise, such as “good” or “correct” is sufficient and then on to the next word.
If you have multiple students and you know that at least one student made a mistake, then you might choose to use color as you put the correct spelling on your dry erase board. Let’s suppose, for example, that you are on working on the first lesson, and have already given the words in, pin, and sin which your student/s got right. Now, when you give the word spin you noticed that at least one student missed it. Here’s what you might want to do.
Say: “Did you get the in that is in spin?” At this point you write the word in in green (or red or purple or orange or whatever color you want to use) on the board like this:
Then you say, “Did you get the pin that is in spin?” At this point you just add to the left of in the letter p in a different color to make:
Then you say, “Did you start with an s to spell spin?” And now you put the s in front of the p to get:
Now, if the word were to be spinning you could now say, “Did you remember to double the n?” and put one more n after spin? so that it now looks like:
And add “ing” which you write in a third color to get:
If your students want to know the “rules” about doubling letters and if you know the rules, you can tell them. If you don’t, don’t worry. We prefer that you allow them to learn from their mistakes and allow their God-given computer brains to internalize the “rules” so that in their writing they double the consonants when they’re supposed to double them and to drop the silent e when they’re supposed to drop the silent e and to do it automatically. If they have to think each time they add suffixes whether or not to double the consonant or whether or not to drop the silent e, it will break their train of thought. Remember, if you have to think about the rule you learned in driver education as to which way to turn the steering wheel when your rear wheels start skidding to the right, you’re in the ditch.