While Spelling You See is a completely different program, based on research as to how children actually learn to spell, its five-pages-per-lesson format also fits well into the typical school week.
Most of us are used to thinking of spelling instruction in neat, weekly packages. You may recall that Monday was generally the day to take the pretest on the words from the weekly list; then, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, you would complete activities with those words, such as writing them in sentences, finding their definitions, using the words in a story, etc. Friday was the day for the final test, which you may or may not have studied for, depending on how comfortable you were with spelling (and how much you cared about the final result).
The same words in Spelling You See appear repeatedly throughout the lessons, which means it isn’t always necessary to complete all the pages in a lesson before moving to the next (although you will want to make sure that your student has the opportunity to experience all of the activities at least once each week). The good news is that you can always look forward to a fresh start on Monday!
Weekly Spelling You See Plan
The following outlines summarize how each level of Spelling You See can be scheduled over a typical school week.
Listen and Write and Jack and Jill
Students at these levels simply complete one page (Listen and Write) or a two-page spread (Jack and Jill) per day. The student should spend no more than 10 minutes on the given activities, whether the page is completed or not. Each week the nature and complexity of the activities changes, so be sure to follow the directions in the Instructor’s Handbook for each lesson.
Monday-Wednesday: On these three days, your student “digs into” a new passage. The primary activities here are chunking and copywork, which force the student to look at words closely, analyze letter patterns, and begin imprinting correct spellings on the long-term visual memory.
Thursday: It’s time for fun! “No Rule Day”, introduced in the second half of Jack and Jill, allows the student to interact creatively with words and practice correct spelling in a self-directed activity.
Friday: The lesson ends with a dictation exercise. Writing the now-familiar passage as he hears it read aloud gives your student the opportunity to use correct spelling as he writes. Parents using Spelling You See are delighted to find that, over time, this skill transfers to writing in other areas of the curriculum, as well as to independent writing.
Americana, American Spirit, and Ancient Achievements
Monday-Wednesday: The plan for these three days is similar to what your student experienced in Wild Tales. Students interact with new, more complex passages in the familiar activities of chunking and copywork.
Thursday: Since students are writing more with greater independence at these levels, dictation is given a greater focus. In the first dictation session, students are given as much help as needed to write the passage as they hear it being read. If the student can write the passage independently with few errors, you can consider the lesson complete for the week.
Friday: Some students find that they need a second round with dictation. This time, however, after reviewing their work from the first dictation, they need to do as well as they can without assistance, other than capitalization and punctuation. Over time, students find that their skills at dictation improve, and they are able to spell more and more words correctly, both in the dictation sessions and in other written work.
Monday-Tuesday: By now most students have become competent in spelling basic words; however, they can become confused when adding prefixes or suffixes or making plurals. Therefore, students spend the first two days of the week interacting with a new passage, marking word parts instead of chunks and then copying the passage to learn correct spelling patterns.
Wednesday: At this level, students can comprehend the rules that are used to form plurals and add prefixes and suffixes to base words. A short Workshop activity gives them the opportunity to apply these rules to words encountered in the lesson passage.
Thursday: Dictation continues to be an important skill at this level. As with the previous levels of Spelling You See, this is the day for the first dictation, where they are given assistance as needed.
Friday: The week ends with unassisted dictation, if it is needed.
While the Spelling You See program is different, is it not difficult. It easily fits into a typical five-day school week and is flexible enough to adapt to the not-so-typical school week (which happens to all of us now and then). If you aren’t currently using Spelling You See, you may want to consider it as an easy-to-use, engaging way to help your students become confident, competent spellers.
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Where to Start in Spelling You See
Placement in Spelling You See is really important, and it is nuanced. It’s designed this way because we want a child’s spelling experience to be easier than their reading experience. In order for us to do that successfully, we have a set of guidelines.
If you experience any hiccups with placement, we encourage you to get in touch with us so that we can help you. We want you, and your student, to be successful in your spelling journey.