# Spelling  In first grade, students will begin having spelling homework and a spelling test on Fridays starting the week of September 16th. Each week we.

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Spelling  In first grade, students will begin having spelling homework and a spelling test on Fridays starting the week of September 16th. Each week we will have spelling chunks that your child will be responsible for working with to create words. We will be modeling and using the chunks in school and teaching many strategies that your child will be able to use at home for this. They will also be responsible for choosing words they have created with the chunks and spelling those words correctly on a test each Friday.  He/she will be responsible for spelling 3 words each week for each chunk.  The additional letters needed to make the words can be added to the blank squares on the word tile sheet.  Students should cut apart the table and manipulate the letters to practice making words at home.  On Friday, the teacher will say a chunk and the children will write it on a line provided. Then the students will be given time to write three words of their choice that have the given chunk in them. The three words can be any word your child chooses as long as it has the chunk in it and is spelled correctly.  In addition to the words for the chunks there will be 3 – 5 sight words for your child to learn each week.

Here is what the spelling homework page will look like:

 The following steps will explain how to help your child work on their spelling homework. 1. Encourage your child to say the alphabet. Each time they say a letter that is not a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), but a consonant (every other letter), they should write it in a blank square on the homework grid as shown in blue below.

2. Next your child should cut the squares of the grid apart and lay them out so that he/she can move them around to try different consonants before and after each chunk. We recommend working with one chunk (rime) at a time and allowing your child to discover as many words as he/she can for that chunk. Help him/her to know which words are real words and which words may sound real but are not quite right. For instance han sounds a lot like hand so your child might think han is a word. Note: We are learning short vowel chunks first and we will move on to long vowel chunks in the future. Please don’t let your child record words on their lists that change the vowel sound. An example would be the word nature. While it has the /at/ letters in it, the /a/ sound is long. b c d f g h an j

3. Have your child make a list of the words as they discover them. It might look like either example 1 or 2 below. *It is important to help your child write the letters in the correct case. For instance, cat should not be written CAT or Cat. Your child should use all lower case letters for words that are not proper nouns. By the same token, a name like, Dan, should not be written as dan. *Also, please know that it is age appropriate and acceptable for your child to create basic 3 and 4 letter words for quite a while. -an -at -ap ban bat cap can cat gap Dan fat lap fan hat map hand mat nap Jan pat rap Kan rat sap land sat tap Example 1:

 There are some children that may need more of a challenge. They may say, “Hey, I can hear bat in batter, like “Batter up!””. *This would be a sign that you could encourage him/her to try to consider what he/she would have to add to bat to make it say batter. It is okay to let him/her know that there is an extra t and an e that they can’t hear if they suggest that adding an r would make it batter. They heard the ending sound! Celebrate! That is a big step in your child’s spelling, reading, and writing progress. *Please don’t insist that your child make challenging word choices every week. As his/her confidence grows he/she will naturally begin to challenge themselves. If you push before a child is ready it sometimes makes him/her feel inadequate. -an -at -ap band batter capital candy cats gap Dan fat lap fan hat maps handle mat nap Jan pat rap land rat snap manners sat tapping Example 2:

 4. Allow your child to pick 3 words for each chunk that he/she wants to really focus on knowing for the test. These are the words they will need to write when the teacher tells them they can write three words that uses the chunk /an/ on their spelling test. The teacher will not say…”Under the /an/ chunk write the word ran.” Your child will be allowed to write three words of his/her CHOICE. * The goal is that they understand if they can spell ran then they can easily spell tan, man, and pan by just changing the first letter. They won’t need the teacher to tell them what to spell.  5. The ‘Words to Learn’ are 3-5 sight words listed at the top of the page that your child should also practice spelling. Sight words are words that often don’t follow regular spelling patterns or rules. However, they are found so often in reading and writing that it is essential that your child be able to spell and read these words without pause.

 6. Use the spelling practice suggestions sent home by your teacher to give your child extra practice spelling and using the words each night from Monday through Thursday so he/she will be confident on Friday when they take the test. Note: Your child’s teacher will be working with your child on building words with the chunks and reading and spelling sight words at school during the week as well. In addition, skills and suggestions for helping your child to understand how to analyze and manipulate letters and words will be taught and practiced in whole groups and small groups in class.

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