June 11, 2013

Tried it Tuesday

Today  I am linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper's Tried it Tuesday linky party.  I love blog hopping, and reading all the tips and techniques teachers have tried.  It always gives me some GREAT ideas!!

This past year I knew I wanted to incorporate spelling/word work into the daily routines of my students.  Since, I am the reading specialist...I have a unique situation in where I only have students for 30 to 45 minutes a day.  That time with my kiddos is PRECIOUS...and very limited, but I felt word work was important.  Soooo...I came up with "spelling contracts."  

I must confess it wasn't my original idea.  In fact---when I was in fourth grade my teacher had us do contracts for our spelling words--and I loved it!  I adored the fact we were able to choose what WE wanted to do as long as we met the point requirement. :)

I know there is a lot of controversy with spelling words, spelling lists and spelling instruction, however I personally feel spelling is very important.  On the flip side---memorizing a random list of words isn't the most effective way to teach spelling.  Instead of giving my students a list of "hard words," I wanted to give them a list that they were developmentally ready for, and I wanted to teach them spelling patterns.  This way when students came to a unfamiliar word they would have another strategy to attack the word.

So, I first had my students take a spelling inventory assessment.  I used Words Their Way, which has a quick spelling test that you give all students. Once the assessment is given, you analyze the students spelling patterns and place them based upon their spelling development.  Not all kids will be on the same list, it just depends on what level of spelling they are at.  In some of my classes I had all 5 students on the same list, and  in others I had 5 students on 5 different lists.  Seems crazy right!?!  

After you know where your students are, you then provide them with a developmentally appropriate list, which is what my kiddos would use to complete their spelling contracts.  I gave my kids 2 weeks to finish their contract because I had them for a limited time.  The students were in charge of picking what tasks they wanted to do---as long as they had 30 points by the end of the two weeks.

All in all my kids really enjoyed having the freedom to choose what they wanted to do. Some weeks we struggled to get finished, so I would lower the point requirement...but as a whole...my kids really enjoyed it--and I got them to do word work.  If you are looking for a way to spice up your spelling instruction then spelling contracts are a Win-Win! 

I created a variety of spelling contracts that you can download for FREE on my TPT store.  Click the picture above to visit my store and download today!!   



  1. I use spelling contracts too! My students really like being able to have the choice of activities to do. Thanks for the freebie!

    1. You're welcome! I hope your kiddos enjoy it :)


  2. Thanks for the freebie!! I would love to try spelling contracts! Great post:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  3. We do similar activities in our notebooks and prefix/suffix words. Thanks for the freebie...I am sure I can add some of the activities into our routine. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners