Aldine Speller ~ Free eBooks

We’ve covered spelling quite a bit. The main key to spelling is simply to focus on spelling. A student will be unlikely to remember how to spell words outside of those he is actually using. Or another way to put it, a student will have a much easier time remembering how to spell words as they are taught in context. The Aldine Speller takes this approach.

But of course, it is not that we don’t teach words a student is unfamiliar with. This has the added benefit of increasing his vocabulary.

Teachers have had the mistaken idea that children learn to spell many words because of constant use, and that there is no need of teaching them. Recent studies have shown that this is not true except with respect to occasional children who have already developed what has been called a spelling consciousness. In the vast majority of cases this spelling consciousness needs to be developed. 

Using the Ruth Beechick approach, we initially focus on phonic groups. For example:

  • ear
  • dear
  • fear
  • year
  • near
  • tear

In addition, we add words to the list that the student is struggling with, first looking at the word and finding why he or she finds it difficult.

But mostly we seek not to overwhelm or use spelling as a punishment by having a student write the misspelled word a number of times.

In the past teachers “corrected” spelling papers solely for the purpose of determining which words were spelled incorrectly. The better thought is to examine spelling papers for the purpose of finding which words are wrong in order to determine why they are misspelled. This helps the teacher because it enables her to place the emphasis on the part of the word which is difficult and tends to prevent further misspelling. Prevent the misspelling of a word at the beginning. Form right habits of spelling rather than attempt to correct bad habits of spelling, should be the slogan of every teacher.

Copying and dictation exercises are encouraged and instructions are provided to make it easier for the tutor.

Commonly misspelled words are also included (especially in the later years). Again, this is very consistent with the Ruth Beechick approach to spelling.

There are four books in the series each covering two years. There is also a teacher manual with suggestions for each year including dictionary work, vocabulary, and teaching the spelling rules.

A complete (and thoughtful) spelling curriculum…and free!

Aldine Speller

Part One: Grades 1 and 2
Part Two: Grades 3 and 4
Part Three: Grades 5 and 6
Part Four: Grades 7 and 8
Learning to Spell: A Manual for Teachers Using the Aldine Speller

Additional Resources
10 Steps to Build a Better Speller

10 Steps to Build a Better Speller
The method we used.

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #5 Grammar & Spelling
Keep a spelling notebook no matter what method you use! This helps maintain a focus on spelling (or “spelling consciousness” as referred to above).

Wheeler’s Elementary Speller {Free eBook}
Another (and probably simpler) option.

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