The idea behind Sound and Spell is to build in scaffolding into the structure of the lessons. Students are compelled to segment beginning, middle, and end sounds. They develop spelling fluency through repetitive application of common spelling conventions. The wonderful thing is, as their spelling improves, their decoding ability improves.
Sound and Spell begins with CVC words. Gradually, difficulty is increased. Beginning blends and digraphs are thrown in. Then proper nouns. Then beginning and end blends and digraphs. After students have mastered short CVC words, they practice CVCe words alone. As with the short vowels, the blends and digraphs are gradually added. In the final set of lessons, students have a mix of CVC and CVCe with blends and digraphs. They should spell most conventional 1-syllable words by the end of Sound and Spell.
This system covers 1st grade Common Core standards. I have included a chart that details alignment to CCSS and Words Their Way.
I have used this with 1st grade through 3rd grade, kids with IEPs, kids without IEPs, and ELL students. What I hear the most from them is that it’s FUN, it makes spelling “sooooo easy,” and it turns them into great spellers.
I designed Sound and Spell to work in conjunction with Words Their Way. You can use it as a companion or alternative to Words Their Way, both for whole group and small intervention groups. I highly recommend it for special education or ESL.
For a detailed explanation (with pictures) of how Sound and Spell works, go to my Sound and Spell blog post
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