I have made two spelling lists per Journeys lesson. The first spelling list is on grade level spelling words taken from the series. I added on more spelling words to make 10 regular spelling words and then added bonus words as well. In the beginning of the year lessons there are less bonus words but as the spelling list progress so do the bonus words.
The second list is an above grade level list for your students who are ready to move on and spell more within the same phonics principle. For example if the spelling words are short /a/ for the week the above grade level list will just be a harder set of short /a/ words.
To determine which students study which list I have my students take a pre-test either on Friday after their spelling test or first thing Monday morning. If they get 9/10 or 10/10 words correctly then they are on the above grade level list. If you don’t think you have enough time each week to do a pre-test then simple divide your students by their reading level. Your top 2 reading groups should be able to handle the above grade level list and your other reading groups can study the on grade level words.
Hope this helps you to differentiate your spelling this year! If you have any questions please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.