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Sound + Spell: A Systematic Approach to Early Decoding and Spelling

Ainslee Labs
Grade Levels
K - 2nd
Formats Included
  • Zip
142 pages
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Ainslee Labs


This is a GROWING BUNDLE! I will be adding lessons in the future for plurals, verb tenses, r-controlled vowels, and vowel pairs. Even if the price goes up, you will get the new additions for free!

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.

The Lesson 1 Set begins with CVC words. Gradually, difficulty is increased. The Lesson 2 Set adds on beginning blends and digraphs. Then proper nouns. Then beginning and end blends and digraphs. After students have mastered short CVC words, they move on to the Lesson 3 Set and practice CVCe words alone. As with the short vowels, the blends and digraphs are gradually added. In the Lesson 4 Set, students have a mix of CVC and CVCe with blends and digraphs. Lesson 5 Set is centered on R-influenced vowels. Students should spell most conventional 1-syllable words by the end of Sound and Spell.

There are currently 6 sets of lessons:

*Lesson 1 Set: CVC word families (3 letter words)
*Lesson 2 Set: CVC short vowel words with blends and digraphs (3-4 letter words)
*Lesson 3 Set: CVCe words (starts off with 4 letters, then adds in blends and digraphs)
*Lesson 4 Set: CVC and CVCe mixed (3-5 letter words)
*Lesson 5 Set: R-Influenced Vowels (ar, er, ir, or, ur)
*Lesson 6 Set: Long Vowel Teams (ai, ee, ea, igh, y, oa, ow, oo, ui, ew, ui) NEW!

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.

You can also look at the preview to download my freebie, or go to the Sound and Spell Sampler.
Total Pages
142 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).


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