Spelling Fluency: The Key to Spelling Automaticity

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Does your rule-based spelling program include a component to help students learn rule breakers? If not, it should. Over 90% of the English language can be spelled correctly using five principles*, such as understanding sound-letter relationships, knowing its origin, and understanding its meaning. So it makes sense that students would be most successful in spelling if they understood the rules of the language. However, any successful spelling program should also contain a component that helps students master those words that either break rules or words that follow rules they haven’t yet learned but encounter often.

Meet “Spelling Fluency.” Of everything I tried throughout the years, Spelling Fluency practices have been the only way my students achieved spelling success with high frequency words that broke the rules. When used with a Personal Spelling Dictionary, that success transferred to their writing. Students took ownership of the words they “mastered” and no longer relied on me to spell grade appropriate words.

Just as in reading, fluency practices help students improve their spelling skills. After obtaining a baseline, students receive a list of words to master. During multi-sensory practices with a partner, students learn how to spell the words that trouble them most. After mastering, words enter their Personal Spelling Dictionaries and become “No Excuse Words.”

For a detailed description of how to use this resource, see my blog posts here: How to Use Spelling Fluency

Included in this resource:

1. Teacher Notes. Several pages full of directions on how to use the resource.

2. Spelling Assessment and Forms. Five assessments that will give you a baseline of where to begin with fluency practices. Student forms for each assessment also included.

3. Spelling Assessment Checklist. Use this form to keep track of students’ progress throughout the year. This is a perfect resource to have for conferences, RtI referrals and tracking, and student portfolios.

4. Fluency Cards. 220 word cards with level appropriate sentences for students to use during practices.

5. “Words I’ve Mastered” ring cover. When students master a word, you can choose to have them add it to their “Words I’ve Mastered” ring. This reference is perfect for students to use at home and helps students visualize their progress as their ring expands.

6. Student Direction Sheets. These sheets can be copied and placed in a work area or in students’ folders. Directions include words and pictures.

7. Practice Sheets. These sheets provide students with a place to record their fluency work. Two options are included.

8. Fluency Practice Cards. Students chart their success after each practice. Here they will keep track of how many times they spelled a word correctly and which words are coming up next on their fluency list.

9. “No Excuse Words” Wall Cards. 220 word wall cards – one for each of the fluency practice words.

10. Basket/Bin Labels. Use these labels to identify the place where students can turn in folders that are ready to be updated and old word cards. Two options included.

Pair this resource with a Personal Spelling Dictionary to increase student accountability. A money-saving bundle is available for those looking for a deal!

Spelling Resource Bundle

My Spelling Dictionary for K-2 Students

My Spelling Dictionary for Upper Elementary Students


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© 2014 - 2016 Jennifer Martinez, everything just so. All rights reserved. License permits individual use in single classroom only. To share with friends, please purchase additional licenses at half the original price. No part of this work may be reproduced in any way or by any means without expressed written consent of the author. Thank you for helping to protect my work!
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Spelling Fluency: The Key to Spelling Automaticity
Spelling Fluency: The Key to Spelling Automaticity
Spelling Fluency: The Key to Spelling Automaticity
Spelling Fluency: The Key to Spelling Automaticity
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