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Organizing random vocabulary and spelling words: how do you do it?


yellowperch
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I've been collecting spelling mistakes the children make, and vocabulary words form our science, history and literature reading and other sources. The idea is, of course, to incorporate the former into their spelling lessons ( we just use workbooks for those) and the latter into their daily work and later into vocabulary study (MTC--that portion of the program hasn't kicked in yet). So far I just have a lot of little notes on post its and notecards. I don't have a system.

 

If you do this, how? I know I just need to develop a habit and a simple system but I'd like to hear how others have incorporated this rich source of relevant stuff into their programs.

 

Thank you

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We use AAS, which already has a card box system, so I put any spelling errors behind their "daily review" tab. When they were younger, I walked them through how to analyze the word, but now they are older and can analyze if there are any rules that apply, if there is more than one letter/phonogram that can make a sound and so part of that word has to be visually memorized, if any letters are rule-breakers (don't make their traditional sounds), if pronouncing for spelling helps, if remembering a morpheme or another word form helps, and so on. (It takes longer to describe than to analyze the word, LOL!) Here's an article on spelling strategies.

 

So for the first day, they look at the word and analyze it, and then on subsequent days they spell it. When they have it mastered & can spell it quickly & easily without much hesitation and without self-correction, then I move it out of daily review. (AAS has a "mastered tab," but I add in some extra weekly reviews before moving a word to mastered. That helps solidify the word more for my kids). We typically spend 2-5 minutes per day reviewing words. Also for words that mostly have to be learned visually, I have my kids just read the word each day for several days first.

 

Vocabulary can be reviewed the same way--put the word on one side of a card and the definition on the back. They read the word and the definition until they know it & can say it without looking at the back. Just a few minutes each day can do a lot. Just don't try to focus on too many words at once (for spelling or for vocabulary).

 

For Vocab, if they have learned any greek or latin roots, you can use this as a teaching time to break down words into roots, teach meanings of prefixes and suffixes, and so on.

 

When making your cards, if you are trying to highlight phonograms for spelling or roots for vocabulary, you can use color to show your child how to break down the word.

 

Merry :-)

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All I do is write a list, in nice bold letters with definitions, and post theme on his daily board. Same with frequently misspelled words. When he starts spelling correctly he crosses it off. This was my impromptu method while I though of a better way, but now he's kind of stuck to it. I think he likes crossing things off the list himself LOL. Sometimes he will rewrite the list sans the cross offs and spell them correctly, then that list goes away. So far it's working. Instead of extra work it's just kind of a reminder.

 

With vocab words we have a spot for words of the week. I just keep them on top of his shelf of work boxes in a little open box and he reads through them from time to time. It may be every day or twice a day or every other day but he knows them. I use index cards and print the definitions. After the week they get moved to a larger box with the previous weeks. I'm sure I won't keep them forever but for now we have an ongoing box of them. Like our own little dictionary.

 

I actually have HIM look up the word in the dictionary and read what it says to me, then sometimes he rewords it a little or I help him, and I dictate for him. It help with his alphabetizing skills also!

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I just give definitions and spelling rules as things come up, including any roots and language or origin info I know for vocab.

 

But, if I did have a bunch of words lying around, this is how I would organize them:

 

Spelling words, by spelling rule or reason that it was misspelled. (Schwa could be a reason not covered by a rule.) An older child could have a notebook that is organized this way and have to figure out the reason themselves as part of the process.

 

Vocabulary words, organize by language of origin, then write out any applicable root words and meanings. Depending on age, there could be some help organizing them, especially at first.

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