What We'll Be Working On This Year in Spelling ...

We are fortunate to have a spelling program that is really personalized for each individual child.  A typical week in spelling would look like this:

Creating the Individualized Spelling List

Students create their personalized spelling list for the week.  Students are given a 10 word pre-test.  After correcting their pretests, the students place any misspelled words onto the list that they will use for their post-test.  Let's assume that a student misses three words from the pre-test.  They would need seven more words to complete their list.  The student would then look in their W.I.N.K. (Words I Need to Know) book to find words that they have placed in their book.  When a student misspells a word in their journal or on an assignment, the teacher circles the word in green and writes the correct spelling of the word.  When the student gets the journal or assignment returned they look for green circled words and write them in their wink book.  Let's assume that they have three words in their Wink book.  We now have a total of six words towards the ten needed for their post-test.  The student will now take a list of ten "challenge" words.  Let's say that on the challenge list the student misses six words.  They only need four words to complete their ten word list, so the other two misspelled words would be added to their WINK book for future use.

After the students have a ten word list, they move to the computer and type their list onto a spreadsheet.  When they have completed typing, they highlight their words and use the spell check feature of the spreadsheet.  I then double check the spellings and the list is printed.  It is important that you too check over your child's list when they bring it home, as with 25 lists to check, in about 15 minutes, I am checking them very quickly and do sometimes skip over a misspelled word that the spell checker didn't pick up.  It doesn't happen often and I try to be thorough, but I'm definitely not perfect!

The typed spelling list should be available to bring home on either Monday or Tuesday of each week.


Students write a sentence for each spelling word.  The sentence must reflect the meaning of the word.  The sentences that are written by the students are then used when they take their post-test on Friday.


We complete one activity each week during class to help students practice their spelling words.  Some of the activities include drawing a picture using their words, play a game called "Spelling Race", play spelling tic-tac-toe, spell out their words using either morse code or sign language, and many other activities.


On Friday, the students take their post-test.  Each student is paired with a partner and they take turns with one partner taking the test and the other reading each word, and using the sentences that were written earlier in the week  When one partner is finished with their test, they switch roles until both partners have completed their post test.  After the test is scored and returned, each student graphs their score in their spelling binder.

The links below will take you to the lists of words that we use for our pre-test and challenge words.  Each week has a pattern that is used.


Weeks 1-6


Weeks 7-12 Weeks 13-18

Weeks 19-24


Weeks 25-30 Extra Words List


National Spelling Bee Study Site:  Each year, Riverdale Heights has a spelling bee allowing students to compete with an opportunity to move on to the regional level.   This website will help students with preparations for the spelling bee.