I've had tons of question how I grade my spelling test based on my post from {here}.

My 1st grade team has manipulated our spelling lists SO much in the past few years. We don't use a particular spelling program, we've made up our own based on the common core.  There are 3 different spelling lists {modified, regular, and advanced} and they all pertain to one specific spelling rule.

Modified spelling test:

Each of the words is worth one point {score at the top left corner}.  Each word in the sentence is worth one point, each punctuation mark one point, and the capital at the beginning of the sentence is one point {score in the top right corner}.
This kiddo did great on her modified word list {only 8 words and 2 sentence}.  She missed the word "doe" because she spelled it "boe".  I mark this wrong starting in January {I give them some time to adjust to first grade before I throw that in}.  Then, she missed "goes" and "road" in her sentences for a total of 12 out of 15 points.

Regular spelling test:

This is the regular list.  12 words and 3 sentences.  She did really good! :)  No reversals, she remembered her punctuation, and she spelled all of the words right and met her spelling goal for the week.

Advanced spelling test:

This advanced list is tricky! They kiddos really have to learn the rule and study hard. They love to be challenged.  I like to keep the sentences the same so that I know they can also spell the regular words, too. Once again, there is a reversal of the "b".  If the reversal changes the word, I mark it wrong. But, if it for instance, was a letter "h" that was backwards, it wouldn't be wrong. I still knew it was an "h" and it didn't change the way I read the word.  Capeesh {is that how you spell that}?

How on earth do I give three spelling tests?  I give the advanced spelling test while the other students do their journals in the morning {or seat work, whatever you call it}.  Then, when the spelling test time comes, the advanced list kids work on their journal.  You could also have a parent come in every Friday and take the advanced or modified list kiddos in the hall and give their test to them.

During regular spelling time, I give the regular spelling test.  I have the modified kiddos at my desk with me so I can watch them and *cough*, help them out a smidgen. :)  They know they stop on #8 word and #2 sentence. They get to draw a picture on the back when they finish! I'm the nicest teacher.
I've also done it where the modified and regular spelling list kiddos are at their seats and I give the advanced kiddos their words in between saying the regular spelling list. WHEW! That sounds intense, but it's really not, if it's managed correctly and the students know their expectations.  So, we do a lot of procedure practice.

On Monday's, I introduce the spelling words and have the kiddos practice on this sheet {I introduce the regular word list because that's where most of the students will be}. I send home their spelling list in their homework folder on Monday. They HAVE to practice at home too! When I introduce on Monday, I find that is helps them with the format if we practice on a sheet that looks like the spelling test:

All throughout the week we go over the spelling rule, play games, review, work in centers, and practice in the hall with parents.

I've LOVED how the Spelling Club has gone in my classroom!  LOOK!  All of the students have been awarded a SUPER SPELLER!!  We love wearing our slippers during the spelling test on Fridays! I make a personalized goal with each of the students each week. It takes some time, but it's so worth it!

Fore more spelling ideas, games and free download; click {here}.

If you'd like to download my spelling practice sheets and 6 other testing sheets, click {here}.

I also use these for practice:

So, this leaves me with a few questions:
1. What spelling program do you use?
2. Do you like what you are doing?


Cupcake said...

Thanks for the freebies!! :) We use Treasures, and our spelling/vocab words come from there.
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Amber said...

How do you give the spelling test with students having different lists? I love your idea of the different lists but not sure how to give the tests that way!



Michelle Griffo said...

Thank you for the freebies and the great spelling advice!


Apples and ABC's

Kelley Cirrito said...

Thanks for sharing! I use the spelling that goes along with my reading unit ImaginIT! :)

Diane said...

Thanks for the Spelling freebies! I liked reading about how you do spelling. We use dictation sentences at our school. The sentences have to go along with a theme that we are learning about and then we pick up spelling or phonics lessons to teach with those words.

I found this too hard for my low guys so they do 6 words one week and a dictation sentence the next week. I like how you use both words and sentences.


Mrs. Anderson said...

I have a list of ten words each week. Six of the words share a phonics rule, two are from the previous week, and two are sight words. I don't get to choose my words; they are part of our district basal series. I like that you have a challenge list. Thanks for all the freebies!!

Unknown said...

We use Words Their Way, which I actually quite like, but there's no specific way to assess, so it can sometimes difficult to fairly assess the skills. I have 3 groups in my class, which has also been working surprisingly well, but the weekly assessment is definitely the trickiest part. Each group has a different spelling pattern/theme for the whole week. We don't use any dictation sentences.

Mrs. Barton's First Grade said...

We use the Treasures reading series, and our spelling lists are BASED on the Treasures spelling words. However, in the two years that we have had the series, we have modified the lists extensively. We stick to the spelling/phonics pattern from Treasures, but we felt that the three lists were not differentiated enough and that they sometimes had "strange" words tossed in.

We do an "approaching" list, and "on" list, and a "beyond" list. Students are placed on the lists according to the Words Their Way spelling inventory, which we give at the beginning of each trimester. Starting in January, we add a sentence to the spelling test. The sentence is the same for all three groups.

The way I manage giving three spelling tests is:

1. I use the testing "offices" (dividers) from Really Good Stuff. I have them in three colors, and each spelling group is assigned a color. They sit at tables for test time according to the color of their testing office.

2. I give the sentence to EVERYONE, and then any words that appear on all three groups' lists (there are usually a few).

3. Then I say something like the following:

"OK, RED group, your #5 is PAW... PAW [use in a sentence]. BLUE group, your #5 is PAWN... PAWN [use in a sentence. Now GREEN group your #5 is PAWNED... PAWNED [use in a sentence].

I repeat the above for each of the remaining words. It sounds confusing, but after the first couple of spelling tests the kids understand the routine and do just fine. They are trained enough that I can even have a sub give a spelling test in this manner if I am out on a Friday.

Hopefully that makes sense to those who were wondering! If you want more info email me at bartonfirstgradeATgmailDOTcom.


Unknown said...

Oops..I also meant to say that I manage multiple groups by giving them independent work that I KNOW they can do (review math facts, word scrambles, etc.) and then call each group to the carpet for their test. We read our testing anchor chart before our word work tests each Friday and we hardly ever have problems. It works really well for us.

School Sparks Renee said...

I like the idea of the three lists. Thanks for the great pictures. Renee

Joell W. said...

I love your ideas. I do two lists: an on level list, and an above level list. My low students do whatever they need to work on. I have one that just needs to have the first sound. Some only need to know 5 words. Etc. Both lists test the same spelling patterns, and each list has 2 spelling patterns (such as oa and ow) and is 10 words long. At the beginning of the year they all get one sight word. This goes until January, at which point most of them can spell most of their sight words.

My school district uses Imagine It, but we get our words from the phonics concepts we are teaching each week. If you're familiar with Imagine It, it has a list of words kids blend in reading. Most of the on level words come from that.

She (Sprinkle Teaching Magic) said...

What a great resource! Definitely going in my teacher brain vault for use next year! Thanks for sharing.

Sprinkle Teaching Magic

Kelly said...

I use the sdpelling list from Treasures, but I doctor it up. At the beginning of the year I have 10 spelling words and 2 bonus words. About 1/2 way throught the year I go up to 12 words and 2 bonus words. My low kids (there are 4 of them) have trouble getting any of the words correct. It's been frustrating, because we work on them everyday.I tell their parents that I am grading them on 5 words, they can pick the five to work on or study them all.
I really do not like the order that Treasures introduces the different rules, but because of the test we have to take from the series, it's hard to veer too far off track.


Megan's Musings said...

Oh my gosh we just started the same thing this year with our spelling! I'm lucky enough to have an awesome team of 5 total, so we split our kiddos into below, on and above level - 3 different lists... 2 teachers split the below level group to have smaller groups, 2 teachers split the on level and I took the above level this year. We split our classes on Mondays and Fridays for about 20 minutes. On Mondays we introduce the words to our groups (I have about 32 ish kids in my room for the above level so I give a pretest and then we go over the words). Each level has their own color of list (blue below, orange on level and purple is above level) so they just keep their lists with them during word work time throughout the week in the classroom and their colored list is stapled to their homework to work on at home too. We do 10 words to study and then on test day we give them 2 mystery words that follow the same pattern of the words we've been working on to see if they carried over the pattern or just regurgitated what they studied. We also give them a dictation sentence and score just like you do. The groups are flexible too we've moved some up and down (the ones that go down tend to be the ones whose parents never study with them because we want them to feel some success). We've gotten tons of positive feedback from parents! We really feel like we're meeting each student on their own level like I'm sure you do too! I commend those who give all three levels of tests in their own rooms!

Katy Bartlett said...

Thank you so much for the great ideas. I am wondering if you give the kids the exact sentence that will be dictated along with your spelling list at the beginning of the week or is this part a "surprise". I can see value to it either way, but was wondering how you do it.

As far as sharing what I do that may be different. I have a completely optional second spelling test call ed the super spelling s-t-r-e-t-c-h challenge Students can optionally choose to try to spell our week's sight words.


Traci Clausen said...

Wow... our spelling program is VERY similar to yours. We made up our own, but it is slightly aligned with our reading program in regard to WHEN we use particular phonic patterns. For most kids, it is a 14 word test - 10 words based on a phonics rule, 4 more words that are considered high frequency. We have a challenge list and a *modified* list depending on the needs of the kids. We also do dictation page ... 6 sentences. Each sentence gets a point each for punctuation, neatness, spelling, spacing, and capitalization - 30 points possible.
Dragonflies in First

Catherine said...

Hi Rachelle,
Our first grade team has been using the lists from our Trophies basal for years. None of us were totally thrilled with the basal sequence of spelling patterns. So, we are now in the process of creating our own weekly lists based upon what we think would be the best scope/sequence of spelling patterns and review. We are starting with 10 words and then gradually increasing over the year to end with 15 words (hopefully to help them get ready for 2nd grade). We'll see how it goes! We do a regular and an advanced list right now and will probably continue that for next year. Hope this helps!
Catherine (in Vegas) :)

Fluttering Through First Grade said...

We make up our own spelling as well. 10 phonics based words focusing on a particular sound pattern, 5 HFW from our first grade list, and a "bonus sentence" (worth up to 5 points).

Just for fun (and kinda by accident because our spelling test form has 16 lines and we only give 15 words), we add a "mystery bonus word" each week, which is a word hiding somewhere in the classroom. They have to hunt for it silently and write it on their paper.

:)Tammy & Christy

Haley said...

Thanks for the great ideas!
Quick Questions!
Do you send the practice test and mastery tests home once graded? AND do you use different sentences for the two tests?

Thanks for your tips!

Teaching First Grade in Switzerland

Summer Lovin said...

I love your Spelling Templates! Thanks for the freebies! =)


Laura said...

Thanks for the Freebies! We too are left to our own devices when it comes to a spelling program. We base our spelling words of the phonics unit with the Treasures reading program.

I am curious to see your Common Core Spelling lists. We are due for a new reading curriculum in a year so I'd rather make the change to CCSS since it is long-term, instead of every five years to a new curriculum. We just started CCSS this year so we are slowly figuring out what works best and what needs to be changed for next year.

Miss Kindergarten said...

My question is {and it may have been asked, but I didn't read through all of the comments haha} how do you give three sets of spelling tests!? I get the first 2 because the kids on the modified tests just stop, but what about the advanced one??


Thanks for the Spelling Freebies! I love seeing how others do spelling in their classrooms. I also give three sets of tests for my students.

The Teacher's Backpack

Monica said...

We use Treasures as well. Thank you for sharing your spelling pack - they are all amazing!

Treasures for Teaching

Lisa at Fourth and Ten said...

Thanks for the freebies, love them all!
We use the lists from our reading series and then teacher generated dictation sentences.
Stories From Second

Erica Bohrer said...

I am pinning this! Deanna was just asking me about how I do my spelling test and I said I don't really differentiate because I am worried it will be too confusing. Thanks for sharing! I am all over this for next year.

Raina said...

Let me just tell you, I downloaded this when you first posted it and it has changed my life! I kid you not. The kids are writing neater, I can grade them faster. And I'm saving paper (as far as stuff I have to order!) I love it and THANK YOU so much for sharing it!!!!!! :)

meadowt said...

The behavior management-we only have 11 more days of school,so I am going to use this. They sooo need more motivation for thier behavior these days. :) I am your newest follower.

Unknown said...

This is great! Thanks for taking the time to explain the process. I love the spelling test in slippers idea. Do you have your word lists available to share?
I am your newest follower, I hope you will check out my blog at www.funin1stgrade.blogspot.com


Anonymous said...

Love this idea, and thanks for the freebies. I do have a question. When you make up the sentences, are these words visible on your word wall? Do you cover the word wall during the test? Maybe I should start with...do you have a word wall, ha! :-) I like my students to actively use the word wall, but not sure how I could easily cover it for the test.

Unknown said...

Would you be willing to share your common core spelling lists? I am looking to change my spelling program and would like it aligned to the Common Core. You have great ideas!!

Becky F. said...

Hi! I had started doing a separate dictation test last year. i love how yours is all on one page. i am using your forms this year. thanks! Quick question: Do you put 2 grades in your grade book? One for words, one for sentences? Thanks! You can email me at bfarrell@marshall.k12.il.us

Andrea said...

These printables are great. Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you'd be willing to share how you put the writing lines on your document? I'd like to create something similar for vocab work. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.Love all of your ideas!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I tutor, and this was really helpful. Thank you SO much for the freebies! I'm kind of new to this whole "teacher" thing, so some advice would really help. Thanks again!

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