Thursday, March 17, 2016

1st Grade Spelling with Mother Goose Time

At the end of last year I created this Alphabet Book with all of our letter cards and word cards from Mother Goose Time. Since then it has mostly sat on the shelf untouched.  But in my last meeting with our Educational Guide we were talking about Lachlan's reading abilities and she asked me about spelling.  We have never really had a spelling curriculum but have done it very casually.  We have mostly focused on trying to get reading down, and now he has.

So when she asked about spelling it dawned on me and her that this would be a perfect next step for him.  Long before reading ever started with Lachlan he has always LOVED sounding out words and spelling them or just asking me "hey Mom, what does dle spell?"  I will always sound it out and he will laugh at the letters that don't really spell anything but nonsense.

We ordered All About Spelling for him and I can't wait for it to get here.  In the meantime, I thought we had the perfect solution to getting started, my Alphabet Book.

This is all the hands-on letters we have collected over the years, most of them I have glued
magnets to on the back, hoping we could put a metal board up on the end of our counter for spelling.  At first I had all of our letters in a drawer or basket but it was impossible to find the letter you wanted.  These clear pockets have worked perfect.  I put two letters in each sleeve and labeled it with the name tag paper so they can easily flip through and find what they need.  You can see more about the set up here.

I think this post has perfect timing for all of you Mother Goose Time subscribers because if you have been using MGT for the school year there is no doubt you have quite the collection by now.  This years letter cards are letter flags with small phonics cards but I am sure a book like this can be set up in a similar fashion.

So this is what we did.  I had Lachlan pick words from the ring of words.  He is now able to read very well so he would read the word, find the letters and spell it out.  I asked him each time, what the beginning sound was, the middle and the end.
We ripped up our carpet and I have mostly been able to hide it but this was an impromptu lesson and I had to get a wide shot of all the action.  So just ignore the bare floor. 
He chose to spell the word "rug" and in the above picture he is looking for the beginning sound, /r/.  In the picture below he is starting to look for the middle sound /u/.
 Of course baby brother is being oh so helpful. 
He thought it was pretty cool that he spelled the word rug while sitting on a rug.  He threw out his hands and said this is the word rug and this is a rug and this is a rug. 
 He then chose the word "tip" and spelled that out here. 
When we were all done we had a mess of letters out and everyone helped put them back.  The clean up time is of course not a waste as they have to work through the Alphabet Book and figure out the order of the alphabet to find where the letter goes back.  Perfect for their future work in filing. ;)

As we start to work through out new All About Spelling curriculum I am sure I will learn more about what a 1st grader needs to know.  I will be sure to pass that info along.  But for now, I think this is an excellent start. 


  1. I love your alphabet book, last time you posted about it I wanted to make one but am waiting until I have all 26 letters.

    1. I love it too! Especially since it's so pretty. But I have been struggling to find a way to use it routinely. I realize now I think it's because we just weren't ready to use it in this manner. Now that we are I think we will end up getting it out at least a couple times a week to do some floor spelling.

  2. Great idea, Tracy! I love the spelling book. I will make one, too. :) We also just got All About Spelling and I am studying and organizing it now. I am thinking about next year and looking over all we have done with MGT. It seems like it would only take a few add-ons to make this work for Kindergarten, too. I used to teach Kindergarten and so much of what MGT offers is still perfect for Kindergarten. What if there was a MGT Kindergarten add-on or just a few more resources added for K? Maybe Math, a Letter ABC's Writing Book and a Daily Journal with pages half lined and half blank (for drawing)? I just really see a MGT Kindergarten.