QUICK LINK to Spelling City ~ Click on the link. Look for class list for Julie Simmons to review first grade monster words
Spelling City

Spelling in first grade consists of two components - monster word (high frequency word) mastery and knowledge/application of spelling patterns.

Monster Word Spelling:
First Graders will be responsible for weekly spelling lists containing 6 monster words. These words are often referred to as high frequency or sight words. In first grade we call these words MONSTER WORDS because they are frequently used, but rarely follow a phonetic pattern. The trick is for students to memorize the spelling for these words. Students will be expected to review these words each night, and they will have a Monster Word Spelling Review each Friday. Mastery of these words should improve the students' reading and writing fluency.

Knowledge and Application of Spelling Patterns:
The Phonics Dance program provides a framework for learning spelling patterns in first grade. The Phonics Dance is not actually a "dance", but a program that uses movement and rhyme to teach students individual sounds and letter combinations. Ginny Dowd, creator of the Phonics Dance, stresses Six Steps to Literacy Learning in the Primary Grades:

Sound Attack ~ Daily review and introduction of consonants, short and long vowels, and variant vowel sounds
Word Wall ~ Daily review and introduction of high frequency words in association with Language Arts concepts
Creative Writing ~ Student writing (both fiction and non-fiction) composed on a daily basis in correlation with weekly themes
Student/Teacher Conferencing ~ Revising and Editing - immediate feedback on student writing with emphasis on structure, spelling, and punctuation
Word Training ~ Teaching the eyes to look for big "hunks" and "chunks" and parts of words in the decoding process
Reading ~ Daily practice - guided, independent, choral or partner reading with literature that is teacher chosen or student selected

Through the use of the Phonics Dance, phonics instruction is a routine part of literacy learning in first grade. Students learn the phonics patterns, and they are expected to apply their phonics dance learning to daily writing assignments. Students will not be required to bring home specific pattern lists for study at home, though they will have bonus words based on the weekly phonics lessons. Daily word work is an important aspect of phonics/spelling instruction, and students will complete word work in class daily during Reader’s Workshop.

Ideas for Spelling Practice (A list of ideas for spelling practice will be provided at the start of each month. However, first graders may practice spelling words in any way that works for them! Below you will find a variety of ways to practice spelling words.)
*Copy your spelling list neatly three times - you may use skinny markers, coloring pencils, or gel pens if you wish.
*Group your spelling words into categories you create. Regroup them into new categories. Write the words and give each category a title.
*Create riddles with the words as answers. Write your riddles and answers.
*Create a crossword on graph paper. Include clues and an answer key.sh
*Make a Spelling Puzzle ~ Print a spelling word and cut it apart letter by letter to make a puzzle word. Scramble the letters and then arrange them in order to spell the word. Do this with each word!
*Create a Mini-Book ~ Print each word on and index card or small piece of paper. Arrange words in alphabetical order and staple into a booklet. Use the mini-book to study the words.
*Make Rainbow Words ~ Use a crayon or marker to print a spelling word. As you print the word, spell the word aloud. Then use a different color crayon or marker to add a band of color to each letter, spelling the word aloud again. You can add several bands of color to make the word into a rainbow word!
*Create an original spelling game. Be ready to explain the directions to the class!
*Using a thesaurus, find synonyms and antonyms for the words. (Synonyms are the same, and antonyms are the opposite.)
*Write the words, then change some letters to create new words. Change the initial or middle consonants to create other words, or keep the consonants the same and change the vowels to make other words.
Links to Online Spelling Games
Spelling City
Each week's spelling list will be added to Spelling City. Students may access any FREE activity. 

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