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Each lesson builds on previous lessons; phrases and sentences for dictation include words that test the rules that have already been learned. Sight words are also assigned in order of difficulty and incorporated into the phrases and sentences for dictation. The manual also offers a suggested teaching method and typical lesson plan.
How to Teach Spelling is an excellent program for teachers who want their students to learn to recognize the sounds in the English language, to decode words, and to spell words correctly by relying on spelling rules and patterns rather than on memory. 169 pages, indexed, softcover, spiral-bound. Workbooks sold separately.
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Educators Publishing Service
|Publication Date: 1997|
aNewCreationTennesseeAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A great productFebruary 25, 2012aNewCreationTennesseeAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is condensed from a blog post I wrote reviewing HTTS.
How to Teach Spelling (HTTS) is a versatile program that can cover spelling from 1st to 12th grade. It is comprised of a teacher's manual (TM) and 4 workbooks, though I have heard of people not using the workbooks. I, personally, find the TM to be a bit confusing on its own and wouldn't do that. The TM is totally necessary; it contains spelling rules and generalizations, teaching tips for the different grades, and words/phrases/sentences for dictation (more on that below). I use the workbooks as a guide and simply skip pages that I am confident the child in question already knows. My 9yo 3rd grader is in Level 2, and my 7yo 1st grader is in Level 1. Here are the approximate grade levels the workbooks correspond to:
How to Spell 1 (Grade 1)
How to Spell 2 (Grades 2-3)
How to Spell 3 (Grades 4-6)
How to Spell 4 (Grades 7-12)
We really like this spelling program! We used something called Sequential Spelling last year that taught spelling through patterns, but the problem was that it didn't tell you the rules to go along with the patterns. You were supposed to notice and/or figure them out on your own. There were a few rules that I could point out to my child (like i before e, except after c _), but I knew there were probably tons of rules I didn't know and thus couldn't pass on to him. For example, do you know why you double the p in shipping but not in worshiping? There's a rule for that! And HTTS tells you what it is, which so appeals to my little spelling-rule-loving self. My children seem to like knowing the rules as well; my daughter enjoys putting words that don't follow the rule in "jail".
As mentioned before, HTTS incorporates dictation into the lessons. I have seen numerous homeschooling mothers lament that their child can spell their spelling words for a test on Friday, but not in their other assignments. It's like the child has difficulty using the spelling words in context, when it's not just a list of words they had to memorize for a test. The solution to this problem (at least for many students) is dictation. I call out phrases and sentences for the child to write down that include words that use the rules that have been covered (the lessons build on themselves). For example, my 9yo recently learned when to use -k vs. -ck, -ch vs. -tch, and -ge vs. -dge. So after he completed several pages from the workbooks practicing those rules, I gave him 5 or 6 sentences like the following to write down (taken from the TM):
She pitched the black cage over the edge of the huge cliff.
A while back we went over doubling the f, l, and s at the end of most single-syllable short vowel words, as well as adding -ed to show past tense (even when it sounds like a t or d at the end of a word). So those rules get reviewed in this sentence, in addition to the rules we are currently studying. It also reinforces starting sentences with capital letters and ending with proper punctuation. If I notice that he struggles with certain rules or sight words, I make up my own sentences to include those words or rules. This curriculum does include three or four lists of sight words for each level. I'm OK with this because, let's face it, the word does doesn't make sense phonetically!
My daughter does her sight word dictation on a whiteboard to keep things interesting. Kinesthetic learners might benefit from using magnetic letters or letter tiles.
So far my son seems to be a natural speller; like me, he visualizes words in his head. My daughter doesn't seem to be that way, but it could be that she just hasn't been reading as long and thus hasn't stored up much of a visual memory bank yet. Both of them are definitely benefiting from this program.
Because the workbooks don't go by grade level, this could easily be used by an older child who struggles and needs to know spelling rules.
In summary, I really like how this curriculum teaches the child the spelling rules instead of having them just memorize new words each week. After my son learned the rule about using ou/ow, I dictated a sentence to him containing the word "shroud", which he was unfamiliar with. But because he knew the rule, he was able to figure it out. That is what I want in a spelling program!
Stephanie Maurin4 Stars Out Of 5May 11, 2010Stephanie MaurinAfter being unable to find any reviews of the program anywhere I thought I'd better write one. I think this is one of the simplest spelling programs out there- if you use it along with the workbooks. We have done workbook one and are beginning workbook two. I use the workbooks mainly as a guide because they tell you when to do dictation and where to find it in the HOw to Spell book. I think we will end up using this all the way through because it is so easy, although we simply use it as a guide. We include review before we start every lesson, which is not in the book, I do not think there is any test or quizes, or reviews throughout the program, however the dictation is constantly reviewing previously learned material. Overall I think this is a very thorough program, the HOw to Spell book also a good reference for any spelling program.