image of the classroom spelling program at

A Solution To Teaching Spelling …

Very few teachers are taught how to teach spelling. I have many teachers comment to me, “I didn’t know that.” Not only didn’t they know a spelling convention, they are very confused about how to teach it. This can create a problem. Spelling is the gateway to all learning in school. Learning to spell is one of the most important components of learning to read. If a child cannot read they are at a disadvantage every time text is used - and that’s in English, maths, socials, science, … The early years are about learning to read and the intermediate and above years are about reading to learn. Every time a student has a passage to read in socials, a word problem to read in math, a novel to study in English, they are at a disadvantage if they’re not able to read fluently.

I was one of the lucky ones

I found spelling easy and loved reading and writing. I don’t remember my teacher ever explicitly teaching us how to spell, but I do remember the issues my friends had who found spelling challenging. They still read books, but they never got to truly love reading because of how much energy went into decoding the words. Without the fluency of knowing how words are spelled your brain cannot move to “Skilled Reading.”
In the 1990’s Dr Hollis Scarborough created an illustration, The Reading Rope, showing the many strands woven into skilled reading. It shows the different components needed for a child to become a “Skilled Reader: Fluent execution and coordination of word recognition and text comprehension”

Scarborough’s Reading Rope

There are many examples of Scarborough’s Reading Rope and the areas needed to become a competent and confident skilled reader. The different strands of the rope all come together to form an intertwined core of skills needed for children to be skilled readers. We need skills in Language Comprehension and skills in Word Recognition to become skilled in reading.
If teachers are not comfortable teaching spelling then two full strands of the Word Recognition part are lost. Showing students a phonogram and expecting them to memorize it without knowing how it sounds, how it’s used, what other combinations make the same sound, how to read it, how to write it, and how to fully understand it, puts the students at a disadvantage.

Our Classroom Spelling Program

We have written our Classroom Spelling Program to take all the guess work out of teaching spelling. We give the teachers a tool they can use and adapt in their classroom. They don’t need to attend another class to learn how to teach spelling, all of the information is given to them in this program. They can use their individual skill set and classroom materials alongside this program.
We have given them a multisensorial way to teach spelling, three different lesson plans to introduce the sounds, a suggested scope and sequence, an easy way to record their student’s progress, and most importantly the fundamental information needed to understand “PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS, syllables, phonemes, etc., and DECODING, alphabetical principle, spelling-sound correspondences.”
This program was developed and created to answer the question teacher’s ask me regularly. “I wasn’t taught how to teach spelling. In my teaching course we didn’t cover this in detail, there are many areas I don’t feel confident teaching. Will this program give me the answers?” My answer is, “Yes.” It was written for teachers to take and use in their classroom without any further prep or lesson planning.
Here are some comments from a kindergarten teacher.

“As a relatively new teacher, I was not set up for success to teach literacy whatsoever by my education teaching degree. I learned how to teach spelling in a school setting by real experiences and by following a straight forward sequenced program like Earlyminds The Alphabet Program. I learned the importance of following a certain scope and sequence in order to set students up for success when spelling and writing. I learned that teaching spelling should be fun and done in a multi-sensory way. Having the students be autonomous of their own learning and by coming up with words on their own assists in their ability to remember the letter sounds and they just love our weekly alphabet dictionary lessons! I also love how the alphabet dictionary pages are differentiated for all types of learners. Using Earlyminds Alphabet Program this year has given me joy when teaching spelling. I loved teaching it, and the students loved learning it. I will certainly be implementing this program every single year as long as I am a Kindergarten teacher!

My advice would be to follow the scope and sequence and to just trust it.”

CL, Kindergarten teacher