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My Spelling Notebook


Today's Snack: If you work on your spelling a little every day, you'll become a very good speller, and everyone will think you're very, very smart. What else is good to do, every day? Eat an apple, they say! So have an apple for today's treat. Double up on apple taste by drinking some apple juice with it.




A spiral notebook

Piece of plain white cardstock or construction paper

Letter stamps and ink pads | or letter stickers

or large letters cut out of magazines or catalogs |

may need a glue stick or rubber cement |

or colored markers



Working on your spelling helps you develop a good memory as well as building up your communication skills. It's great to develop a habit of wanting to get words spelled right.


You can make your very own spelling notebook, a great tool for helping you keep track of words that are a little tricky to spell. Keep this notebook for years. Add to it constantly. One day, you'll look back, see the hundreds of words in your notebook that YOU know how to spell, and you can be PROUD!


Most people have a used spiral notebook around, so let's re-use one, or purchase a new one if you'd like.


Use only the front, or right-hand, side of every page, because laying your arm over the metal spiral ring when you write on the back hurts a little. It makes your hand cramp and not form the letters very well. If you're left-handed, you may choose to use only the left-hand side of every page instead.


Another idea is to use a notebook with a sewn-on binding. Then you can easily write on front as well as back.


First, let's make your cover. Take a piece of plain cardstock or construction paper. Use whatever art tools you'd like to decorate it with alphabet letters or other designs. Don't spell out words; just scatter alphabet letters around on the cover to symbolize how the letters have to come together in order to spell words.


You might use rubber stamps for the letters, or stickers, or make a collage from magazine cut-outs, or use colored markers to draw alphabet blocks . . . whatever you'd like.


Write the title, "My Spelling Notebook" on the front. Add your name.


Now glue or rubber-cement that cover onto the cover of the notebook.


Now label the top of each page with an alphabet letter. You can count the pages in your notebook, and if you have more than 52, you can reserve two pages for each letter of the alphabet.


Go through your notebook, page by page, and write the alphabet letter on the very top. So you'll have two pages with a big "A" on the top, followed by two pages with a big "B" on top, and so on, all the way to "Z."


Some pages are going to get crowded quickly, but pages such as "x" are going to be a little sparse. But that's OK!


Now comes the fun part! Whenever you encounter a word that is new to you, or hard to spell, open your spelling notebook. Turn to the page that corresponds with the first letter in the word. Write it down, printing carefully so that it's very clear and plain.


It might help you to separate the syllables in these difficult spelling words:


dif fi cult


That will help you sound out, and master, longer and more complex words.


You may want to have three or even four columns of words on every page, so try not to write too big.


Now here's a great way to use your spelling notebook to help you in school:


Let's say you get your spelling test at school, and you've missed three out of 20. That's not so bad! But those three words will trip you up, time and time again, as you write later on this school year, if you don't master them now.


So make sure to record those three words in your spelling notebook . . . and keep it handy, in your room or study place.


Whenever you have a spare moment, open up your spelling notebook and review those words.


Remember to add new words to it every week. Ask your parents and friends what words are hard for them to spell, and add them to your notebook. When you come across an unfamiliar word in a book, or perhaps in a song you hear, or one said by a grandparent - however you encounter a word - write it down in your spelling notebook.


By the end of this school year, shoot for having 500 new spelling words written down - maybe many more. Don't cheat and put easy words that you already know. Challenge yourself!


You will discover that your spelling has improved - because you took the time to master it!



By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2010


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