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Spelling with Time4Learning


From preschool to second grade, Time4Learning teaches spelling as a component of the language arts and phonics program. From third grade through high school, spelling is integrated into vocabulary development exercises within language arts and other subjects.

Time4Learning helps to teach spelling by starting with the basics of hearing and recognizing the sounds (phonological and phonemic awareness) and then teaches the letters and sounds. Skills are built through spelling games and activities that teach blending, segmenting, word analysis, and fluency. The goal is for students to gain mastery of spelling and reading decoding skills simultaneously. Spelling lists of the “sight words” are taught through memorization techniques.

This page includes information about:

  • Top 100 2019
  • Safe4Kids
  • Cathy Duffy Top 100 2017
  • iParenting Media Award Winner

Spelling in a Comprehensive Language Arts Curriculum

Spelling skills should develop as part of an overall language arts program focusing on, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabularyreading fluency, grammar, reading and writing program.

Some children need spelling practice, while others need more intensive remedial spelling programs. Parents can help by providing high-quality educational materials, establishing a daily spelling and reading routine, instructing through guided spelling activities, creating a rich language environment, discussing a child’s progress with teachers, and following up on their recommendations. Spelling programs, personalized tutoring, reading workbooks, spelling games, and structured computer spelling programs can help teach or reinforce the needed skills.

Related Skills: Spelling, Phonics, & Reading

Phonics is taught with word lists that rely on specific letter combinations. These lists of spelling words are used both to recognize sounds for reading and to practice them on spelling tests or in writing practice. Practice exercises includes breaking words down by syllables, blends, and phonemes to help build spelling skills.

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to understand the relationship between sounds (phonemes) and symbols (letters). This is done through a progression of skills that lead to improved spelling, reading, and writing. Children begin to gain phonemic awareness through listening and imitating what they hear as infants and toddlers. Rhyming and syllable counting are spelling strategies often used for beginning readers to help them understand similar sounds and to differentiate the phonemes in words.

Time4Learning provides students with phonetically organized chapters that focus on one sound/spelling skill so that students can explore one sound or blend at a time for mastery. Time4Learning’s language arts program combines decoding strategies with reading comprehension activities, reading fluency practice, and vocabulary, creating a relationship of skills leading to phonemic and phonological awareness.

Teaching Spelling by Grade

In addition to preparation for the weekly spelling test or spelling bee, parents should help children master their foundational spelling skills and understand the underlying patterns.

Weekly spelling quizzes and tests for beginning readers and elementary school students help assess learned conventions. Each week should focus on one convention or phonics-based rule at a time to help students gain mastery. Practicing a weekly rule along with a corresponding list of 5-20 words allows students to grasp the concept before moving onward and leads to better reading fluency, spelling, and writing skills.

Time4Learning provides age-appropriate spelling lists for parents to appreciate the levels for each grade with thematic conventions. Read on for more about these conventions for each grade.

PreK and Kindergarten Spelling

Preschool and kindergarten students should focus on sounds and spelling through the patterning of consonant-vowel-consonant rhymes and short vowel sounds for phonemic awareness (ex: hat, bat, fat, cat, sat). Also, beginning readers should be exposed to high frequency words and sight words.

High Frequency Words: The most commonly used words in print. (ex: the, a, and, to, I
Sight Words: Popularized by Dolch, these are often called Dolch words. They may not follow spelling conventions and as a result may be memorized rather than decoded. (ex: said, there, some, away)

Learn more about our preschool and kindergarten spelling lessons.

1st Grade Spelling & 2nd Grade Spelling

First and second graders may focus on increasingly difficult phonetic spellings such as the Vowel-Consonant-E rule, consonant blends,vowel digraphs, vowel diphthongs and r-controlled vowels for better decoding and syllable segmentation. Being able to decode words and recognize a pattern of rules provides a foundation for beginning readers to gain more accurate fluency, spelling, and reading techniques.

Consonant Blends: Consonants that when joined together still produce the sound of each consonant smoothly (ex: flow, cradle, speed)
Consonant Digraphs: Two consonants joined together to form a new sound (ex: this, chalk)
Vowel Digraphs: Two vowels joined together to make one sound, usually the sound of the first vowel (ex: coat, team, paid)
Vowel Diphthongs A pair of vowels that when joined, create both sounds (ex: boy, coil)
R-controlled Vowels: Vowels that when placed next to the letter r, take on the r-sound as a blend (ex: car, bird, her)

Learn more about our first grade and second grade spelling lessons.

3rd – 6th Grade Spelling

Upper elementary students may concentrate on one spelling convention each week such as when to double the final consonant before adding /ed/ or /ing/ ((ex: Swim to swimming) or when to add an /s/ or /es/ to make a plural. Review of blends, digraphs, diphthongs, homophones, homographs, homonyms and affixes should continue. Focusing on segmenting syllables and decoding words by the root helps students carry spelling skills over to reading fluency.

Affixes: A part attached to the root word, such as prefixes and suffixes (ex: unimaginable)
Homographs: Words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings and pronunciations. (ex: bass, bow, close, desert)
Homonyms: Words that have the same spelling and pronunciation, but varying meanings (ex: spruce as in “to clean,” or spruce as in “a type of tree”).
Homophones: Words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings (ex: here and hear, see and sea).
Syllables: The phonological organization and segmentation of words in parts (ex: hap-pi-ly, en-ter-tain-ment)

Learn more about our spelling lessons for upper elementary & middle school:

Middle School and High School Spelling

Middle school students should focus on more advanced conventions such as commonly misspelled words and subject-specific terminology (typology), along with review of basic spelling conventions. Middle school and high school students may explore more complexities of spelling and vocabulary through studying the etymology of words.

Etymology: The history of language through the study of word origins and derivatives.
Typology: The study of words within a specific context (ex: political terms (election, incumbent), math terms (Pythagorean, isosceles), biology terms (ecosystem, photosynthesis)

Learn more about our spelling lessons for middle school:

and our integrated high school English language and literature lessons:

PreK - 8th

  • Monthly, first student
  • ($14.95/mo for each additional PreK-8th student)

9th - 12th

  • Monthly, per student
  • ($14.95/mo for each additional PreK-8th student)

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