Spelling Strategies and Patterns by Sandra Wilde - Heinemann
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Spelling Strategies and Patterns

Spelling Strategies and Patterns

By Sandra Wilde

Sandra’s inquiry-based approach to spelling instruction engages children in exploring the spelling patterns they are already starting to internalize and developing the strategies that will help them fine-tune their spelling as they write.

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Full Description

Research shows that for long-term retention and real-world application spelling instruction needs to be more than the memorization of word lists. Offering an alternative to the traditional word-list approach, Sandra Wilde’s Spelling Strategies and Patterns brings joy and teaching to spelling instruction. Sandra’s inquiry-based approach to spelling instruction engages children in exploring the spelling patterns they are already starting to internalize and developing the strategies that will help them fine-tune their spelling as they write.
Spelling Strategies and Patterns has two components
In the lesson book, Sandra offers 65 short lessons designed to help students become more proficient spellers.
32 strategy lessons help children improve spelling as they go about the process of writing; many of them answer the question, “What should I do when I’m writing and don’t know how to spell a word?’
33 pattern lessons help children know what to do when it’s not obvious what letters are in a word; many answer the question, “How do I know which letters to choose in order to spell the sounds I hear?”

An accompanying CD-ROM provides a wealth of resources to support your inquiry-based spelling instruction.
Live-from-the-classroom video footage allows you to observe Sandra as she teaches strategy and pattern lessons. “Working with What Kids Give You” video clips show how to incorporate the unexpected events that invariably occur during the course of a spelling exploration.
An up-close look at student writing samples with voice-over commentary from Sandra allows you to look over the authors shoulder as she analyzes student work.
Printable lesson reproducibles and modifiable assessment forms offer practical day-to-day support.





General Strategies

Strategy 1: What Kind of Speller Are You

Strategy 2: Developing a Repertoire of Spelling Strategies

Strategy 3: Why Write With Invented Spelling?

Strategy 4: Perfectionists

Strategy 5: Why—and When—Spelling Matters

Strategy 6: Why Reading Helps You Spell

Strategy 7: One-Second Words <link to sample lesson>

Strategy 8: How to Memorize Words

Strategy 9: Try It Two Ways

Strategy 10: Does it Look Right?

Strategy 11: Finding Spellings in the Classroom

Strategy 12: Using a Word Wall for Spelling

Strategy 13: Helping Each Other With Spelling

Strategy 14: How to Use a Spell Checker

Strategy 15: Spelling Better as You Get Older

Dictionary Strategies

Strategy 16: Using Different Kinds of Dictionaries

Strategy 17: Alphabetical Order in the Dictionary: First Letters

Strategy 18: Alphabetical Order in the Dictionary: Second Letters

Strategy 19: Using Guide Words in the Dictionary

Strategy 20: Finding Words You Don’t Know How to Spell

Strategy 21: Definitions in the Dictionary

Strategy 22: Pronunciation Guides in the Dictionary

Strategy 23: Using Indexes and Other Places to Find Words

Editing Strategies

Strategy 24: The Importance of Spelling in Published Writing

Strategy 25: How Many Spellings Should I Edit?

Strategy 26: How to Find All of Your Misspellings

Strategy 27: The Right Spelling of the Wrong Word

Strategy 28: How to Achieve 100% Correct Spelling

Strategy 29: When it Really, Really Has to Be Right

When Spelling Doesn’t Come Easy

Strategy 30: Is Spelling Hard for You?

Strategy 31: The Choices You Make When You Spell

Strategy 32: What to Focus on to Become a Better Speller


Simple Patterns

Pattern 1: How to Spell the /s/ Sound <link to sample lesson>

Pattern 2: How to Spell the /k/ Sound

Pattern 3: How to Spell the /j/ Sound

Pattern 4: Is it w or wh?

Pattern 5: A Few Tricky Consonants

Pattern 6: Long a

Pattern 7: Long e

Pattern 8: Long i

Pattern 9: Long o

Pattern 10: Long u and the Two oo’s

Pattern 11: R-Controlled Vowels

More Complex Patterns

Pattern 12: i Before e (It still works!)

Pattern 13: Adding Suffixes: Changing y to i

Pattern 14: Adding Suffixes: Dropping the Final e

Pattern 15: Adding Suffixes: Doubling the Final Consonant

Pattern 16: Double Consonants

Pattern 17: Schwa: What Is It and How Do I Spell It?

Pattern 18: Silent Letters: How Do I Know They’re There?

Pattern 19: Tricky Endings: -able or -ible?

Pattern 20: Those Pesky Homophones

Pattern 21: Spelling Long Words

Pattern 22: Related Words Have Similar Spellings

Pattern 23: Words with Apostrophes: Possessives

Pattern 24: Words with Apostrophes: Contractions


Pattern 25: What I Wonder about Spelling

Pattern 26: How People Used To Spell

Pattern 27: Why English Spelling Is So Weird

Pattern 28: Words from Spanish

Pattern 29: Words from All Over the World

Pattern 30: Spelling in Other Languages

Pattern 31: Writing in Other Alphabets and Without Alphabets

Pattern 32: Crazy Spelling Out in the World

Pattern 33: The National Spelling Bee



The teaching tools referenced in the lessons (graphic organizers, word lists, checklists, and questionnaires) are provided in a reproducible format.


This set of tools help you look at children’s spelling from a variety of perspectives: knowledge, strategies, attitudes, and achievement (how well students spell in their writing).


This annotated bibliography of books for teachers and kids about spelling and related matters is meant to suggest some books you might like to read yourself and some that you might like to have available in your classroom.