Evan-Moor's Building Spelling Skills series for grades one through six has a teacher’s edition and a student workbook for each level. The teacher’s editions have printable student pages (black and white), instructions, sentences for dictation, record-keeping forms, master word lists, and answer keys.
This is a traditional-style, phonics-based spelling program that introduces a new list of words each week and provides activities to help children master both the spelling and meaning of each word.
Both the spelling words and activities are grade-level appropriate. The weekly lessons usually group words by common phonetic elements, but sometimes they are grouped by a theme. Occasionally, other frequently used words, such as chocolate and glacier, are included.
The book for first grade begins with five words per week and expands to eight. Second graders have 10 words, third graders have 15, and students in grades four through six have 18. Each week’s list has space for the parent or teacher to add one or two words of their own for children to master. Students will study and practice writing the words a few times, then take a test at the end of the week.
Dictation work is included. Two dictation sentences, each containing some of the week’s spelling words, are provided for children to write each week. (First graders write only one sentence and will probably need some assistance.) The sentences are only in the teacher’s editions and need to be presented by parents or teachers. Space to write the dictated sentence is provided on the student pages.
Other exercises focus on word meaning, identifying phonetic elements, and editing. Be aware that some exercises ask students to identify incorrectly spelled words, a task that might be confusing or difficult for students who have trouble with visual discrimination.
Parents or teachers need to administer spelling tests and dictate the sentences, but children who can read well should be able to work through most other activities on their own.
The Building Spelling Skills series should serve well for those looking for a traditional approach to spelling that is easy to use.