Whatever spelling method you choose to teach, this book is likely to be a handy accessory. If you are using any of the Writing Road to Reading-inspired systems, it will be doubly valuable. The Alpha List features alphabetically the 2000 words in the Wise Guide for Spelling. Included are the most frequently used and many of the most frequently misspelled words in English, including 300 proper nouns. These are more than simple lists. Words are written in syllables and marked with special spelling highlights. To the right of the words are several columns. The first tells us which chart in Wanda's own program, Spell to Write and Read, teaches each word. The second designates which of 29 spelling rules apply to that word. (The list of rules is at the back of the book.) The third adds a helpful comment—maybe a trick to help remember the spelling, related forms of the word to learn, or the root word.
The foundational rules are spelled out in The Alpha List so you need not use any specific program to benefit from this reference book. Included are the 70 basic phonograms, 29 spelling rules, an explanation of the spelling highlight system used, rules for syllabication, prefixes and suffixes, rules for doubling consonants, and rules for spelling plurals. Words wrongly considered rule breaker words are explained—e.g., why we drop the "e" in tracing but not in traceable. In addition to those using Wanda's Spell to Write and Read program, I think this book will be most useful for students who have already been introduced to spelling rules but who still make occasional errors in their writing. You can look up the word in this book, mark the error with spelling highlights that apply, and hand your student the book to determine how to correctly spell the word and why.