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All About Spelling is my favorite spelling curriculum. This rules based approach breaks spelling concepts down into bite size pieces, making it easier for my kids to memorize the rules and patterns. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even aware of some of these rules. I am generally a decent speller (although now I’m almost guaranteed to make a spelling error in this post), but learned through strict memorization of patterns. I couldn’t teach the rules because I didn’t know the rules.
It can feel overwhelming trying to set up All About Spelling for the very first time. We are now on level 4 and I promise it is easy. In 30 minutes or so, you can get everything ready to teach spelling for the next few months. The best part is that once the supplies are in place, there is NO additional prep until the next level!
How to Set Up All About Spelling
Prepare your All About Spelling review box
All About Spelling sells a review box, but I like this one from Amazon. We have used them (one per kiddo) for 2 years now and they still looks brand new. The cards fit perfectly.
If you are setting up Level 1 – Place all of the tabbed dividers in the box in this order:
- Phonogram Cards Review
- Phonogram Cards Mastered
- Phonogram Cards Future Lessons
- Sound Cards Review
- Sound Cards Mastered
- Sound Cards Future Lessons
- Key Cards Review
- Key Cards Mastered
- Key Cards Future Lessons
- Word Cards Review
- Word Cards Mastered
- Word Cards Future Lessons
I suppose that the tabbed dividers could go in any order, but this is what works for us. A quick glance lets me see how many skills are left in a level.
If you are setting up Level 2+ – Remove word cards from previous lessons. I like to leave the previous level, just so they are available for review. Leave the previous levels of phonogram, sound, and key cards in the review box.
Tear out the cards and place them behind the Future Lessons tabs
The student cards arrive color coded and printed on perforated paper. Separate the cards and file them behind the correct section of the review box.
This is the most time consuming portion of setting up All About Spelling. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much attention, so it is a nice time to be productive while watching a show.
Put student papers in a convenient location
The student pack comes with all of the papers your child will need – any handouts, word sheets, word banks, progress charts, achievement certificates, and stickers. Put these papers in one convenient location so you can grab them quickly when required by a lesson. I store my children’s All About Spelling papers in the pocket of their divider in my lesson plan book. I always have my lesson planner within arms reach while I’m teaching, so I can grab any papers needed with no advance prep.
Attach magnets to the back of letter tiles
If you are setting up Level 1 – Separate all of the letter and phonogram tiles. Small magnets are included with the first set. Just peel off the back and stick them to the back of the tile. You will have magnet squares left over. Keep them! You will be able to use them with future levels.
If you are setting up Level 2+ – New letter tiles will show up with each level. Unfortunately, magnet squares are not sent after the initial order. I didn’t realize that with my first order and tossed the leftover magnets. That’s okay though! I use a teaching hack from my classroom days – cut up magnetic business cards. The business cards have a sticker on one side and a magnet on the other. I just cut up little pieces and stick them to the back of the tiles. One box of these business cards lasts forever. We are going on our 3rd year with the same box!
Set up magnetic white board
An illustrated guide to setting up the magnetic tiles is included in the teacher manuals. I don’t worry about the exact placement though. My classroom (aka dining room) magnetic white board is most functional with the letter tiles along the bottom. This leaves plenty of room for other subjects and notes. I also deviate a bit from the recommended letter tile placement because I put all of the tiles up at once, not waiting to put them up only when needed. This lets me use multiple levels for my kiddos at the same time with the same board.
Do you have any questions about All About Spelling? Leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them!
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