Since my last post on All About Spelling I’ve had a few emails asking how I implement an actual AAS lesson. One reader even said that “all those tiles made the program look a bit intimidating”.
So last week I took the opportunity to snap pictures as Mira worked through her lesson so I could try to stress the ease with which All About Spelling(AAS) works.
Mira is currently on Level 3 and we do spelling three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Each lesson takes roughly 15 minutes. Sometimes a little more; sometimes a little less. We do one lesson per session and thereby most weeks we complete 3 lessons. But I have heard many people say they break their lesson up and do one lesson a week- so you can cater it to the needs of your child and your family’s schedule. AAS is really rather flexible that way. If Mira ever seems to struggle with a new concept or rule we’ll review and take as much additional time as needed.
Our lesson began with a “Word Analysis” (a break down of a word to understand why it’s spelled the way it is) and I took the opportunity of using the spelling tiles on our table in lieu of our magnetic board so we could review the practice of segmenting our words. Here is Mira using colorful tokens to segment out the sounds in the word “brakes”.
All About Spelling is a scripted curriculum so you can rely on it completely or use it as a general guide to ad lib and interject with as much as you feel comfortable doing on your own.
My prep work to prepare for the day’s lesson is minimal. I normally take less than 5 minutes to look over the lesson and gather any necessary supplies. I can easily do this while Mira is finishing up her handwriting practice so Mira is never left “waiting” for me to begin. I’ll read over the lesson and make sure I understand the rules and items scheduled for review. Then during the actual lesson with Mira I’ll leave the book open as we go along in case I need to reference anything, but for the most part the initial look-over will be enough.
Mira’s lesson this day included practice on the four main ways to make the long-a sound:
I made this chart and read off some words for her and she tried to figure out which words utilized which team.
At the end of each lesson there is a dictation section where Mira writes various words and sentences that I read aloud. I add this on depending on the the rest of Mira’s subjects that day. If she has already done a fair amount of writing we’ll skip it. Or I will use these sentences during one of Mira’s other subjects- like handwriting. This way I kill two birds with one stone. She completes her practice writing in cursive while technically completing her week’s spelling sentences.
Roughly 15 minutes later the lesson is complete and Mira picks out a sticker to place on her AAS Progress Chart. I have noticed that both of my girls eagerly look forward to this part of their AAS and AAR lessons. (You can see Stella working through her All About Reading program, along with my review, here.)
I love this following picture because it shows how Mira has been “getting fancy” with adding long curly tails to the ‘a’ at the end of her name. I hadn’t noticed the weird embellishment on this one until I snapped this picture. I mentioned it to her and she informed me that it means “Mira LOVES Level 3.”
With a child’s seal of approval like THAT you know you’ve got yourself a great program.