Memoria Press has produced a spelling program that incorporates teacher-student interaction plus classical methodology woven together into a user-friendly format. With a phonics organizational base, students have lists of words for each lesson. Phonics grouping, word study questions, identifying letter chunks, and informational stories using the words in context – plus a variety of dictation activities – are completed during the week before taking a final test. Activities involve more than just copying words and have an emphasis on phonics and word meanings. The high level of teacher-student interaction coupled with some independent student work leaves the student well prepared for the final test on the last day of each week. Designed to be used after First Start Reading or when students have mastered consonant-vowel-consonant (i.e. short vowel) words, the beginning levels of this program reference Classical Phonics (048076) and utilize Phonics Flashcards (063860).
The Teacher Guides provide everything the teacher needs for the teacher-student interaction that is the foundation of this program. While marginally helpful in many spelling programs, the TGs are the core of this one. The General Lesson overview and Sample Lesson Plan found in the beginning are just a prelude to comprehensive daily lessons. With reduced copies of the Student Book, teacher info is "around the edges." After a brief introduction which reviews the Phonics Focus, each of the 34 detailed weekly lesson plans includes a Teaching Overview, Definitions, Word Study Questions, Activities, Dictation, Guided Student Work [teacher-student activities such as spelling riddles, word equations (i.e. king k + s = _______), and missing sound words] and a Test. There is variety in most of these activities/work, but two tasks are consistent through each lesson. Colorful Letters requires the student to write (in pencil) words with "bullets" between syllables and then go back and write over vowels/vowel teams in red and consonant teams/blends with blue and slash through silent e. Dictation is the other important part, with one day devoted to various aspects: writing letter or letter teams that spell a sound, writing spelling words, and writing a sentence from an informative paragraph included in the student books that features a number of the weeks words. The appendix includes a reproducible weekly spelling test form, spelling review games, spelling rules reference sheets, a list of common English contractions, a phonics overview for the teacher, and (the important) Colorful Keys answer key.
Student Books include sidebar notes with the weeks Phonics Focus plus space to write words for activities and dictation as well as interesting word-usage stories on various topics (with spelling words in bold). The number of words per lesson varies: ten words in Book I (written in manuscript form), 15 words in Book II, and 20 words in Books III and IV (written in both manuscript and cursive). A Dictionary featuring words from the course is provided in the back of both the Student and Teacher Books. Spelling Practice Sheets have word lists for each lesson plus lined space to write each word twice. Handwriting lines in Book I are 1/2" with dotted midlines; Book II lines are 3/8" with dotted midlines; and Books III and IV have 3/8" lines with no dotted midlines. Teacher books are 180 pages, spiral-bound. Student books are 150 pages, spiral-bound. Spelling Practice Sheets are 38 pgs, pb. ~ Janice