How To Do Spelling H.W. in a Notebook and Visual Plans

28 January 2013
After Christmas break, I decided it would be time for my students to do their spelling homework in a notebook.  I usually send home a spelling packet, but I noticed my students were really struggling with writing properly in their writing notebooks.  They were all over the place!  I would help one student, get him/her on the right track and two minutes later he/she would start a sentence in the middle of the paper again. The students really just needed more practice and exposure to writing in a notebook.  So, I decided to go old school and assign the spelling homework to be written in a homework notebook.   I was also hoping this would better prepare them for second grade.   Do you think my genius plan worked and they miraculously learned to write on the lines and start at the red margin?   You are probably laughing at me!  NO it did not work.  The homework was just as all over the place as the writing in class.  What to do?  I needed to send home a clear visual and written expectation for spelling homework.  How were the parents and the students supposed to know what I was looking for, if I had not told them?!  A few photographs later...

This letter is going home with all the students.  I did a whole class model on chart paper, too!  Fingers crossed it works.  Click above to download the letter for free - and sorry,  I will not make it editable or customize it.  I understand you wanting to ask, but I just thought I would save you some time and effort by laying it out there -  that the answer would be a big NO. 

On to the visual plans!  You can click the pictures to download them. 
*This plan book format is called "Erica."  Click here to check it out in Ms. M's A Teacher's Plan Store.
**My visual plans are inspired by DeeDee Wills' visual plans.  

I look forward to trying these new activities this week:

DeeDee's Penguin Themed Fluency Packet

And Sarah's Smug Pugs

I already made her craftivity into an art center!  How cute is that pug?  The kids loved the word family doodle book, too! 

 Have a great week everyone!


  1. That is such a great way to save on paper but keeps our kids practicing their spelling words! Thanks for steering me towards that pug file :) That carftivity is too cute:)

  2. I think I saw Fundations in your plans. Is that Wilson's Fundations? Do you do it whole group?

    First Grade and Fabulous

    1. Yes, I do whole group and then a bit during guided reading. One of my goals for next year is to get better at it!

  3. Erica, I really like your idea of a weekly spelling Notebook. I currently use Scholastic's first grade weekly spelling homework packets, and like that alot but a notebook would also help with writing in journals too! I'm even thinking the black and white composition notebooks for 59 cents at our local retailer would do the trick! Thanks for sharing!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  4. Your spelling notebook is a great idea! Hopefully practice will make perfect :) Love the Smug Pugs!

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  5. Thanks for the idea! I have tons of composition books stockpiled but my babies writing in them makes me crazy. I LOVE that pug (and seeing your visual plans!)

    Thank you!

    What Happens in First Grade

  6. Thank you sweet friend for the shout out!!!

  7. I love the idea of using pictures in the letter to the parents. Often it is hard to describe what you want. Pictures make it much easier to understand.
    Very clever,

  8. Hi Erica,
    My first grade team loves the notebook idea, but we were wondering what type of notebook do you use? Thanks for the great idea...and for including the letter too.

  9. I love this idea--anything is notebooks is a winner!! Thank you for sharing!

    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

  10. What a great idea for spelling! This could eliminate so much confusion.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Ms. Richards's Musings

  11. I must begin spelling. My kiddos write some funky words and i am about to send them to 3rd grade. Yikes!
    My Second Sense

  12. Nice article, thanks for the information. It's very complete information. I will bookmark for next reference
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