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Spelling Scatter Graphs


December 13, 2007

At the beginning of the year, I give my students a list all of the words they will need to know how to spell. They each have a folder with the list and a graph of the words in a sheet protector. I select ten words each week and hang them in different locations around the room. Everyday we go around the room, say and spell the words. On Thursdays, I pull the words down and give them a test. I say the word, where it was and use it in a sentence. Their spelling has improved greatly. On Fridays, I give sticker tests. I have a jar with the year's spelling words written on Popsicle sticks. I pull 10 sticks randomly and ask them to spell them. Some words they've had, others they have not. I graph these sticker tests rather than grade them. I mark the ones they have correct and write the number at the top of their papers. On the wall is a scatter graph where they put a small sticker by the number they have correct. They highlight those correct words on their yearly spelling list and graph in their own folder. They see how many words they have learned by the highlighting and their progress from their own graphs. From the scatter graph, I add the total number of words correct that week and put them on a plot graph on the wall. The class can see how their group is doing and realize if that if someone is absent during the sticker test, the graph may go down. The sticker test process should not take more than ten minutes once they are trained. I have some very limited prior education students, and they love the sticker test. The graphs are also handy to show parents during conferences. Some of our SPED teachers use this graphing method for all subjects in middle and high school.

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