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Here are the ten steps to spelling that we use. After we pretest to our 10 words for the week, I sit down with each child and go over each of the ten steps... once for each word.
1. Say (pronounce it aloud).
2. Look (look carefully. Ask yourself questions such as, "Can I spell it the way it looks? How many syllables are there? Are there any double letters? Silent letters? What are the vowels in each syllable? Anything peculiar about this word? How many letters are in the word? Are there any odd syllables? Any parts of the word spelled unlike they sound? Anything unusual about the word? Any difficult combinations? Is the word a noun verb, etc.")
3. Say (say the letters while looking at the word)
4. Close (close eyes and visualize the word and spell it)
5. Check (check that you got it right)
6. Trace (trace the word on your desk, in a sand tray, on sand paper, on a fabric board, using large arm motions)
7. Write (without looking)
8. Check (was it right?)
9. Repeat (steps 1-8, if it was not right)
10. Sentence (write the word in a sentence