Frequently Asked Questions about
SWR Lesson Plans
The Lesson Plans
For what grades are the Lesson Plans recommended?
SWR places students in the Wise List based on skills, not grades. The teacher uses a Diagnostic Spelling Test to determine the students’ level of mastery with the English phonics code. The Wise List covers words from beginning Kindergarten to college freshmen levels.
To effectively prepare a student for a strong foundation in reading, spelling, and writing, it is recommended that he complete SWR by the end of fifth grade. However, many students have used SWR in higher grades for remedial learning with powerful results, including adults and English as a Second Language learners.
Would I be able to use the Lesson Plans with an older student or an adult?
Yes! Teaching Tips offer suggestions for how to adjust the activities for older students.
How many lessons are provided in the Lesson Plans?
See the Lesson Plans Descriptions.
Are the Lesson Plans applicable for different teaching situations?
Yes, a teacher could use the plans in a classroom, in a homeschool setting, or while tutoring students either one-on-one or in small groups. Tips are provided for how these plans were used on a co-op at which the author taught for only one day a week.
Can I see samples of the Lesson Plans?
Samples will be available around the end of June 2017 when the final editing is completed on the project.
Can I start the Lesson Plans any time during the year?
Yes, the plans are not locked into any specific time of year for starting. However, you’ll want to start at the beginning of the plans as preliminary instruction is included for the teacher with the initial lessons. Once the teacher has reached a standard rhythm to the lessons, this instruction is reduced for the remainder of the plans.
Starting in the middle of a set of plans is possible, but the teacher should at least review the beginning lessons so that she is better equipped for the later lists where less instruction is repeated.
What is included in the Lesson Plans?
See the Lesson Plans Descriptions.
In what format will the Lesson Plans be packaged?
The Lesson Plans will come in a shrink-wrapped package with two parts:
The Lesson Plans:
The teacher instructions will be on 3-hole punched, loose-leaf pages, ready to be placed in a 3-ring binder (not included). This allows the teacher to pull out only the pages needed for the week rather than having to juggle yet another book.
The teacher instructions will include all the lists, tips, and instructions listed in our Descriptions, including the teacher version of any supplemental worksheets and weekly tests.
The accompanying CD will contain the Wise List audio files and the student version of all supplemental worksheets and weekly tests.
Are the book and CD sold separately?
No, they are only sold together as a set.
Are the Lesson Plans sold separately from the other materials?
Yes, they will be available as a stand-alone item or made available in money-saving combos. You can expect those to be on our web site around July 2017.
Do I have to have experience with SWR to use these Lesson Plans?
Prior knowledge or use of SWR is not necessary, however, we do highly recommend that you attend an SWR Seminar if at all possible. The plans will walk you through the initial stages of preparing to teach and then using the program, assuming this is your first year. Teachers with prior SWR experience will breathe a sigh of relief knowing they can simply open the plans and have their lessons laid out for them.
If I have these plans, do I still need to attend a training seminar?
We highly recommend that teachers attend a live seminar with an Endorsed SWR Trainer. The Seminar is where SWR comes to life and teachers experience the method first-hand from both the student’s and the teacher’s perspective. Although the child learns the principles of phonics very quickly, it tends to be one of the biggest challenges for the new SWR teacher.
The Lesson Plans assist greatly in showing the teacher know what to do; the SWR Seminar provides the experience of teaching that many educators find difficult to glean from the pages of a book. Nothing replaces the 2- or 3-day experience with an Endorsed Trainer guiding a teacher through the process, encouraging as the new teacher practices the dictation method, and answers questions in person.
Who Needs What
Do I need a set of plans for each student I’m teaching?
Group your students whenever possible. The fewer levels you have to teach for the year, the more successful you will be. One or two levels per year is ideal; three is going to tax you, but it can be done.
For example, one of our field testers had a family of seven children, four of whom were learning with SWR; one was finished, and the other two were preschool or younger. This mom used Level A for her budding Kindergarten student, Level C for a struggling 2nd grader, and then combined two older students in 4th and 6th grades in Level D.
Please note that the younger the student, the more difficult to group with older students because of the penmanship, vocabulary, and attention span issues.
If my child starts in a certain level and then tests at a different level during the school year, will I need to go with a different level of the Plans?
Accurate placement in the Wise List is important before beginning. Typically a student will not change levels mid-year.
Do the Lesson Plans take the place of Spell to Write and Read and/or The Wise Guide?
No, the Spell to Write and Read and The Wise Guide books are central to the program; they are the program. The Lesson Plans help you use these materials and point you to where and what to read when in your Spell to Write and Read. They Plans will direct you to teaching the word lists found in The Wise Guide.
Do I need to have the worksheet books to use the Lesson Plans?
Yes, the Wise Guide Enrichment Activity Worksheets are woven throughout the plans with instructions on how and when the use them each week.
The Lesson Plans description says the worksheet are included. Why do I need the Worksheet books as well?
The Lesson Plans only include a limited number of extra worksheets not already included in the Worksheets books. These do not replace the Wise Guide Enrichment Activity Worksheets, only add to them.
How do I select which Level of the Lesson Plans to use with my students?
The Lesson Plans are organized by the Wise Lists covered in each.
For the beginner student, start with Level A or B (see the Lesson Plans Descriptions to determine which you’ll select).
For the rest, administer a Diagnostic Test. This will determine the Level which best fits your overall teaching situation.
What other materials will I need to use the Lesson Plans?
We’ll be posting a list of both regular materials to have on hand each week as well as supplemental materials you’ll need through the year. Stay tuned!
Modifying the Lesson Plans
How do I adjust the Lesson Plans if we have a 4-day school week?
The Plans are based on a 5-day weekly schedule. To modify them for a shorter week, you have a couple options.
- Eliminate some of the activities in the plans for the week. The Teaching Tips will guide you in how to select the most important activities to be sure to cover in your week.
- Instead of thinking in terms of 5-day weeks, think of the plans as giving you 150-180 days of instruction to be completed sequentially. If during Week 1 you only complete the first four days, then pick up on Day 5 at the beginning of Week 2. Continue in this fashion. Know that this will cause you to either not complete the entire 150-180 days of lessons, or you will extend your lessons for more of the year.
What do we do if we don’t finish all of the assignments when they’re assigned?
Refer to the Teaching Tips in the Lesson Plans for how to modify your lessons for your teaching situation and how to select the most important activities if you cannot get to everything.
We do SWR with a modified approach because my student has dyslexia/vision problems/auditory issues, etc, how will these plans work for us?
When a teacher follows the methods as laid out in the SWR book and the teaching sequence as presented in the Lesson Plans, the struggling student will flourish. Modifications can be made to the breadth of the lessons (see “Teaching Tips”), but the teaching sequence will be the same.
Spell to Write and Read is based on the work of Dr. Samuel Orton, who worked extensively with children who had reading issues and were labeled dyslexic. Dr. Orton mentored Mrs. Romalda Spalding, who created curricula based on their clinical work. Mrs. Spalding emphasizes sound first, then speaking, writing, and lastly reading. Her approach to multi-sensory teaching proves to be most effective in reaching individuals who struggle to make the connection to reading. Wanda Sanseri took graduate level training under Mrs. Spalding and has retained the purity of her teaching methods in Spell to Write and Read while expanding on it to create a complete Language Arts program.
How does SWR overlap with Classical Conversations?
SWR is a complete Language Arts program for Grades K-3, including penmanship, phonics, spelling, reading, reading comprehension, grammar, composition, vocabulary, and Greek & Latin roots. Around 4th grade and above, we recommend supplementing the grammar and composition in SWR with other curricula, which CC provides. This means that both the SWR Lesson Plans and CC will be providing the student with assignments for these subjects. The teacher must decide how to handle the overlap of grammar and writing assignments. Suggestions are provided in the Teaching Tips portion of the Lesson Plans.
When will the Lesson Plans be available?
Our goal is to start shipping in August 2017.
How much will be Lesson Plans cost?
That will be determined once the final editing is finished and we have a total page count.
When will I be able to purchase the Lesson Plans?
We will begin taking pre-orders for the Lesson Plans once we have a final price, hopefully around the end of June or early July 2017.
How will I know when I can pre-order the Lesson Plans?
We will announce this on our Blog, through our email mailing list, and on our social media channels.
Will I be able to get these Lesson Plans from my local teacher supply store?
That depends on whether your local outlet has a wholesale account with LITHBTH Educational Services. If they sell SWR materials and don’t have the Lesson Plans, have them contact us to set up an account.