Frequently Asked Questions about
the new Wise Guide Enrichment Activity Worksheets
Can I see a sample of the worksheets?
Absolutely! Download the pdf file for a description and samples of both the Student and Teacher versions of several worksheets.
For what grades are the worksheets recommended?
Spell to Write and Read weaves beginning through 12th grade spelling into a full language arts program. The Wise List starts at the Kindergarten/1st grade level and spans up to beginning college level words. A student as young as five through the adult level could use these worksheets.
What kinds of topics do the worksheets cover?
The Wise Guide is full of great ideas that springboard off the spelling work and dive right into many areas of language arts. Skills and concept areas include art, grammar, listening, punctuation, phonograms, science, writing, and word-building. Much of the work builds on student’s vocabulary skills, which is essential for strong reading comprehension. For a more detailed list of the kinds of activities included, see the Worksheets Page on this site.
Are these worksheets the grammar program for SWR?
The activities in The Wise Guide provide sufficient grammar instruction for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. You’ll find they lay a great foundation to concepts that will be built upon when you add a more structured grammar program around 3rd or 4th grade. At that point the student can still use these ideas to supplement his spelling; they will only continue to strengthen his grammar understanding and will coordinate well with deeper study.
While SWR makes no attempt to cover grammar extensively, it does introduce many concepts in a hands-on way. For example, in an early exercise, students divide spelling words into lists of nouns that can name a person, place, thing, or idea. Activities sprinkled throughout the Wise List expose a student to grammar concepts using spelling review words. Much can be done with the student’s original sentences such as teaching punctuation and correct word usage.
For a more complete picture of all the subjects that SWR covers besides phonics, take a look at the chart we’ve put together for you.
Although SWR teachers love the program and the beauty of the multi-sensory approach, they tend to overlook or skip the reinforcement activities, mostly because of time constraints. Because of this, their students miss the language lessons in The Wise Guide and the opportunity to work with and experience the spelling words in the context of the language they are expected to use for everyday reading and writing activities. This is key to understanding spelling and how the English language works.
With these worksheets, students can practice their spelling words in a variety of meaningful ways, all while continuing to reinforce the multi-sensory approach. The worksheets are easy to understand for both the student and the teacher. Busy SWR teachers love them because they have a ready-made language activity that strengthens spelling skills. The Wise Guide enrichment activities come alive with these lessons!
What do you mean by “language lessons?”
A common misconception about teaching spelling is that the student simply needs to learn which letters to use and in which order to list them when writing a word. It is also assumed that once a child can learn to decode words* reading has been taught. Both are far from accurate.
Words are part of a language, and they not only have meaning, but they change meaning depending on how they are used in a sentence. To understand words (vocabulary), one must understand how they relate to one another, how adding word parts (prefixes and suffixes), or how changing tense affects the meaning of those words and ultimately the sentence. Much of teaching spelling and reading involves building a student’s vocabulary, and both the ability to spell a word accurately and to comprehend what one is reading depend on the student’s solid grasp of the language.
For example, a young child trying to spell the unfamiliar word official might simply try to replicate the sounds he’s hearing. His attempt might come out like ufishole. However, once a student understands that the root word is office and that the C at the end of the word is giving us a hint as to which Latin spelling of /sh/ we will use (CI), he will have a better chance of spelling the word correctly. Yes, the student needs to learn to associate the sounds of the word with the letters that represent them, but the pronunciation of words can often lead us astray. One must ALSO understand how the language works in order to progress in spelling. Likewise, a student reading the word official might have good word attack skills,** but unless he has a good vocabulary or has a working knowledge of how words are built (office + adjective ending al), he will be at a loss when reading text containing this word.
Somehow we understand that we have to learn grammar and vocabulary when we decide to learn a foreign language. However, teachers somehow overlook the fact that the students using the language they speak naturally still have to learn about how that language works. The student has to learn vocabulary and then how to place words together following the grammatical rules that govern the language. Learning how to spell the words falls right into that process. For example, when learning to spell Spanish verbs, one learns that there are AR, ER, and IR verbs. Those endings will affect how those verbs are spelled in the various conjugations. One cannot separate learning the grammar, vocabulary, and spelling when learning the written version of a foreign language. Learning English is no different.
That’s why the language lessons in the The Wise Guide are so brilliant. The student gets to experiment with the vocabulary of his language in meaningful ways to discover for himself how English works. The activities take spelling and reading to the next level!
*the process of translating a printed word into its sounds and thereby being able to recognize the word
**the ability to use the phonics code to decode an unfamiliar word
What materials come in the package?
Each Wise Guide Enrichment Activity Worksheet package includes two items.
- the Teacher’s Edition in the book, and
- the Student Edition on the CD
Are the book and CD sold separately?
No, they are only sold together as a set.
Is this product available as a pdf download?
Our customers have been requesting that student pages be in digital format. That’s why we’ve included the student version on the CD that comes with each Teacher’s Edition book. Trust me, it helps to have the Teacher’s edition in book form when you’re browsing the available worksheets and choosing an activity for your student. Also, it’s much better for grading their work when you can have the teacher’s version side-by-side with the student’s paper. It’s difficult to go from computer screen to a piece of paper.
Who Needs What
Would I need both books A-M and N-Z?
That depends entirely on which spelling lists you’re teaching. SWR is NOT a grade-specific program where you plug a student in based on his age or grade level with a one-size-fits-all schedule. Instead, a teacher places a student based on the diagnostic testing, what lists have been covered before, and what works best for your teaching situation. However, it’s helpful to have some general guidelines such as the schedule below for what is covered during which years.
Kindergarten – Lists A-I
1st Grade – Lists A-L
2nd Grade – Lists J-O
3rd Grade – Lists M-S
4th Grade – Lists P-Z
5th Grade – Lists T-Z
If I’m teaching in a classroom, do each of my students need a book?
No, you merely need the teacher’s edition(s) for whichever lists you’re teaching. The student pages are on the CD. You select the assignments you want to give your students, print them out from the CD, and you’re good to go.
Each teacher will need his/her own copy of the appropriate level(s). A school would need to provide the appropriate book(s) for each teacher rather than ordering one and sharing it among the staff.
If I’m teaching in a homeschool co-op, do each of my students need a book?
This depends on whether the parents will be helping their students at home. If the parents need to dictate quizzes to start a worksheet or to help their child work through an assignment, they’ll probably need their own teacher’s edition. To copy the teacher’s manual and send home answer keys would violate the copyright. However, a co-op teacher is welcome to make copies of the student pages for her class.
Do I need to buy the most recent 2015 version of Wise Guide and/or SWR to use these?
Worksheet activities match the instructions found in The Wise Guide ©2015. Previous versions of The Wise Guide can easily be used! Just be aware there may be new activities listed in this book or changes in activity examples that aren’t in an older book. That won’t be a problem at all. Once you select the assignment you want to use, follow the instructions on the worksheet.
When will the worksheet books be shipping?
Both Worksheets Book A-M and Book N-Z are now available.
Can I order the book(s) if I live outside of the United States?
Yes, we would be happy to help you place an International Order. Since each location has different shipping prices, we ask that you use our Contact Us form to let us know what you’d like to order.
Will I be able to get these worksheets from my local teacher supply source?
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 worksheets, have them contact us to set up an account.