TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Started with SWR
1. Make sure you have all the materials you need.
We’ve prepared some lists for you below to help you select between the absolute bare minimum items and the supplemental materials you can add, depending on your budget.
The Absolute Bare Minimum
You’ll need the Core Teacher’s Kit, which includes:
- Spell to Write and Read
- The Wise Guide
- 70 Basic Phonogram Cards
- Phonogram CD
- Spelling Rule Cards
- One Learning Log for each student
- One Learning Log for the teacher that matches her student’s. For example, if the teacher has a Kindergarten student, she’ll need a Primary Log. If she’s teaching a 4th grader, she’ll need a Black Log. If she’s working with both of these levels, she’ll need one of each log.
That’s it! Along with the “additional tools” below, these items are the absolute minimum you need to teach SWR for as many years and as many students as you’ll be teaching. Simply purchase a new learning log each year for your student, and you’re good to go. The teacher’s learning logs do not need to be replaced each year, because once she has built one Master Teacher’s Log at each level, then she’s done her homework and is now ready to teach SWR at any level.
Highly Suggested Resources
Following are those materials that I would suggest if they fit your needs and if your budget allows.
- Cursive First
- Wise Guide Enrichment Activity Worksheets
- The Alpha List
- The Clock Stamp
- The New England Primer of 1777
- McCall-Crabbs Tests of Reading Comprehension & Answer Key (2nd grade and above)
- One of our SWR DVDs: Introduction to SWR or Hidden Secrets.
- Phonogram Bingo
- Smart Pal Set ®
- SWR Mobile App
- a good pencil sharpener
- regular lead pencils OR mechanical pencils
- red pencils (I like the Ticonderoga, Erasable Checking Pencils)
- a good eraser (my favorite is Staedtler Mars Plastic erasers)
- a 6″ ruler, one for each student and teacher
- a writing journal for each K-1 child and/or a story journal for any student with a flair for illustrating his writing
- regular white notebook paper or a spiral notebook with regular notebook paper for students grades 2 and above
- lined writing paper for K/1 students (I prefer the “Red Baseline Ruled Newsprint” for grade 3. This has a nice, narrow rule which is best for all beginning writers [more on this later]. You can order this from Lakeshore.)
- If you’re using the Black Learning Log, you’ll want to download the Instructions and Answer Key for this new formatted book, since some of the Reference pages are not explained in SWR.