TOP TEN TIPS for getting started with SWR

3. Understand the two levels of instruction.

SWR divides students into two levels of instruction.

  • A beginning student is one who is new to the journey of learning to read and write (Kindergarten through 1st grade). He will use the Primary Learning Log for building his own spelling text during the year.
  • An advanced student (2nd grade through adult) uses the Black Learning Log and is more likely to be working at a higher level in the Wise Spelling List.
  • Other than which log to use, the main differences are as follows.
      • the vocabulary level increases with each Wise List, and
      • the depth of instruction on the Reference Pages is greater for the black log.


With SWR a teacher can jump right into the program at a level appropriate for her students. There is no need to start an older student at the beginning of the Wise List with easy words that are way below his skill level; the concepts will be covered when it is appropriate for that student.

In the following videos, Liz FitzGerald, Endorsed SWR Trainer, helps you sort out these two levels, explaining:

  1. the differences between the Beginning and Advanced student,
  2. which learning log is used with which level,
  3. where you'll start when you're working with each level,
  4. the order that you'll teach the concepts with each level,
  5. what you'll be teaching, and
  6. your goals for each level.