Daily Spelling Drills for Secondary Students

by Susan Kemmerer
Consumable Workbook, 162 pages
Current Retail Price: $14.95
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It's not just first and second graders who have trouble spelling—junior high and high school students often continue to struggle with phonics rules long after their elementary years. Apples is designed just for them, providing a series of daily one-page lessons built around a single phonics rule in which students complete a number of written exercises that reinforce that rule. Intended as a supplementary text, exercises are meant to reinforce previously learned concepts rather than present entirely new material.

With 150 lessons, Apples is intended for use throughout a single school year. A complete answer key is found in the back of the book, along with notes explaining exceptions to the rules. Exceptions are referenced to corresponding lessons but not covered in the lessons—because this is a remedial course, students are to focus on the rules themselves and not the confusing irregularities.

Nine days are spent on 1-2 rules, with a review every tenth lesson. Exercises range from circling misspelled words to fill-in-the-blank to the occasional crossword puzzle. This is a Christian-based text, and often kids are directed to complete Bible verses. Three versions are used (KJV, NKJV, and NIV); author Susan Kemmerer assures users that, even if you don't have each version students will be able to fill in the correct word through process of elimination. If they can't, have them look up the answer in the back, since copying words is a good method of spelling instruction.

This won't necessarily clear up all your kids' spelling problems. As Kammerer points out in the introduction, if your adolescent is still a poor speller, chances are they will always have difficulty putting words together properly. However, by keeping phonics rules fresh in their minds and having them repeatedly put those rules to use spelling a variety of words, even the worst spellers should demonstrate improvement after using Apples.

Rules covered in Apples:

  • Adding suffixes
  • Beginning syllable "uh" spelled with an -a
  • Days of the week, months of the year
  • Your, you're
  • When, went, were, and where
  • Ending -ch sound spelled as -tch
  • To, too, and two
  • Contractions
  • Changing -y to -i, adding suffixes
  • Ending syllable spelled -le
  • -I before -e except after -c
  • Ending syllable spelled -tion
  • Was, want, and what
  • Long -i + t spelled ight
  • Because, before, always, and most
  • -Ar sound
  • Ending syllable spelled -ture
  • Any, many, already, and sure
  • Ending -j sound spelled -dge
  • -Or sound
  • Do, of, only, and who
  • Long -a
  • Long -o
  • Said, are, and again
  • Does, from, have, and can
  • Long -e
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