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ELL Toolbox: Words Their Way - Spelling

Although ELL Toolbox is a website built for teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs), the recommended spelling resource is appropriate for native English-speaking students. The author posts useful and applicable materials within the categories of: Sheltered English, Assessment, Lesson Planning, Classroom, Words Their Way, and Apps & Tech Tools.

The Words Their Way link provides an introduction to this developmental spelling program used in many K-12 and some ABE settings. Based on a spelling inventory, students work with level-appropriate word sorts to improve their knowledge of letter-sound-syllable patterns. The series of texts provide sequential word sorts for five spelling stages: emergent, letter-name-alphabetic, within word, syllables & affixes, and derivational relational. The author also describes her 'tried and true' ideas for using the inventory, making and using the word sorts, and maintaining order. The Words Their Way reproducible texts can be purchased from; texts and digital access from

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Every-Day Edits

This free website from Education World offers monthly sets of printable paragraphs for "everyday editing" by students at reading grade levels 3-8. All include ten errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or capitalization. All include an answer key for immediate feedback. All topics are timely and of high interest for children and adults. All can build cultural literacy and improve written language skills! Suggested use for Every-Day Edits includes: (1) have one available as students trickle into class; (2) complete one as whole class warm-up; (3) have students complete one with a partner; (4) divide the class into two teams; each correct edit earns a point.

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Khan Academy - Punctuation

Khan Academy or KA is a FREE online learning platform used by students from around the world. Recently, Grammar was added as a topic under Arts & humanities. KA’s grammarians, David and Paige, present engaging and entertaining video tutorials and practice exercises on punctuation: commas, apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, and more. The lessons tend to use higher-level vocabulary words or examples; thus, they may be most appropriate for Adult Secondary students…and possibly appropriate for High Intermediate ABE and Advanced ESL.

Note: Because it’s so new, Distance Learning teachers in Minnesota cannot yet recommend it; however, their students’ grammar time will be counted and reported.

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Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling

This public domain, printable resource from the Literacy Information Network Communication System (LINCS) contains 30 scripted lesson plans and related materials for teaching intermediate-level adult students how to accurately decode and spell multi-syllable words. It begins by reviewing short vowel syllables, continues with the most common and useful spelling patterns of English, and always applies taught skills to repeated readings of short passages.

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