Friday, October 17, 2008

Finding Words with Specific Letters

Because I incorporate some Montessori methods into my homeschool (especially for Flurpee, who'd not quite seven yet), I have been working on word list cards. I don't even know the real name. The cards are lists of words using a specific phonetic combination. Here are examples of letter combinations and words.

The cards are small enough to be held easily by kids hands. Each set of cards introduces one combined-letter sound and then introduces common words that use it. Each card includes the letter combination on the top and the phonetic diacritical marks for the pronunciation (the kids don't need to know this--though it can help them realize when different letters sound the same). The letter combination is highlighted in each word. Here's my example:

I've been making my own words lists for a while and it can take a long time while I try to find words with a specific letter combination (like 'ay' or 'ai' for a long a sound, 'y' at the end of a word usually sounding like a long e, or 'ow' sounding like 'ou' or a long o sound). I just found this website though, which has helped immensely. All I need to do is type in the particular letter combination with the right wildcard symbols (- for a single letter location or * for any number of letters) and a whole big list comes up. of course I need to pick out the sound I'm actually looking for and use words that are more common, not obscure or technical.


christinemm said...

If you enjoy spending your time that way then I'm happy for you.

But I really wonder if you want to spend your time making word lists?


Here are two alternatives in case you'd like to be relieved of that duty.

Don Potter's site (in my blog's sidebar) is a great site that has good articles on teaching reading AND free downloads of copyright-expired old texts.

At least you can get lists from there and type into your comptuer program if you need it.

Word Mastery has word lists (on Don Potter's site). How about lifting the words from there? (I bought that book years ago from a library sale for 50 cents and was surprised to see it on Don Potter's site.)

I believe there are other lists on Don's site you can use poke around a bit if interested.

If you want to buy a book and have spelling rules along with word lists, the book "The ABC's and All Their Tricks" by Margaret M. Bishop is a good refernece. I heard of it years ago through a HS magazine (forget which one) or through Jean and DOn Reed's The Home School Source Book. I bought it years ago from Rainbow Resource Center, I think. Have no clue if it is on Amazon or not.

Just two options....

Hope you are well!

Kim said...

As a friend of mine once said, "You learn something old everyday." I'm definitely not tied to making my own lists! Thanks for the website. I think I came across it before but apparently I didn't follow the links well enough. The Word Mastery is a nice book.

Yes, spelling is another subject which I've discovered I'd like to switch curriculums. A mutual friend recommends Spelling Workout. I like that it's a workbook format with the exercises already in place. I was not having fun making work sheets for Spelling Power. Unfortunately, I don't know if it goes by either spelling rules or root words.