Get Familiar With Our Unique Approach

Kindergarteners and 1st graders learn all of the 71 phonogram cards in the first twelve weeks; grades 2nd -4th learn them in the first six weeks. This includes writing the grapheme (the letters and letter combinations on the front of the cards) using handwriting checkpoints. Students are taught to imagine a clock face between the dotted lines.

Clock Graphic

The cards are not taught in alphabetical order, but rather by the handwriting motion which reinforces proper letter formation directionality. The letter "a" is taught first and students are told to begin at 2 on the clock. The letter "c" follows because it too begins at 2 on the clock. Establishing proper directionality helps prevent the tendency to reverse letters, especially the "b" and "d."

Students are also taught to create a Language Notebook from dictation while the teacher helps by demonstrating on the Wall Chart. In the first page of the Language Notebook, students are given the model for the mnemonic marking system, which they will use throughout the program with the spelling words. The mnemonic marking system helps them retain spelling patterns rather than simply memorize letters, which they will likely soon forget. The marking system is fun for students of all ages and becomes a type of secret code that they enjoy employing.

Click on a sample of page one of the Language Notebook and of the spelling word lists from which teachers dictate.


(CLICK HERE for page one of the Language Notebook.)

(CLICK HERE for sample of the Spelling Word Lists with markings.)


Reading and Spelling Training MethodThe program ensures that students will be successful readers by having them initially decode their own written words and sentences. This approach instills confidence in the student because the first reading experiences are individually decodable. We can always be sure a child can read what he or she has written from dictation.

In addition to these aspects, Origins Spelling and Reading incorporates grammar, punctuation, spelling (orthography: ortho Greek for straight; graphy Greek for symbol or spelling) rules, diagramming sentences, and weekly lesson plans that list all of the Texas TEKS standards for grades k-4th. Parents and/or teachers choose their own basal readers for the Literature component, but we recommend classical literature for a solid, culturally rich foundation. Many good reading lists, including those for "reluctant" readers and "gifted" ones, can be found in The Reading Teachers Book of List by Dr. Edward Raymond Fry et al.


(CLICK HERE for a sample of the Weekly Lesson Plans.)


In addition the Teacher's Manual contains nine diagnostic orthography tests. One is to be given each month of the academic year. The tests will accurately track the student's spelling ability in both year and month. For example, a score of 3.5 indicates that the student is spelling the equivalency of a third grader in the fifth month of school.


(CLICK HERE for Test 1 of the Orthography Assessments.)


Origins Spelling and Reading recommends the McCall-Crabbs Standard Test Lesson in Reading for measuring comprehension levels and for use as practice to improve levels. Our manual also provides details and helpful tips on implementing these tests. Fluency tests are also included for each grade level, beginning for first grade.


(CLICK HERE for a sample of the Fluency Test here.)


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