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I have talked many times before about how difficult WRTR can be.  Teacher’s who use it in schools attend training classes.  Spalding has them for parents too.

I find that a parent (me, three times over, for example) starts to drown in the early weeks of Rule Pages.  The scripts for those pages are in Chapter 1 of WRTR, but then it says “Provide more practice.”  Huh?  How?  Rules 1-7 don’t have NEAR ENOUGH examples when I genuinely need to TEACH or REVIEW the rule/concept, right?  And forget Rules 17-29.  They don’t even have a page.  (Rule pages 3-5 are very helpful and have lots of examples.  But most of us drown before we get there.)

So, how then to do the initial teaching, right?

How do we come up with all the example words that don’t criss-cross into later lessons? Even the rule pages criss-cross too much for my kids.  “Circle” in the /er/ lists?  So how do we review a concept (or learn it ourselves) without using the same two words on the Rule page?  And WHAT ABOUT 17-29???

Here you go!  The first set is teaching cards for the basics (vowel, consonant, syllables, 6 syllable division patterns), the first 8 spelling rules, rules 17-19, 25-29.  These are generally the things you need during the first 6 weeks. The second set is the rest of the rules.  So, when you see a word coming up that has something new, or something that needs review, you have a free  “pull and go” mini-lesson.

Review Weeks “Schedule”

 Step 2 Teaching Cards


I cut the Teaching Cards down to 4.5 x 5 and laminated them as you see above.  I would love some feedback, if anyone other than me uses these.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 B. DeLath November 29, 2016

I have two, count them TWO teaching certificates and years of practice in the classroom (including special education). This is the FIRST time WRTR has made sense to me. WRTR worked really well with my oldest because she just intuited all the phonograms and markings although she still struggles with spelling she reads wonderfully.

My second child is really struggling with reading and writing. We used all the “right” books from K-2 for my second child: 100 easy lessons, Journey’s (another SRA reading program like 100 easy lessons), sound beginnings and even supplemented with sight words, everything. What I am noticing is that she is not catching on because the teaching portion in WRTR is so weak. She gets little to no time working with the words to see how they break down into small parts-and how they come back together again. I really hope this targeted review will help her! My first grader is about to pass her up in reading.

She (my second child) does not transfer what she learns on the phonogram cards to the reading page. (Very frustrating!) With your teaching cards sets I can finally implement some much needed teaching and REVIEW… instead of just cruising through the spelling list without the rules and markings making any sense to anyone (including me)! I’ll let you know if we see any improvement- I’m pretty confident that we will!

WRTR is worth it but it should come with your Mini-Lessons and teaching cards as the introduction to the book. If it is this hard for a certified teacher to figure out how do they expect anyone to use this successfully? I am still trying to figure out how the notebook pages in our spelling notebook are supposed to help with daily spelling lists other than to refer to from time to time. Any help on this one?


2 admin December 21, 2016

OMIGOSH, I’ve been in “nerd-for-the-church-website” land! I love that you like my mini-lessons! Did you work it all out? Email me!


3 Liesa Gonzalez November 14, 2016

I just finished printing, cutting, and laminating the teaching cards. Pro tip: Run an empty laminating sheet through the laminator twice and let it cool completely. Then measure out and cut a 5″X4.5″ square and use this as your template to cut out the cards, so that they are all uniform in size. The clear sheets helps you to see where the template is sitting over the words. I now have beautiful cards to use. Thank you!


4 admin December 21, 2016

Hurray! I’m glad they helped!


5 Shannon Crouch July 18, 2016

Let me say first off, I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE! Glad I found you on facebook accidently- that was fantastic- best use of my time on fb ever for sure! Are these the same thing as the phonogram cards? (I am just starting the MODG directions for 3rd grade) Sorry- as you know this is a foreign language to me still! Ha!


6 admin July 18, 2016

Oh, it’s totally a foreign language! So, these are NOT the phonogram cards. Those may be found on Quizlet and you can print them. ( These cards are for teaching the rules. There is a SERIOUS lack of practice and example material in WRTR. And Mari says “Teach Rule ___,” as if we know what that means. These cards (or full page PDF are to give you material to work with when teaching a rule (or learning it yourself, right?) If you don’t have a lamination machine and duplex printer, I would use the pdf one as a teacher’s manual for examples and self-learning.


7 Shannon Crouch July 18, 2016

ooh God Bless you! Thanks for explaining that! lol


8 Lindsey May 5, 2016

Thank you!! This past year was our first with WRTR and I felt so clueless. Our consultant recommended sticking with it for next year, promising she will hold my hand through it. I really appreciate you sharing these with us.


9 admin May 5, 2016

Hurray! It really is worth it. Cathy Duffy’s review “Some parents feel overwhelmed by the amount of work required to both figure out and present WRR, but for those who have persevered, the results have been excellent. Most parents need to attend one of the online workshops offered by Spalding Education International.” I’m trying to help everyone skip that last part.


10 Denim112 May 4, 2016

This looks wonderful! We started out our 3rd grade year with WRTR and had a very frustrating start because I didn’t know the rules. We then started AAS 1 (and now are on 3-9) to try to learn it alongside WRTR. But it was too much, so we dropped WRTR. Now that we are on AAS 3, I finally see where the rules are coming from! I wish I had figured out a way to combine them in the beginning. Thank you for this! It will certainly help with my two younger girls!


11 admin May 4, 2016

Yep, AAS is the only one I know that teaches the teacher and provides enough practice. Otherwise, it’s sink or swim! YIKES.


12 Denim112 May 10, 2016

The bummer part…I was hoping that by the time I finished with level 3 AAS I would be on track for 3rd grade…but seeing this means I haven’t even gotten to where WRTR would have started him! So we are a year behind…


13 admin May 10, 2016

Well, WRTR isn’t sequential, like AAS, so you won’t know for sure until you pre-test the kids. My “Level 3-4″ remark is about what rules have been taught, not how well they already spell. Maybe give one of the spelling scale tests and see where you’re popping out. You might not be behind at all.


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