Since teaching first grade for 6 years, I have combed the web and found some personal spelling dictionaries for students. However, they weren’t that user friendly. They lacked common high frequency words, page numbers, special word lists, or graphics to help students through ABC order.
To solve this little dilemma of mine, I created a spelling dictionary for my students to use in class. I made sure to incorporate high frequency words, page numbers, special word lists, and graphics to help with ABC order. I even added lines for students to add their own words, an over and over word list, and kid-friendly steps on how to find a word.
Last year, I shared these dictionaries with my grade level and we decided to send them to graphics to have them professionally bound. Over the course of the year, my grade level has remarked on the usefulness of these dictionaries. In my own classroom, my students always take out their spelling dictionary (without even being prompted)!! Students show self-reliance, independence, and are applying dictionary skills.
When you meet with parents during conference time, inform them of your strategies for helping students spell. You can even provide a spelling dictionary to be kept at home.