ICANSPELL
INFORMATION

Spelling Lessons Under Your Control Lead to Spelling Mastery

  • Short conversational-style lessons written directly to the student allow him or her to work alone if s/he is capable. If not, the teacher can easily read and/or interpret lessons to the student. Text size is different for each Level.

  • One-page instruction sheets written to the student present the ICANSPELL and ICANSPELL AGAIN 5-step spelling study cycles in bullet form. These may also function as moveable bookmarks.

  • Control sheets enable you to keep tabs on the student's progress through lessons.

  • Spelling lists and activities are presented on the same page as lessons so that everything can be seen at a glance. Students immediately see words that match the spelling rules taught.

  • Lesson activities specifically reinforce the spelling concepts taught, eliminating the need to find or make up suitable ones. Activities are often artistic, inspired by something referred to in the lesson. For example, short a words may be printed on the student's own drawing of a cat. Other lessons require making collages, writing sentences, highlighting specified portions of words, using a dictionary, etc.

  • Spelling tests are set up so that the student can easily check his/her own spelling and carry misspelled words forward for re-study.

  • Words misspelled on tests are added to follow-up worksheets and dictation pads so they may be studied again (and again, if necessary) until mastery is accomplished. No more losing sight of problem words! A reference system makes it easy to locate the original lesson in order to review spelling concepts.

  • Additional words the student has trouble with from other study materials or that would serve as additional practice for a concept may be added to the follow-up worksheets and dictation pads.

  • British spellings of words like honour/honor are included. You may require the student to learn either or both versions of such words.

  • Two lessons in ICANSPELL Level 4 are devoted to Canadian provinces and territories and their capital cities.

  • Pages in our printed products are 3-hole punched, ready to put into a binder. This enables you to re-arrange lessons if you wish to coordinate them with phonics or other reading programs. (Note: If you purchase a digital version, included Read Me pages will guide you through the printing process.)

  • An alphabetical index and a word index are included with each Level, and an alphabetical index in which all levels are mixed together is included with the Combo package. In a word index, the words are alphabetized for each lesson separately--which is not necessarily the same order as presented in the spelling lists and dictation pads.

  • A free lesson placement tool is available online to assist you in determining where your student should begin. If your assessment determines that the student is almost but not quite ready for a particular Level, you may purchase individual dictation pads together with their lessons in order to bring him or her up to speed. (Note: These are not listed in the website store. See Available Spelling Tools, next.)

See the ICANSPELL Components section below for more information about components of an ICANSPELL package and some sample pages.

Available Spelling Tools

Spelling lessons under your control lead to spelling mastery. We offer three spelling tools that will help you maintain control of your student's spelling words so that s/he will eventually be able to say "I-CAN-SPELL" those words!

You will find more details in the Products section further down.

  1. ICANSPELL Generic is available for those who prefer to provide their own spelling lists and perhaps create their own lesson plans. The chief difference between ICANSPELL Generic and the ICANSPELL Levels is that you provide the word lists and activity ideas (if any), which makes it very handy to use with vocabulary lists found in unit studies such as my Readings in Canadian History product.

  2. Four ICANSPELL Levels are currently available. ICANSPELL Levels 1 through 4 correspond to grades 1 through 4, but I opted for the word "Level" rather than "Grade" so that students of any age could use them without embarrassment. (Yes, these lessons might be fun for remedial students as well as adults learning English as a second language.) Students may enter the ICANSPELL Level system wherever appropriate and progress through the Levels and lessons at their own pace.

  3. Print off the free This is a PDF file.Lesson Placement Dictation Pad and This is a PDF file.Lesson Placement Instructions if you need help determining which Level and lessons your student needs. After making your diagnosis, you may even purchase individual Dictation Pads together with their corresponding lessons! Just enclose the simple Dictation Pad Order form and payment along with your regular order for an ICANSPELL Level.

The Versions section at the bottom of this page lists the different formats in which ICANSPELL Generic and each ICANSPELL Level is available.

If you need more information about the ICANSPELL products than can be found on this website, please send me a request by e-mail or contact form.

Correct Spelling of Words

Why ICANSPELL?

Good spellers are usually those students who read a lot of excellent literature. They continually see the right way to spell words used in the right context and in the format of proper grammar. When it comes time for them to use those words in their own writing, it seems to come "naturally." For those students, spelling tests are a joy if they don't have to do a lot of unnecessary work beforehand. For other students--those who struggle continually with words--"spelling" is a word that conjures up ugly feelings. Both kinds of students are exposed mostly to the American spelling and rarely, these days, to Canadian (actually British) spelling of words such as honor/honour.

I never struggled with spelling as a child; in fact, I still have the trophy I won in my sixth grade district-wide spelling bee! I didn't spell words correctly because I knew the rules; I spelled them correctly because I was a bookworm--and back then, our literature was of high quality. So I was fascinated when I discovered a book called "The ABC's and All Their Tricks" by Margaret M. Bishop (published by Mott Media) that explains why our words are designed as they are. My own children weren't spelling very well, and I wanted them to be able to spell specific words the Canadian way, so I decided to write spelling lessons for them based on what I learned from this book--modelling them somewhat after Becky Avery's (Weaver Curriculum) "Success in Spelling" system. ICANSPELL is the result.

Building Spelling Skills Without Organized Spelling Lessons

Why ICANSPELL Generic?

Unfortunately, as a busy homeschooler I didn't have time to finish the spelling lesson project I had begun and I couldn't keep up with my kids as they progressed through their grades. Yet I still needed something to help them with spelling, so I prepared a form of ICANSPELL that I could use with whatever spelling lists happened to be provided in their curriculum material. With ICANSPELL Generic I could keep tabs on their spelling words and have the kids cycle through them again (and again, if necessary) until they were conquered. ICANSPELL Generic might be a good fit if you need to handle your childrens' existing spelling lists in a different way than what is provided in your curriculum, or if you are provided vocabulary lists in a unit study, or if you simply don't know what else to do about words your children keep spelling wrong. Spelling lessons under your control lead to spelling mastery!

ICANSPELL Explained in Detail

  • ICANSPELL System Components

    1. Front and back covers to put into your own binder
    2. This is a PDF file.Introductions
      • Explanations of how the ICANSPELL Generic and ICANSPELL Levels work.
    3. Instructions
      • Instructions written directly to the student detailing a 5-step process for studying the ICANSPELL Level or your This is a PDF file.ICANSPELL Generic spelling words.
    4. Again Instructions
      • ICANSPELL AGAIN is the part of the spelling study cycle where the student restudies words they did not learn the first (or subsequent) time it was taught in a lesson. You maintain control of difficult words by keeping them in the system until the student finally learns them!
      • Instructions written directly to the student explain what to do with unconquered words. Details a slightly different 5-step process for studying the words again.
      • ICANSPELL AGAIN is part of the ICANSPELL Levels and ICANSPELL Generic systems.
    5. Control Sheets
      • Provide a place to tick off each step of each lesson as it is completed, so you maintain control. (This is the same for ICANSPELL Levels and ICANSPELL Generic.)
    6. Lesson Plans/Worksheets
      • The back of the worksheet will look different, depending on which product you purchase.
        • ICANSPELL Generic: The ICANSPELL Generic and ICANSPELL AGAIN Generic worksheet provides a place for the student to practice writing each word three times and write a sentence for each.
        • ICANSPELL Levels: There is nothing on the back of the lessons I have prepared. You may use it for suitable lesson activities, if you wish.
      • The front of the worksheet will look different, depending on which product you purchase.
        • ICANSPELL Generic: The ICANSPELL Generic worksheet and the ICANSPELL AGAIN Generic worksheet are set up like the written lessons, but with the addition of a graphic that shows the study cycle instead of a lesson explaining spelling rules.
        • ICANSPELL Levels: The lessons look like this This is a PDF file.(ICANSPELL Lesson 4-13) except for the size of text. You can see additional samples in the Products section below.
      • ICANSPELL Levels Lesson Features
        • Lessons are written to the student in a conversational manner.
        • Lessons explain why specific words are included on each list.
        • Lessons explain why the groups of words are spelled and pronounced as they are, and why others are not.
        • Lessons offer tips and tricks for memorizing words that don't seem to comply with normal rules.
        • Lessons include activities designed to emphasize spelling rules without making them sound like rules. This will generally require the use of extra paper and a pen/pencil or using one's imagination.
    7. Dictation Pads
      • The Dictation Pads will be different, depending on which product you purchase.
        • ICANSPELL Generic: Each Dictation Pad in ICANSPELL Generic allows you to print eight lists of 14 spelling words (corresponding to eight spelling worksheets) so that you can easily dictate those words for tests. You have the option of printing words on the Dictation Pads and worksheets in whatever order you think is appropriate (e.g. words related by theme, words related by spelling rules, words as they occur in reading material, and so on).
        • ICANSPELL Levels: Each Dictation Pad in the ICANSPELL Levels contains eight lists of 14 words, which corresponds to eight spelling lessons. This is a PDF file.This is a sample Dictation Pad from Level 3. As you can see, the lessons are numbered (e.g. 3/01 = Level 3, Lesson 1) and the words are numbered (1 through 14). So, for example, the reference for the word "elementary" is 3/01/4.
    8. Again Dictation Pads
      • Each ICANSPELL AGAIN Dictation Pad in ICANSPELL Generic and the ICANSPELL Levels provides places for you to print unconquered spelling words from lessons so that you can easily dictate those words for tests.
      • You can choose to add words to these Dictation Pads in the same order as they are discovered during testing, or to sort them by concept, etc. Add the reference information (e.g. 3/01/4) so you will be able to easily find and review the original lessons if necessary.
      • If you are using an ICANSPELL Level and wish to add words from the student's other study materials, you may do so on the ICANSPELL AGAIN Dictation Pads and ICANSPELL AGAIN worksheets.
    9. Indexes
      • There are two types of indexes included with the ICANSPELL Levels.
        • The alphabetical index for a Level allows you to determine in which lesson a particular word can be found, if it's included. The Combo package includes a mixed alphabetical index for all four Levels. This is a PDF file.This is the first page of the alphabetical index for the Combo package.
        • The word index for a Level lists all of the words lesson by lesson. The words happen to be in alphabetical order within each lesson's section, which is not always the order they are listed in lessons and on dictation pads. You will find this simple list useful in determining the correct lesson placement for a student. This is a PDF file.This is the first page of the word index for Level 3.
  • ICANSPELL Versions

    1. ICANSPELL Generic
      • E-mailed PDF version (reproducible)
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately .5 MB folder or .4 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • Document Templates E-mailed (reproducible)
        • Read Me First document explains how to use the document templates.
        • All of the lesson plans have been set up as Microsoft Word 2003 document templates in the e-mailed version.
        • This allows users to make various adaptations (such as adding spelling words) to lessons before printing them off.
        • If necessary, you can convert the masters you make to PDF files to make them compatible with your printer. The driver I use is This link goes off-site.pdf995.
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately .6 MB folder or .2 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
      • CD of Document Templates (reproducible)
        • Read Me First document explains how to use the document templates.
        • All of the lesson plans have been set up as Microsoft Word 2003 document templates in the CD version.
        • This allows users to make various adaptations (such as adding spelling words) to lessons before printing them off.
        • If necessary, you can convert the masters you make to PDF files to make them compatible with your printer. The driver I use is This link goes off-site.pdf995.
      • Reproducible Paper Packet (reproducible)
        • Paper masters of all pages.
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
      • Paper
        • All pages printed on paper (back to back where appropriate).
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
    2. ICANSPELL Level 1
      • E-mailed PDF version
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately 1.5 MB folder or 1.4 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • Paper version
        • All pages printed on paper.
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
    3. ICANSPELL Level 2
      • E-mailed PDF version
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately 1.9 MB folder or 1.7 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • Paper version
        • All pages printed on paper.
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
    4. ICANSPELL Level 3
      • E-mailed PDF version
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately 2.3 MB folder or 2.1 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • Paper version
        • All pages printed on paper.
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
    5. ICANSPELL Level 4
      • E-mailed PDF version
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately 2.9 MB folder or 2.8 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • Paper version
        • All pages printed on paper.
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
    6. ICANSPELL Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and Generic Reproducible Combo
      • E-mailed PDF version
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--sent to you by e-mail--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
        • The document files are organized in an easy-to-understand format, with each component (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, ICANSPELL Generic, and the alphabetical index) having its own folder.
        • There is no charge for e-mail delivery, but you will need to send me an e-mail address that will accommodate an approximately 8.5 MB folder or 7.9 MB compressed folder.
        • I will e-mail the product to you at the earliest opportunity after I have received payment.
        • We cannot make a refund for any e-mailed PDF product, but we will be happy to re-send files damaged or lost during transfer over the internet (to the same e-mail address only).
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
      • PDF version on CD
        • Read Me First document explains how to print a complete package.
        • Document files--on CD--of all pages, printable from computers with This link goes off-site.Adobe Acrobat
        • You can print as many copies as you need for your own family's use.
        • The document files are organized in an easy-to-understand format, with each component (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, ICANSPELL Generic, and the alphabetical index) having its own folder.
      • Paper version
        • Each component (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, ICANSPELL Generic, and the alphabetical index) is sealed in its own wrapper.
        • All pages printed on paper (back to back where appropriate).
        • Covers, Introduction and Instruction sheets printed on cardstock.
        • Everything is 3-hole-punched and ready for you to put into your own binder.
 

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