SP - Does anyone use extras? Activity Cards, Student Record Book?

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

SP - Does anyone use extras? Activity Cards, Student Record

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:16 pm

Does anyone use the SP Student Record Book?
Mercy wrote:So, do I need this? Does anyone out there use theirs?
Nah, you don't need them. They are "nice" in that they have a neat little format and check boxes. So, if you have a $10 burning a major hole in your pocket pick one up...

I've got the 3rd edition of SP and in the back it's got the forms in the student notebooks, so you could make a bunch of copies and then put them in a binder. I'm assuming that the 4th edition with its CD probably has an electronic format that you can print out.

However, ink still costs money.

What we do (and it's worked just fine!) is to pick up cheap-o spiral notebooks when they are a dime each (August back to school sales) and use those. The kids like picking their colors.

It works for us.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:54 pm

Mercy wrote:You're always so creative though...will I have to get creative? I can always ask you exactly how you've done it if it's not obvious right away, Right? ;-)

SP is quite an expense and I'd be really happy if I didn't have to add any more to it, if you know what I mean.

Have a great day!
No, I'm not creative. Maybe I'm frugal and my friends probably say (behind my back) that I am downright cheap.

There's not too much creative you have to do to make spiral notebooks work for SP. Go to the MFW TM and copy off (or handwrite) the steps to studying a spelling word into the front cover of that cheap spiral notebook and teach the steps to your dc. Then, you are all set.

Yes, SP is expensive. But, you'll use it with all your kids for all the grades that they study spelling (except possibly second!) and then you'll sell it to someone. Perhaps you lose $30 or $40 in the deal, but you still are getting off cheaper than using Spelling Workout or other consumable program.

Have fun!
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).


SP - Compare Activity Cards to activities in the book

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:14 pm

manacah wrote:Hi, I was wondering if the activity cards for Spelling Power are the same as the activities listed in the back of the Spelling Power book (I have the 3rd edition)? Can anyone tell me?
Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:56 am

Description overkill:
- The box contains 365 cards.
- These cards are sorted into 5 categories: Drills, Skills, Writing Prompts, Dictionary, Homophones.
- In each of those categories, you have 4 age/grade levels of activities with which to work. Those age levels are color coded. So all the pink cards are a certain age group, etc.

But wait, you’re thinking: isn’t that already included in the SP book? Well, not exactly. The box has more ideas than the book. Some things are repeated between both box and book. (Edited to add: The CD has the cards in the book, not the cards in the box. The book and, therefore, the teacher resource cd rom have 100 cards rather than the 365 in the box.)

Ready for information overload??

The highest number of duplicates between the book and the box occur in the section called "Drill" that is geared for Primary and Elementary. There are only a handful of these cards in the box that are not already in the SP book.

After that, in the drill section you still have 2 other levels -- intermediate and advanced. There are very few ideas in the book, and lots in the box, for those ages in Drill.

Then after that, the box set has a lot more than the book in all levels of "Skill", "Writing Prompts", "dictionary" and "homonym".
  • In the book under "skill" there are about 7 ideas. In the box there are about 80 ideas.
    In the book under "writing prompts" there are 13 or so. In the box 80 or so.
    In the book under "dictionary" there are 10 or so and about 70 in the box.
    In the book under 'homonym" 7, in box 40 or so.
I think the proofreading ideas are included in the box

I'm not sure about the teacher directed activities and other things that in are in the book.

I like the Dictionary and Homophone sections because my kid is weak in those areas and this is a quick and ready way to work with it. I’m not a big fan of the writing prompts with spelling word list --- we write sentences with the words during the 10 step study section, so for *my* kid, it was too much of a good thing.

An advantage: they can be used with any spelling program, not just spelling power. But, you have to use them to make it worth it. And – it can be done a little independently with some children.

Disadvantage to the Activity Cards: you have to use them to make it worth anything. Will YOU use them? I dunno.

Posted Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:51 am by cbollin
This is just my opinion. I have not found the Extra Boxed Set of activity cards as helpful as I had hoped. So they sit on the shelf to look at from time to time. I was ok with using them for a little while. But I have a hard time saying that they *need* to be bought. I thought, hmmm.. we'll use these on Fridays to cover dictionary skills or something. oh well. best plans.

There are about 100 activities in the SP book itself. The cards have about 200 other ideas to try so there are about 365 ish cards in the box.

I ended up picking out 2-3 activities from the SP book and rotate use of them with my kids. So, doing the activities is helpful. But you don't need the boxed set.

In the 4th edition of SP (current one being sold), you get a teacher resource CD Rom so you can print out the 100 or so activities and you can just use those.

however, if you find that after trying what is in the book and you can't pull it together, then I can see how having the box of activities could help. it is completely optional. I would try it without it and then add later if needed. There might be some teachers and student who find it easier to use the box and it makes it worth the price.


Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Wondering if I need to get the record book

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:41 am

byhisgrace wrote:I was going to purchase Spelling Power for the fall and was wondering if I needed to get the record book for the appropriate grade? Any suggestions would be helpful.
By His Grace,
Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:36 pm
No. A spiral notebook will do just fine...


Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:42 am

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:39 pm

I purchased them my first year and was frustrated with them. A spiral notebook worked much better for us.

Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:00 am

Unread post by GoodCat » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:43 am

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:26 pm

I'm the opposite. We used an spiral notebook the first year and it didn't work real great with my kids. So I bought the record book and my kids loved it. It helped them to see what they needed to do and gave them the area to do it in. You know you kids and what would work best for them.
We like them and will continue to use them.


Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:46 am

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:51 am

We have been using the printed sheets from the cd-rom. After the ones I printed run out I am not going to print anymore of them. It is just too much of a waste of ink and paper for me.

Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Alternative method - 2-page spread

Unread post by kellybell » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:48 am

Jenn in NC wrote:I was planning to just go the spiral route but I have wondered if there is a reason why we have to use a new page each day? Thinking out loud... maybe b/c of writing down the group rule. Hmmm.
Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:23 am
We use a notebook "spread" (a left page and right page) for each lesson. Yes, we could probably put two or three lessons on a spread, but I like the uncluttered look of it. The notebooks are so cheap, that I would rather waste space than clutter then pages.

Having a bunch of right-handed kids (and it's easier to write on the right hand page), each dc writes his/her words down the right hand page of the spread, in a vertical column. Missed words are off to the right of that column.

Any missed words are practiced (sentence, etc.) on the left page of the spread. If no words are missed, that page remains blank.


Spiral notebook method in teacher manuals

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:51 am

Jenn in NC wrote:I am just not getting the folded page thing. I read over it again last week, and I am still not quite understanding. I will blame it on my pregnancy. :) Can you enlighten me?
Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:49 am
My understanding: Fold the page in half and then UNFOLD it. That is your "center line." The kids write their words on the left side of the fold. Then, if they misspell, they write it correctly on the right side of the fold.

The "center line" was what I was getting when I was reading through ECC. Either that, or folding it to cover up yesterday's practice. But, using Kelly's method (still folding, mind you for that center line), you don't have to worry about covering up, just go to the next 2 page spread.


Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Alternative method - 2-page spread

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:54 am

cbollin wrote:I tweaked Marie's suggestion because I wanted to. We would have our notebook open so that there is a left page and a right page. Instead of doing quick start step 6 on the backside of the sheet we were working on, we did Step 5 on the Right Page (which we made with two columns by folding the paper and unfolding), but did Step 6 on the Left Page. Maybe I'm doing it wrong too:)
Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:41 pm
Ok. Let me see if I have this now. I haven't been doing this quite long enough to be fluent in quick-start-ese, so I am going to call the steps by the real names and you can correct me if I am wrong.

Open notebook, fold the right-hand page in half, unfold, now I have a handy center line. Take the daily test on the left column of the right page. Write the missed words on the right column of the right page. Now go to the left page. Do the study steps with the words I missed, which are conveniently right in front of me on the right page, no flipping back and forth. Wonderful!

I think that is what Kelly was saying too.

I think my youngest is showing a very strong preference for her left hand so I will remember to switch her around when it is her turn. Or maybe I won't remember; that is an awfully long time away. Will you still be around then so I can ask you to remind me? :)

Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:51 pm

Unread post by sewardmom » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:58 am

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:42 pm

This was our first year of Spelling Power. We used single subject spiral notebooks. We ran out of sheets for the year, so for next year I will be purchasing multiple subject notebooks for SP.

Something you might want to consider when you start SP.

Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Are the cards helpful?

Unread post by mom2boys » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:39 am

pjssully wrote:Just wondering if it has been helpful to have these cards? Any advice?
We do not use the cards. We do not do any of the spelling games or activities even the ones listed in the book.

I started using SP with my boys last year and it is the only spelling program that all three of us have clicked with and we have really gotten into a good groove with.

They study the 3 words they missed and write a sentence using each word - usually trying to fit all three words into one sentence which make for some interesting sentences! They show me their sentences and I orally quiz the spelling of the 3 words and we are done.

They DO NOT want to play games with spelling words - they want to do spelling and move on. But even this modified method has improved both their spelling skills and we can all move on and do more interesting boy things like History, or Knex, or fort building, or computer stuff. :-)
loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004

Laura D.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:44 pm

Re: Are the cards helpful?

Unread post by Laura D. » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:58 am

I have used the Spelling Power cards with my second grader who is using the Rod and Staff SBSAS workbook, and she likes the activities we have done so far.

I used Spelling Power with my two oldest children last year and we NEVER used the cards because they rarely miss any words. I'm sure I have them placed in the correct level but they hardly ever miss anything (I'm confused about that).

I like the cards, but unless you have extra cash, they are not necessary. I'm not sure I would buy them again.


Replacement CD?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:11 am

Laura D. wrote:On a different note, does anyone know if you buy a replacement teacher resource CD? We've misplaced ours!
Yes I think you can. If I'm reading their website correctly it's about $5 plus whatever shipping. MFW doesn't sell the replacement, but the company that publishes SP does.
or their phone number should be in the front of the SP book.

I might have the wrong item that I was looking at, so I'd call them at castlemoyle to make sure.


Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Re: Are the cards helpful?

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:29 pm

I have a set and have never really used them. But they do seem like fun, useful (painless!) activities -- and they might someday (when I have more time) be a good way to fill in some gaps. At any rate, we are using SP without them, and the kids are learning (and liking spelling! Maybe they're weird?).
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850

Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:51 pm

Re: Are the cards helpful?

Unread post by sewardmom » Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:01 pm

I started using the SP activity cards last year. If I remember correctly, I printed just the ones off that I thought were usuable in our timeframe, interest level etc. My children might miss 1 - 2 words here and there so they don't do the activities everyday. I keep the same card out for one or two weeks at a time.

I am glad we use them and my daughters seem to like the variation of something different to do for the last five minutes.

The cards work for us,
Currently US1and US2 High School
Completed ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, AHL, WHL, US1
Nebraksa MFW fan since 2006

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing....

Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Spelling Power Record Books

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:40 pm

canidothis wrote:We are using Spelling Power this year. I do have the 4th edition which includes the Teacher Resource CD-ROM. This CD has the printable daily tests sheets and survey sheets. My question is, "WHat is the best way to utilize these sheets or should I just purchase the books?" I cannot see myself re-ordering the books.
We just used spiral notebooks. Here's a hint... for the daily test, use the back side of the page, that way you can open the spiral notebook flat, and the child can copy the missed words onto the front of the next page. It's easier than flipping back and forth...

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog


Re: Spelling Power Record Books

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:25 am

Dear Lovenda,

If you are using one of our core programs the Teacher's Manual will give instructions on how to set the Spelling Power program up and the idea of the spiral notebook beginning in week 3.



Re: Spelling Power Record Books

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:31 am

We use the spiral notebook. And I remember printing one sample from the SP disks that showed the 10 study steps. We kept that in the notebook, and may have even put it in a page protector one year. That way it was there as a reference for our regular paper.


Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Spelling Power Record Books

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:52 pm

RB wrote:Trish, I must be really dense, but I cannot figure this out. I thought I followed the directions in the manual but we're still flipping. My girls write the words along the left of the paper, and rewrite misspelled words on the other side of the fold. They then flip to the back of the same page and write the missed words on the left again, tuck them under while rewriting, and then pull the folded page out to check. The next day we start with a fresh page.

Sounds crazy but I need a youtube video or something. The curse of being a highly visual learner...
Well, my dd has a hard time retaining a whole word to copy it correctly, so it was important for us not to have to flip back and forth to write words - she has to look letter by letter to copy a word...

So, fold the paper in half and unfold. On the back (holes and spiral will be on the right), write the first attempt on the left of the fold, the corrected words on the right of the fold. Now, keeping that page up, open the spiral notebook flat. You can now see the corrected words on the left page, and copy them to the page on the right (which will be the front of the next page). Then you can do your 10 steps on that page on the right. It also helps to be able to see what the mistake was so you can mark it and such when you do your 10 steps.
RB wrote:That makes perfect sense now, thanks!!!!
Glad to help!

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Spelling Power

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:17 pm

momsflowergarden wrote:Those of you that have or are using Spelling Power, have you invested in the letter tiles? Are they available only from Castlemoyle? I may even wait and start them both next fall and finish the R&S that I have them in now but I would like to have it all together ahead of time.
If it were me, I'd just print them off the CD/DVD onto cardstock, color them (consonants blue, vowels red), laminate them and then cut them out. But, I have a laminating machine...
momsflowergarden wrote:Can you tell me which CD and what title they would be under?
I'm not sure where mine is. Seems like one of the CDs, you clicked on an "Index.html" or "Index.htm" file, and then that helped you navigate to the different files. There were masters for doing testing, and then other files. You want the "Teacher Resource CD".

I have SP 3rd Edition (in a storage bin somewhere), so there were copies of the masters in the back of the manual that you could photocopy, too.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by jasntas » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:39 pm

Printing them on paper and coloring them is a great alternative. I would try that first. Maybe you could print them out, laminate them and maybe even put magnets on them. You could use a cookie sheet or a magnetic white board.

But sometimes it's easier to pick up a tile than a paper letter. That always frustrated my ds. I don't know how much the tiles are from the source you mentioned but you can get blank tiles from Right Start Math for about $10. Then you could use a sharpie and write your letters on the tiles. Tiles are part of a program we use for my ds so I haven't actually had to do this myself but saw this suggestion on another board so I thought I'd mention it as an alternative.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.


Spelling Power Activity task cards

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:34 pm

kanderson wrote:We have used MFW since preschool with NO plans to switch! I trust and have loved everyone of MFW suggestions thus far. I am wondering about the Spelling Power activity task cards. There isn't a sample here on the website that I'm aware of. However, I am trying to get a feel for what these cards actually are. I would assume, judging by the cost they must really go well with the program. Can someone fill me in on some specifics- i.e. uses, etc.
In Spelling Power, the daily lesson consists of 3 parts. One of those parts is an activity to help study the words in a fun way that appeals to the learning style of your child (auditory, visual, and the other ways... multisensory, etc.) The Spelling Power manual includes about 100 or so ideas to help with that already. (I hope someone will verify that those are in the SP book vs the extras cd? I can't seem to find my 4th ed. SP book. gulp.)

The Activity Task Cards that are sold separately are many of those 100 ideas plus about another 265 ideas.

The official description of them from the publisher of SP is
Spelling Power™ Activity Task Cards are the new, fun way to master spelling words and strengthen language arts skills. The Activity Task Cards give you hundreds of ways to make spelling easy-to-teach and easy-to-learn.

Just like Spelling Power, the Activity Task Cards box covers interest and ability levels ranging from eight years old to adult level.

You will find this box easy to use, because every card is color-coded by ability-interest level. Each instructional activity requires just five to ten minutes for students to complete on their own. The Spelling Power Activity Task Cards deliver FUNdamental learning with little or no teacher involvement.

There are five types of activities included in the Activity Task Cards:
Drill Activities,
Skill Builders,
Writing Prompters,
Dictionary Skill Builders, and
Homonyms & More

Use these cards during Spelling Power's five minute "activity time."
Got to love that fun description. LOL.

To see some samples, this link might work on the publisher's website

Basically, if you plan to use SP, start with just the book. If you see the need, get the task cards later. They are optional and you can get them later.


Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:29 pm

spelling power

Unread post by tabby » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:38 pm

kacairo1 wrote:I'm about to start Spelling Power for the first year. What method works best for you:
1. using the student booklet provided by the company
2. printing off the pages from CD
3. using just a plain notebook
We have used a spiral-bound notebook for the past three years and have been pleased.

[Editor's Note: MFW manuals will give instructions to help you with the plain notebook method.]
Tabatha :)
2011-2012: RTR - dd 10, ds 7
Enjoying our 6th year with MFW

Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: spelling power

Unread post by HeyChelle » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:44 pm

We use the booklet provides by the company.
Often we do tests orally, so the one book will last us through three years.
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests