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Spelling Counts brings a new dimension to spelling instruction by emphasizing the relationship between the way that words look and the way that they sound. This workbook presents numerous classroom activities that teach students to listen for vowel and consonant sounds and to recognize patterns in the letter combinations that correspond to those sounds. Instead of memorizing lists of unrelated words, students learn spelling as a system of sound/symbol correspondence that can be applied in a variety of academic situations to support other skills. One important goal of the text is to equip students to hear a word in a class, lecture, or testing situation and to spell it with sufficient accuracy to later recognize it in a course text or to look up its definition afterward.


The units and lessons address a full range of relationships between letters and sounds such as short vowels, consonant doubling, long vowel patterns including those with silent e, and more complex vowel combinations. Each unit also identifies and practices a number of sight words that may not conform to the relevant patterns being learned but that are words that English speakers are expected to be able to spell with confidence. Units end with a review that reinforces the patterns and the connections between the word spellings and sounds.