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Proven Pedagogy

Spelling Connections started with thorough, extensive research. Before we chose a single spelling word, we examined what the evidence says about how to teach spelling systematically and effectively. The result is a program that presents the right words at the right time with the right strategies, so that every student can achieve spelling success.

Right Word, Right Time

Carefully curated word lists are one of the pedagogical highlights that set Spelling Connections apart. Words are organized according to principles set forth by linguistic, cognitive, and developmental research and are introduced at developmentally appropriate times.

Clearly Identified Patterns

Spelling Connections teaches students common spelling patterns—the letter and sound combinations they need to know as they learn new words. As students learn how to recognize and anticipate syllable patterns, they can use them to “self-explain” how to apply these learned rules to words at their current grade level as well as to increasingly complex words.

Right word right time Right word right time Clearly identified patterns Clearly identified patterns

Flexible Instruction

Each Spelling Connections unit includes approximately 15 minutes of instruction per day supplemented with student-directed work that can be completed throughout the day. Teachers can choose to follow the 3- or 5-Day Plan according to individual preference and classroom constraints.

Download a sampler featuring an annotated lesson to see a week at a glance and a skills overview for a higher-level look at instruction across grades 1–6.

Teacher Resources

Spelling Product Student Editions

Print Teacher Edition

Print Teacher Edition texts feature a smaller footprint than previous editions and include a spiral binding for ease of use.

Spelling Product Student Editions

Digital Teacher Resources

MyZBPortal.com supplies teachers with robust online support.

Teacher Resources

  • Teacher Edition eBook
  • Spelling Support for English Learners (PDF)
  • Teacher Resource Book for Differentiated Instruction (PDF)
  • Game Mats (PDF)
  • Flip Folders (PDF)
  • Word Sort Cards (PDF)

Meaningful Practice

Every week begins with an opportunity for students to embark on a word study journey! Rather than give the whole class the same words to memorize for the week, Spelling Connections offers three levels of word lists (Emerging, On Level, Challenge).

  • Lists are assigned based on pretest performance, administered in print or online.
  • Students work with On Level words in the print Student Edition but get additional Challenge and Emerging support online and through practice exercises.
  • Differentiated word sort activities—available for hands-on and online work—reinforce and extend pattern understanding throughout the week.

Meaningful Practice

Engage Daily

Engage Daily

Spelling Connections: A Word Study Approach is packed with rich opportunities to extend word study work across phonics (grades 1–3), vocabulary (4–6), reading, and writing.

  • Working in different contexts teaches students how to choose the appropriate words to communicate effectively and feel confident when speaking and writing!
  • Students learn words have value, meaning, and relevance.

Engage Daily

Explore Deeply

The variety of print and online activities—and topics for study—speak to different types of learners and interests. Students come to realize that words have value, meaning, and relevance for them as budding communicators. It’s not just spelling for spelling’s sake!

Explore Deeply

  • Hands-on and online word sorts provide additional opportunities to explore words and patterns. Download a guide to the types of word sorts included with Spelling Connections: A Word Study Approach!
  • Students are empowered to identify familiar word patterns today and apply skills to unknown words tomorrow.

The week ends with differentiated posttests followed by additional opportunities for students to show what they’ve learned.

  • Teachers can use the Posttest Routine and posttest sentences in the Teacher’s Edition or have students take the posttest online at MyZBPortal.com.
  • “Extend Word Study” and “Apply to Content Areas” provide more work with on-level words.
  • Students complete their weekly word journey having traversed the pattern to the best of their abilities, progressing from opportunity to application to mastery.
  • Teachers conclude the unit with measurable classroom results and the knowledge that their students are building the foundation for strong spelling—writing and reading—skills.

Together the print and digital materials provide a holistic learning experience to engage students and support teachers!

Student Resources

Spelling Connections Student Editions

Print Student Edition

Full-color print Student Edition worktexts feature integrated answer lines and scannable QR codes that link to Digital Tutor practice.

Spelling Student Portal

Digital Student Resources

MyZBPortal.com provides a student-driven, online learning experience to reinforce concepts introduced in the print Student Edition.

Online spelling quests are motivating to-do lists that encourage students to return to the portal regularly and consist of instructional videos, activities, scored games, and more.

Student Spelling Quests & Resources

  • Pretests
  • Spelling pattern videos
  • Spelling pattern activities
  • Interactive word lists with audio support
  • Word Sorts
  • Activities for differentiation
  • Practice games
  • Writing activities
  • Posttests

Learn More

Ready for a quote, a sample, or to discuss your word study needs? Request a contact from a Zaner-Bloser sales consultant.
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