(Visit the Spalding website for more information at: www.spalding.org)
The Spalding Method is the center of the language arts program at Cheyenne. Spalding provides students with a total language approach because it integrates instruction in listening, speaking, spelling, writing, and reading.
Listening and speaking instruction begin immediately as phonograms are introduced. Children are seeing, hearing, repeating and writing the sounds they are taught. Spelling instruction is given by using the phonograms to sound out each word. Children hear the phonograms and repeat their sounds as they write them to form words. The Spalding Method for learning to spell is both visual and auditory and shows the students how phonograms are represented in each word. Handwriting instruction is also integrated into the multi-sensory process of learning how to spell. Students are taught precisely how to form each letter.
Another component of the Spalding Method is writing instruction. Writing instruction is critical because it reinforces word meanings, applies knowledge of English rules, teaches higher-level thinking and enhances analytical reading. Learning to revise and critically analyze their own writing provides students with skills that increase their understanding. Creativity improves during the writing process because students are free to concentrate on the message rather than handwriting and spelling that are taught at another time. Instruction begins with learning the critical attributes of sentence construction and the application of spelling and language rules. Students are provided with direct instruction and time to practice the elements of narrative and informative paragraphs.
Teacher directed instruction in reading comprehension is also a component of the Spalding Method. Students learn to enjoy quality literature and analyze the characteristics that make a piece of writing exemplary. During reading comprehension instruction, students learn that authors have different purposes for writing and ways of organizing their ideas. The importance of direct instruction in reading comprehension is that it fosters a love of reading and teaches the mental actions needed for organizing the content being read. Fundamental comprehension skills include the student's ability to make connections, predict, summarize and reformat information.
The philosophy of the Spalding Method focuses on the whole child. The visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities in each lesson provide students with the opportunity to learn through many different channels. This multi-sensory approach is designed specifically to enhance retention of information learned.