The Whiteboard Spelling Procedure


Whiteboard Spelling is a linguistically structured, direct, multisensory procedure for mastering English spelling patterns. When used as part of Lexercise Structured Literacy Curriculum, Whiteboard Spelling provides systematic and sequential approach that supports phonemic awareness and working memory, two processes that are commonly weak in struggling readers and writers.



Whiteboard Spelling focuses the student's attention on sound-letter elements and syllable patterns that are otherwise elusive to the dyslexic brain and strengthens self-monitoring and problem-solving in the spelling process. Whiteboard Spelling results in faster, more permanent gains as compared with the more traditional, less linguistically focused methods.




  1. dry erase pens, an eraser and a small whiteboard;
  2. 5 phonetically regular words at the student's current Lexercise level (found in the lesson materials, the guardian dashboard and/or in the guardian assisted activity called Whiteboard Spelling)

PROCEDURE-   One Syllable Words

  1. Say one of the words aloud and ask the student to repeat it.  
  2. Ask the student to count the sounds beginning with the thumb on his/her right hand, as in the Isolator Procedure.  If the student has counted the sounds incorrectly help him/her understand the problem and correct it.
  3. Once the student has counted the correct number of sounds ask him/her to make one horizontal line (a "sound line") on the whiteboard for each speech sound in the word.  Most single syllable words have five or fewer sounds. In the rare case that a syllable has six phonemes an additional marker (e.g., a pencil or sticky note) may be needed. 
  4. Ask the student to produce the first phoneme in the word and write the grapheme for that phoneme on the line.
  5. Continue from left to right for all the sounds in the word.



PROCEDURE-  Multi-Syllable Words

When the client has mastered single syllable words your clinician will teach how to use Whiteboard Spelling for two (and then three) syllable words. The first step is teaching the concept of a syllable. (A syllable is a unit of speech that has one, and only one vowel sound. The vowel sound makes the syllable "beat.")

  1. Say one of the words aloud and ask the student to repeat it. 
  2. Ask the student to count the syllables in the word. If the student has counted the syllables incorrectly help him/her understand the problem and correct it.
  3. Ask the student to make a (long) horizontal syllable line for each syllable in the word.
  4. Ask the student to count the speech sounds in the first syllable. (See the single syllable procedure, above) and put that number of (short) speech sound lines on top of the first syllable line.
  5. Fill in the graphemes in the first syllable, as in the single syllable procedure, above.
  6. Continue in the same way from the left to right for each syllable.

The example below shows Whiteboard Spelling with the three syllable word, Lexercise (decodable at Level 14 after the silent-e syllable type is taught.).



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