I want to thank whom ever it was that posted this idea on either their blog or on Pinterest. If this idea came from you please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.
Using a writing word box has revolutionized writing times in my classroom. No longer do I have students continually asking how to spell words!
If a student has troubles spelling a word they can look in the word box. All they have to do is pull the card where they should find the word (all cards are in alphabetical order) and look to see if the word is there. If the word they need is not on the card they bring me the card and a pen/pencil and I write the word for them. Chances are another student will soon need the same word and I won't have to spell it out numerous times or write it on the board only to be erased and not available for future use.
When the student is finished with the card it must go back in the box in alphabetical order. This provides students with opportunities to figure out alphabetical order starting at any point in the alphabet. Hopefully if they have the "R" card they don't have to start at "A" to find the correct spot ; )
The supplies you need are: recipe box, index cards, and labels.
I could not find index cards with the alphabet already on them so I bought some sticky labels that I could write on and created my own alphabet index cards.
Just a warning - - - your students will want to put words in the box immediately as it is a novelty to start with. I had students wanting me to help them spell words such as home and ask. They soon learned that I have them help me spell the words and it is not as easy as just handing me the card and voila there is the word : )
If you haven't started this already, you will want to soon. Trust me when I say it is a time saver and helps students become more independent writers.