But when I have an especially chatty group of children, my preference for providing context means the spelling test can go off the rails pretty quickly.
Mrs. P.: The next word is 'toast.' "I ate toast with butter for breakfast." 'Toast.'
Boy: Did you really, Mrs. P., or are you just making that up?
Girl: I had toast, too!
Second Girl: Eww. I hate toast. It's crumby.
Second Boy: I had pancakes.
Boy: Wait, Mrs. P. - what was the word again?
Mrs. P.: The next word is 'each.' "Each one of you has a special talent." 'Each.'
Girl: My special talent is drawing.
Boy: Mine is soccer.
Second Boy: Mine is talking!
Second Girl (mournfully): I don't think I have a special talent.
Mrs. P.: The next word is 'next.' "Next we will have recess, and then lunch." 'Next.'
Boy: Did you notice that you said 'next' twice, Mrs. P.? The next word is next? That's pretty awesome.
Girl: I'm hungry. Can we have lunch before recess today?
Second Boy (pouting): I wish we could have lunch now. You're making me hungry with all these spelling words about food. Like 'toast.'
Never a dull moment in first and second grade classrooms.