Do you need clever ways to help your child study spelling words? I have two who struggle with spelling, so I had to reach for ways to help them learn to spell.
Spelling Word Memory Work
It isn’t always about memorizing the spelling word. It is about analyzing and figuring out how to spell the word. Sometimes it helps to feel and touch each letter. It might also be helpful to analyze the word and figure out if there are words within the word or how many consonants or vowels are in the word.
We used a casserole Ziploc box filled with sand to form the letters of the words that were being studied. This helped with that touch and feel that literally took the shapes and letters to the brain to help them remember and formulate the spelling of the words.
Another idea we used to study words was simple yarn or string. They take the string and form the letters building each letter or forming the word almost in a cursive format. Again this action helped to bring the spelling of that word to the brain to help remember it.
We do the pre-written test with immediate correction. Meaning I would say the word, then use it in a sentence, then say the word again, and then let her write it. When she is done writing, immediately spell the word back to her to check it. If she gets it right, let her put a check by it, otherwise spell it to her again to let her write it as you say it. Then concentrate on the words on the pretest she misspelled during the week of study. Let her dissect those words finding words within, double letters, how many vowels, how many consonants etc. practice spelling in different ways, scrabble tiles, flower in a pan, sand in a box, string, magnets on the fridge, sidewalk chalk, and there are more ideas. There are so many creative ideas to study spelling out there. There are apps and websites and so many other resources. The curriculum I used has a whole list of resources and clever ways to study spelling on their site. Find some of those here and within each grade.
Here are some clever tools to use to help with studying spelling words.
Use Scrabble tiles
Chalk on the sidewalk
String, yarn to form the letters
Flour in a simple pan for touch
Playdoh for feeling the letters
Pour colored sand in a sheet pan and let them use a paint brush or their fingers to shape the words
Computer – use the word processor with spell check
I will add more as they come to mind here in the post, so save this post and check back if this is an area of struggle for you.
Spend Time on the More Difficult Words
Spend time on the words they struggle with the most. Add words from other subjects that they struggle with to their word list each week. Then when you do the pretest you can see which words they know how to spell and simply concentrate on the ones they do not know how to spell. At the same time, be sure of the ones they do know, that they also learn the meanings in the vocabulary portion of the learning process. ** Add something here about the application of spelling within correct context of a sentence- shows comprehension and understanding of the spelling rules and generalizations. Writing words five or ten times a piece every day is just plain busy work. It doesn’t do any good in the learning process if they already know how to spell the words. A child needs unique ways to study the words to fit his learning style in order to retain.
My friend created a word book that is really helpful to keep track of words to study.
Don’t sweat those large or uncommon words. We are in a society that has spell check and I am thankful. I won’t tell you just how many times I used spell check in writing this post. ~smile Your children will be fine if they are not the best spellers. Don’t be too hard on yourself or on them. I taught four. My worst speller… well, he now has is commercial pilot’s license! He still uses spell check, but don’t we all?
I am thankful that I had a great curriculum guiding me through the process of spelling. We need to learn to teach to analyze, process and think about the word not just to memorize a list of words. Spelling is a big part of reading and writing. The more we read the better spellers we become.
Please share in the comments your clever ideas on how to study spelling words.