To strengthen 8th grade vocabulary and spelling skills, here's a simple idea that you can use all year long! It works well in the classroom and at home.
1) Begin with a good word list of words that students should know but perhaps do not. If you don't already have a list, check out this list of 8th grade spelling words. If these words are too difficult or too easy, choose one of the other sets of words from our word list page or difficult spelling words page.
2) At the beginning of the week, write 3 words in the top corner of the chalkboard. You'll need to leave them there all week. At home you can post them on the fridge or some other spot where they can be seen easily.
3) Briefly discuss the meaning of the words and how to use them correctly. Also and point out any tricky letter combinations that might make the words difficult to spell.
4) Tell the students (or your son or daughter) that they should try to use these words frequently throughout the week in classroom discussions and written assignments.
5) Announce a simple system for keeping track of the number of times each student uses the word correctly, including correct spelling. For instance, someone could be in charge of adding tally marks to a wall chart by each person's name. Or each student could be trusted to keep his own tally.
6) At the end of the week or month give a small reward to students based on the number of tally marks he/she has earned. For example, students with 10 or more tally marks could have a shorter homework assignment over the weekend. They could be given 5 extra credit points on a tough assignment, or they could be allowed 10 extra minutes of library time.