and teachers often ask how to teach
spelling to their children. Is there one best approach? Is there one
spelling program recommended above all others? And even, "Can't you
just give me
the magic formula to turn my struggling speller into a Super Speller?"
As you might expect, there is not a single approach on how to teach spelling that is best for all students, all parents and all teachers. However, there are some general guidelines I've found over the years that can be applied to almost every situation.
1. Use three kinds of experiences for the learner: auditory, visual and kinesthetic. In other other words, allow students to hear the correct spelling of words, see the spellings, and have 'hands-on" experiences. Here are a few ideas for young learners who do best with kinesthetic experiences
words using Scrabble™
letter cubes, magnetic letters, or even letters cut from newspapers and
B) Trace the correct spellings of words. Or spell words by gluing string onto construction paper.
C) Find spelling words on cereal boxes, toy packages and other everyday items.
2. Teach spelling words that make sense to the child. It is a waste of your valuable time (and the student's attention) to teach words -- even if found in a traditional spelling book -- that the student is unlikely to use and have little meaning.
On the other hand, you should include words from the student's science and social studies lessons, as well as words related to news events and special calendar days.
3. Give students the foundation
for spelling successfully. That means making sure
students understand the sounds made by consonants, short vowel sounds,
long vowel sounds, diphthongs, and more. Teach some of the most
consistent rules and spelling
A visitor writes: "I have found your site to be very helpful. I have a 1st grader who gets 20 words every week to study for homework. ...Lately she has been getting a few corrections. The tips on your site have helped me a great deal, especially the Scrabble idea. Thanks." -- Claudia, Jamaica
4. Simplify spelling whenever possible. Introduce words that have similar patterns at the same time. For example, teach aloud, around, count, ground, and sound during the same week. Group tricky words together. Show students er words in one list: perfect, alert, concern, perfume, expert. Then show them ur words in another list: turkey, return, hurricane, curtain.
If students remember the spelling of one word in the group and some of the other words that belong in the same group, it's easier to spell the tricky syllables correctly.
5. Provide lots of practice in lots of formats. Oral exercises, puzzles, worksheets, and games all have their place in successful spelling programs. Spelling homework is important, too. All of these activities, believe it or not, can be fun!
that we have many specific ideas for providing spelling practice which
can be adapted to various grade levels.
Here are some of my favorites:
For more fun spelling practice, try our AnyWord Spelling Practice Series. In these three eBooks, you'll find word play worksheets, writing prompts and partner games and activities that work with almost any list of spelling words!
Think-a-Spell eBook: 365 Brain Teasers and Spelling Challenges for Ages 10 to Adult
AnyWord Spelling Practice Series Worksheets, games & prompts that work with almost ANY spelling words!
Fun Spelling Worksheets for Grades 1/2 50 All-new reproducible pages for early learners!
300 Spelling Bee Words by Grade Level, with definitions, sentences and languages
Spelling Bee Toolboxes for Grades 3/5 and 6/8 All the resources you need for a successful bee!
Mammoth Spelling Bee Word Lists with sentences, definitions, and languages
Monumental Spelling Bee Word Lists with definitions, sentences and languages
Young Spellers Spelling Bee Word List for Grades 1 & 2
100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words, Definitions & Sentences My toughest lists, for upper grades and adults!
600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences for Gr 3/5 & 6/8 Extra words & sentences at two levels
101 Word Play Puzzlers Discover the FUN of letters & words as you solve each unique puzzle. Great vocabulary & spelling practice!