Spelling. We all need to know how to do it. Yes, even in this age of technology, little red underlines and autocorrect. While our children will have more access to autocorrect than we had, it is still important that they understand the basis of spelling. There are many ways this can be taught and practiced. I choose spelling words from the list in the curriculum that I am using. I want to share with you some ways that I spruce up the spelling practice here in our house.
Regardless of what curriculum you are using and how many spelling words per week you are doing, spelling practice can often be a snore! Kids often don’t want to copy words over and over. (some do, dont get me wrong. You are speaking to a big nerdy lover of copying right here). However, asking my oldest daugther to practice her spelling words could be a situation similar to pulling teeth. Well, maybe not for her, she likes pulling teeth, if you can believe it!
But I digress…It can never hurt you to spruce up your spelling practice. Here in my house we practice spelling words on a weekly basis. So on Monday I introduce the new spelling words, Tuesday through Thursday those words are practiced, and Friday the spelling test is given. Now, any words that are spelled incorrectly are put onto the next weeks spelling list. I decided that since I only have one (soon to be two) students there is no reason I can’t teach to mastery! So we dont move past a word until she can spell it.
Now what I really want to share with you are some ideas on how to go about practicing those words on Tuesday through Thursday. This does not have to be repeatedly copying; you have options!
Let’s Spruce Up Your Spelling Practice!
Spelling Practice Ideas:
1) Leave a Letter Out
So I have my kids practice spelling every day but I mix up daily how they will do that. One way I do this is to write their spelling words on the board for them but leave one letter out with a space drawn in and have them fill it in. I always leave out the letter that trips them up and stumps them the most so they can practice it.
2) Letter Tiles
Letter tiles can be purchased or made yourself. To make yourself just cut a pack of index cards in half and write a letter on each one. You will probably want at least 2 of each letter (of the most commonly used anyways). The sky is the limit with what you could do with these but a basic idea is to have them unscramble their spelling words. So I put blanks on a dry erase board or piece of paper and have them fill in their spelling words. I dont mind telling them what the word is since they just need to know how to spell it.
You could add movement to this by putting the letter tiles somewhere away from the table and telling them to run and grab the letters to spell the word and come back and spell it on the table.
Or you could hide the letter tiles around the house and send them on a scavenger hunt to find their letters and then make their spelling words.
3) Fill in the Blank Sentences
Often I will write on our dry erase board a sentence for each of the kids spelling words except I will leave the spelling word out. This helps them think of the spelling word in the context it could be used as well as helping them practice spelling it. If they are getting hung up on remembering the word, I will tell it to them so they can focus only on spelling.
4) Hop and Spell
Grab something a little bigger like construction paper or go ahead and use those index cards. Write the letters on it that you need for this weeks spelling words and put them around your living room floor or another place you have enough room (even the driveway would work). Tell your child the first word and have them hop to each letter to spell it, saying the letter out loud as they hop to it. You could also have them pick up the letter as they hop on it and say it as well and then lay the letters out to spell the word after. (This only works if you have 2 card per each letter of the word, not reusing some).
5) Morning Message
I use my morning message for so many things and I will get into those in another post down the road, but spelling words is one main thing I use it for.
So a morning message is when I have a message to the kids written on our school dry erase board when they get up. The problem with this message is it is full of errors! It is up to the kids to correct these errors. They can be anything from punctuation, missing capitals, misspelled spelling words, etc. So I will think up sentences involving the current spelling words and be sure to misspell those words in the morning message. I will then ask my kids to go up and change the errors on the board. If they get stuck, I will help them. Because my daughters are only 5 and 7 I just have them correct the errors right there on the dry erase board. For older kids, you would have the option of having them copy the message correctly into a notebook and then go over it on the dry erase board together.
spelling can be Fun!
I hope this will show you (and enable you to show your child) that you can have some fun practicing spelling words! There are many other ways to spruce up your spelling practice, but these are some of my favourites!
Be sure to let me know in the comments how you like to practice spelling words with your kiddos and which of these methods you think your kids would like best!