Some kids just get it, whilst for others it is a daily grind and chore. As the weekly spelling test approaches the anxiety of learning the weekly spelling list intensifies and by the following week, the words are forgotten.
The importance of spelling goes beyond just getting all the words correct; it facilitates reading and writing. A child who sees continual improvement in his spelling is usually more willing to write because he is not so focused on spelling mistakes.
Using as many different modes of learning will help the child who has difficulty, access their best style of learning.
Here are some ideas:
1. Play Dough Words – use play dough to form letters to spell out each word.
2. Pipe Cleaner Words – use pipe cleaners and bend and form to make letters used to write out the words.
3. Finger Paint – let them get messy and have some sensory fun and finger paint to spell their words
4. Salt/Sand/Flour Tray – spell words using finger in the sand/flour/salt tray. Put coloured sandpaper under the salt, sand or flour to add an extra sensory dimension.
5. Back Writing – Let kids write their words on your back or palm. Have them focus on properly forming each letter so you can feel it being drawn. Swap roles and they must try and guess the word that you are writing.
6. Sidewalk Chalk – go outside and spell your words using sidewalk chalk. Just taking the spelling practice outside makes it more fun for kids.
7. Magnetic Letters – Let your child put his spelling words on the fridge for the week. Encourage him to make short sentences too.
8. Labels – Use some flash cards to write and stick labels on items around the house. Picture Apps like Phonto are a way to add a fun dimension to this.
9. Hidden Spelling Words – on a white piece of paper let your child write out the spelling words using a white crayon. Once all words have been written use watercolors and paint to make hidden words appear.
10. Scrabble Spelling – use scrabble pieces to build words. To add in some maths practice have the child total the amount for each word.
11. Bathtub Paint – Use bathtub paint and write or paint words onto your shower door, bath or tiled wall. It washes out!
12. Word Shapes Draw the outline shape of the word and the child must fill in the word to match the shape.
13. Which is Correct? Write words on whiteboard and include misspelled words. Have child identify the correctly spelled words. You can also use a plastic document folder for this.
14. Wordsearch – sites like PuzzleMaker , allow you to plug in your child’s spelling list and create a word search that you can print. Then have your child search for the correctly spelled spelling words and circle them. Let them use different colored highlighters for some added visual fun.
15. Hangman Use your child’s previous spelling list and new spelling list to play hangman
16. Apps like Spelling Star allow your child to create their own spelling lists for practice and they are marked on the app as well. Taking the pencil and paper out of spelling practice can also be motivating.
17. Beat the Clock – Kids love creating and beating their own ‘personal bests.’ Time your child to see how man of his spelling words he can recall. Then do it again and see if he can improve on time and accuracy.
17. Sing – Use whatever song or beat you like but a simple B-I-N-G-O like song & some clapping works wonders especially on that first day of practicing words. It really helps kids begin to remember those words.
18. Record – use a your cell phone to record your child orally spelling words.
19. Pneumonics – use these to help remember common sight words. E.g. because – Betty Eats Cake And Uncle Sells Eggs
20. Omissions – Get your child to spell the word leaving out the vowels or every second letter. This really helps with sequencing and working memory too.
22. Hula Hoop or Jumping Rope while orally spelling the words.
23. Hopscotch Spelling – Write letters outside in chalk or play indoors with large letter cards on floor. Hop from letter to letter to spell words.
24. Bounce a Ball – bounce a ball as you spell words – 1 bounce per letter.
25. Target Practice – Assign different point values to words. The child must toss a bean bag at the target to ‘earn’ the right to spell for maximum points.
If you have some ideas that have been beneficial for your child, I would love to hear about them.