Love of Learning: Spelling
Spelling is one of those subjects that children are either naturally good at or struggle with. Spelling has become more challenging with the advent of texting and chatting which have developed their own lexicon (c u 8 – see you later) and the heavy reliance on spellcheckers, which don’t catch all misspelled words (war v. wart).
There are two different types of memory used when learning spelling. Visual memory (orthographic) and spelling memory. Visual memory is what the words visually look like in print. Spelling memory is the memory of letter sequences and sounds. The following article provides a lot of information on how children learn to spell. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/how-children-learn-spell
Some ideas for improving spelling: yours and your child’s!
Word Wall: Word walls are most useful to Grade 3. Keep the words current and relevant to what the children are learning. Include the Dolch word list, word families and the 44 sounds of the English language. http://specialed.about.com/od/literacy/a/dolch.htm
Finger Texting: When reading aloud, follow the text with your finger.
Magnetic Letters: Use magnetic letters on your fridge; leave each other silly notes.
Practice makes Perfect: Practice a little, but often.
Meaning of the word: Explain the meaning of the word to your child, where it came from (etymology). Only 12% of English words are actually spelt the way they sound.
Game and Apps’: There are plenty of games and apps for teaching spelling to children. A quick Goggle search will help you find the ones appropriate for your family.
Ideas for different Learning Types:
Ideas for learning styles adapted from “Spelling: Connecting the Pieces” by Ruth McQuirter Scott and Sharon Siamon.
Visual Learners: write out difficult words and leave out the letters that they are having trouble with, highlight tricky letters in the word, write problem letters in a different colour, ask them to write a word several different ways and pick the one that looks right, sort words by a visual pattern (drop the silent ‘e’ when adding –ing: hiking, joking, etc.), use picture cards
Auditory Learners: sound things out and exaggerate the consonants that are hard to tell apart (p, b, d, t), ask what sounds they hear at the beginning or end of the word, have them pronounce the silent letters in words and underline them, clap or tap out the syllables of the word, make songs
Kinesthetic Learners: cut out letters from felt or sandpaper – let them practice spelling, use a dry erase board or wipe off crayons, draw pictures of the word meaning, use word tiles (Scrabble, Boggle), use alphabet magnets, teach typing
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