By Teachers, For Teachers
Spelling is a fundamental skill that every child needs to learn in order to successfully write the English language. As teachers, it is our goal to instill these skills in our students so they will develop phonemic awareness, and be able to accurately represent our written language. Here are a few tips and activities for students to strengthen their spelling skills.
Develop Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness is when a child is able to recognize and distinguish the sounds in words and then have the ability to translate these sounds into print. When a student can do this they will have a much easier time learning to spell and read. The perfect activity that will help develop phonemic awareness is to teach rhyming. Any Dr. Seuss book or Llama Llama book by Deborah Guarino are great stories to reinforce rhyming patterns. As you read, point out rhymes and periodically stop and have students try to guess what word is coming next in the rhyme. This will help students develop their phonemic awareness skills which will in turn help them learn to spell.
Learn Spelling Patterns
It's important for students to learn and practice common spelling patterns. Once students learn these patterns, it will help them achieve spelling success. Explore patterns together by rereading a familiar book and asking students to look for the spelling pattern in the story. There are a million different activities that will help students recognize spelling patterns, one being spelling bingo. Teachers can create a bingo board that focuses on word families (map, cap, tap, nap). Here are a five more activities to help students learn spelling patterns.
Practice Spelling Words
The most effective way for students to develop spelling skills is to have students practice their spelling words. Each week have students write their spelling words at least five times each. Repeatedly writing these words help students build knowledge, enhance learning, and develop their spelling skills. A fun way schools are helping students practice their weekly spelling lists is by having them visit the website (or app) Vocabulary Spelling City. Students can go to this site or app and practice their words by taking practice tests and playing a variety of spelling games. Here are a few more activities to help students practice their spelling words.
The most efficient way for students to develop their spelling skills is to practice, practice, practice! Repetition is the key to achieving spelling accuracy.
Do you have any tips or activities to help students develop their spelling skills? Please share with us in the comment section below!
Janelle Cox is an education writer who draws on her 15 years of professional experience in the education system. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, where she provides educational information and lesson plans for teachers around the globe.