Advice for Parents - Spelling Strategies
Advice for Parents
Below are some ideas to help your child to learn and practise their spellings each week. Spelling needs to be practised at least 5 times a week to embed well. Encourage them to use the different learning strategies to help them learn the correct spelling and then to use the different games and activities to consolidate their learning.
- Look, say, cover, write, check
- Look at the word carefully.
- Pay attention not just to the letters and their order but also to the shape the word makes on the page.
- Say it aloud.
- Say the word both as you would usually say it, and then again enunciating any silent letters, E.G. Wed – nes – day.
- Cover the word with a piece of paper or your hand Write the word down from memory. Check your answer letter by letter. If you’ve got it wrong, write it out again correctly.
- Using sounds to breakup and blend
E.G. subway s – u – b – w – ay
- Using syllables to breakup and blend
E.G. subway sub / way
Using an acrostic poem or rhyme to remember the spelling
E.G. because – big elephants can always understand smaller elephants
- Finding root words within words
E.G. antiseptic antiseptic
- Spotting patterns
Often, children will be given a list of words that are connected by a certain rule, such as ‘I before E except after C.’ Making sure your child knows the rule can take a lot of the effort out of learning what might look like difficult spellings, as the pattern can be applied to most or all of the words.
This can be made more difficult by lowering the number of guesses that can be made before they lose.
- Write sentences
Children use the spelling words in their own sentences showing they understand the meaning of the words. Encourage them to write great sentences with the different literary features they have been taught (fronted adverbials, conjunctions, adverbs, starting a sentence with a subordinate clause) and each sentence must be punctuated correctly.
- Letter tennis
Spell words aloud together by saying one letter each in turn.
- Beat the clock
Again this can be varied. You could time how long it takes them to complete the test correctly and they can try to better their time or they could see how many words they can remember and spell correctly in a given amount of time.
- What is missing? (Kim’s game)
Using the list given, hide a word. They have to guess which word is hidden and spell it. Make it more difficult by hiding more than one word.
- Word searches or crosswords
You do not need to make these yourself (unless you wish to) as there are free websites that will do it for you. All you will need to do is input the words and print. An example of a free site is below.