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Teaching Kids to Spell

(8 Posts)
motherofboys Wed 27-Apr-05 17:37:16

How??? Please help DS2 struggles with this and I feel kinda helpless at home

pixiefish Wed 27-Apr-05 17:57:16

Look, Cover, write it out

roisin Wed 27-Apr-05 19:03:44

DS1's teacher in yr1 taught them 'magical spelling', which has been fabulous for him. First they look at a word, and think about how it's spelled. Then they close their eyes and imagine the word in their head. They imagine it in a certain colour - maybe large purple bubble letters with yellow spots on - the detail is all part of the system.

Then you get them to look carefully at the shape of the word: you can actually draw the shape of the word. (can is just a rectangle, cat has an up bit at the end, rag has a down bit at the end - does this make sense?)

Then you look at anything particularly unusual about the word - i.e. silent 'k' in knife, etc. If a word is not phonetic, get them to pronounce all the letters: WED-NEZ-DAY, etc.

Finally get them to 'take a mental picture' of this image in their brains to remember.

Then practice, practice, practice.

The other thing that helps of course is loads and loads of reading, so the spellings are more familiar anyway.

Also if you have a tough batch try putting them up next to his bed, or on the wall next to the dining room table.

Hope something in there is helpful! How old is he btw?

LIZS Wed 27-Apr-05 19:20:54

I went to a talk recently by a guy who has a linguistic approach to spelling (Real Spelling) and developed courses and teaching materials. His concept was that there are actually strict rules to spelling in the english language and that a purely phonetical approach wasn't all that helpful. So instead you'd look at a word and analyse its meaning, associations and roots to learn patterns and rules to apply elsewhere.

He spent time in each classroom with kids of primary age looking at words such as "meat" and "eat" and getting them to talk about the patterns they saw as a sort of game. Perhaps much of it went over the younger ones' heads but it was certainly an alternative approach and they enjoyed it.

Back to topic, ds is 7 and has problems spelling accurately - think he can't always "hear" the difference between "e" and "i", often omitting vowels altogether, and he has sequencing difficulties. I write them on a small blackboard in his room and we rehearse them in the evening or morning.

kid Wed 27-Apr-05 19:27:21

DD was introduced to a new way of learning her words last week.
There are 5 columns, 1st one has the word in it, next one she has to copy the word. Then is the 1st, 2nd and 3rd try. I spaced out her attempts over the day. She has her first spelling test on these words and did really well (8 out of 8 )

cazzybabs Wed 27-Apr-05 19:47:35

Agree with all these stergies - phonemes is the 1st place to start (jolly phonics os excellent - on sale in the ELC) - because at least people will be able to work out what it is meant to be. Play i-spy with inital sound, middle sound, end sound etc - all kinds of games to get him to hear the different phonemes. But it is tricky - different sounds have different ways of making the sounds and tricky words simply aren't phonetic. These can be learned by mnenomics, looking for the little words in the big words, looking simpley at the shape of the words, writing with joinned up letters (muscle memory), writing it in the air with their finger as the pencil, then when they are good they can do both hands one going one way and the other the other way. Look, cover, write, ceheck is OK - but please get him to say/write in a sentecne - so many children learn spellings get 10/10 in spelling test and then spell it wrong in writing because they simply haven't put the two togther. Also look for patterns of words with the smae sound or same spelling pattern - wrtie them down on a poster, draw a picture of the word, use it, spell it.

Hope this helps???

figleaf Wed 27-Apr-05 22:18:08

You could buy Word shark from White space ltd (020 8748 5927). We used it ( I.T package)with our 7 y.o when he seemed to be having trouble in Y1. He`s a brilliant speller now that he`s in Y2 even though we`ve just been told he seems to have dyslexic tendencies . Cant remember exactly but think it was around £40.

motherofboys Thu 28-Apr-05 13:09:41

Thanks everyone DS2 is 7 and has struggled to firstly learn his alphaabet, then to learn to read and now spellings is the focus. Look, cover, try doesn't work with him
Thinking about it his teacher occasionally sends home pictures like W in a hat for 'what' or Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants ('because').
I will look into the various systems you suggest and see if I can get one that will make him want to try more - motivation is a bit of an issue too!

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