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Need some inspiration for learning spellings

(17 Posts)
BanyanTree Sun 05-Nov-17 16:07:01

Learning spellings has become really boring. It has just become spelling out loud and copying out.

Any ideas as to how to make it more interesting?

whatsleep Sun 05-Nov-17 17:10:48

Rainbow writing.....write each letter in a different colour

Pyramid writing

Set a challenge, write the smallest you can, write with your eyes shut, write with your wrong hand.

Write them in a dark room with a torch

Spray shaving foam on a table and write with your finger

Make each letter from play dough

Make a word search (lots of free online templates you can use)

Make silly sentences with each word.

Hope this helps!

Jeffers3 Sun 05-Nov-17 17:23:00

Whatsleep said.

Rice writing - pour some rice in a tray and write in the rice.
Alphabet words - write the word, then write it in alphabetical order
Graffiti wall - illustrate the word as a graffiti wall.
Word tennis - stand opposite each other and say each of the letters in turn. They could also do this on their own throwing up and down a bean bag or bouncing a ball.
Look, say, cover, write, check - old fashioned but it works!


Springbreeze Sun 05-Nov-17 17:36:07

squeebles app. Mine never mind doing it on the iPad

looby1304 Sun 05-Nov-17 17:40:10

As a year 2 teacher I’m constantly trying to think of new ways to get children to learn spelling. Lots of good ideas already mentioned, but we also use:

Painting words on the playground with water
Different letters on post it notes, time how quickly children can put them in correct order
Any form of different colour or glittery pen seems to get them excited
Also any form of competition works well - spelling bee, timers, how many times can they write word in certain time etc

TheBitterBoy Sun 05-Nov-17 22:04:50

DS and DH play 'butt shot', every time he practices his spellings he gets one shot at his dad's bum with his nerf gun for each one he gets right. It works surprisingly well, DS is a very reluctant writer.

maizieD Mon 06-Nov-17 01:16:51

Not a word about phonics, I see. Like it's nothing to do with spelling at all? hmm

Anotheroneishere Mon 06-Nov-17 01:30:27

I'm assuming OP means irregular words or less phonetically-obvious words. In our case, my son sometimes has trouble hearing all of the sounds in a word (writing suppied for supplied) or troubling remembering less common alternative spellings (like the "b" in climbing).

iPad has helped us more than anything. Writing Wizard has made a big difference in our house, both in spelling and in letter formation. I prefer the spelling to be learned with finger writing or stylus instead of typing spelling words at this age, and Writing Wizard fits the bill.

Norestformrz Mon 06-Nov-17 05:47:26

For so called irregular words you need to teach how the sounds are represented in that word all the rest is just dressing and nothing at all to do with actually teaching the spellings.

It doesn’t matter whether you write with water, sand, shaving foam, glittery pens or cold spaghetti you’re not teaching spelling!
Ensure the child says the sounds as they write them (whatever they’re writing with) not the letters representing the sound. Cursive handwriting can help as it creates a motor memory.

Look say cover write check relies on short term visual memory and might help your child score 10/10 in a spelling test but it’s quite likely they’ll spell the same words incorrectly in their independent writing.;2-J/full]]

BanyanTree Mon 06-Nov-17 06:25:56

9-year old and spellings are quite hard! Usually gets a list of 14 to learn. They are usually spelling from a topic so can include anything.

Norestformrz Mon 06-Nov-17 06:28:45

All the more reason to teach how to encode correctly

Muddlingalongalone Mon 06-Nov-17 06:39:17

Dd1 is only in year 2 but we do cheerleading or Matilda style Mrs d Mrs I Mrs ffi etc
Rote learning worked for me when I did Latin as a child for conjugation so I thought I'd try it.
Disclaimer - all of her words have been from the same "group" so far so all igh words etc and as a decent reader have been quite easy up to now.

irvineoneohone Mon 06-Nov-17 06:43:49

My 9 year old is very strong decoder. He segment and break down words while writing new vocab, and instantly learn the spelling.
And don't forget them either.
So I do agree strong knowledge of phonics makes learning spelling so much easier later on.

WhirlwindHugs Mon 06-Nov-17 07:03:24

I think the most effective for my 8yo who struggles with spelling is pyramid.

We have spent a huge number of years plodding away at making sure she really hears the sounds in the words and it finally seems to have suddenly clicked. She is reading fluently and spelling much better.

Lindy2 Mon 06-Nov-17 07:20:12

The squeebles app helped here. It made things a bit more fun and greatly improved results.

ElfrideSwancourt Mon 06-Nov-17 08:14:23

@TheBitterBoy I love ‘butt shot’ - wonder if I dare add that to our school’s list of spelling strategies?!

maizieD Mon 06-Nov-17 08:22:33

I prefer the spelling to be learned with finger writing or stylus instead of typing spelling words at this age, and Writing Wizard fits the bill.

You're absolutely right. The muscle memory aspect of securing correct spellings is too often ignored. Every single word has a unique 'feel' when it is written by hand. Intensive practice in handwriting a word helps to secure automatic reproduction of it (consider, who actually thinks about the actual letters involved when handwriting a frequently used word?)

I realised that keyboarding is the future even though research has shown that handwriting leads to better recall (applies at all levels of education; uni students have better recall if they take notes by hand rather than on a laptop/tablet). But getting a child to handwrite spellings initially is doing them a favour; they can move onto keyboarding later.
And, as mrz noted earlier, getting the child to say the sounds as they write them is ideal; it embeds all sorts of good associations, including muscle memory.

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