There is nothing more boring than copying words over and over and over again. With spelling, however, repetition is key. Whether it is verbal or written, the more practice a child has spelling words, the more successful he or she will be.
This year we are changing up our spelling routine. Instead of using the Spelling Workout books, I have composed my own list of commonly written words on a first/second grade level. I also tossed in some extra vocabulary words for sticker bonuses.
Each week, we will practice our words following the same schedule. Each day, the words are practiced in a new way. Here is a look at week and some examples of what we are doing.
Our spelling week:
Monday: Pretest, Copy List
Tuesday: Stamp It
Wednesday: Write It
Thursday: Make It
Friday: Test, Rewrite Misspellings
Practicing Spelling Words: Ideas for Stamp It
- Stamp out the words using rubber alphabet stamps and ink
- Stamp words into clay
- Use alphabet punches (OK, so technically it would be a “punch it”) to punch out the words on strips of paper
- Glue foam letters on box bottom in “mirror image” to form spelling words, them use as stamps and stamp out the list
Practicing Spelling Words: Ideas for Write It
- Smear shaving cream on table and write words in it
- Put paint in a zipped baggie, write by pressing on the baggie
- Use crayola window markers and write them on patio door
- Rainbow words. Copy them once, then trace over three times with different colored pencils.
- Write them with a white crayon and watercolor over the top to “reveal” the list
- Write the words using finger paint
- Write the words using a Q-tip (or fine tipped brush) and Elmers glue then pour glitter over top
Practicing Spelling Words: Ideas for Make It
- Roll out playdough “snakes” and form letters for words
- Spell them out with ABC pasta or cereal
- Make the words with letter tiles (use scrabble pieces)
- Cut letters from magazines and piece together words
- Bend pipe cleaners into letters to make words
- Write the words on a cookie sheet with magnetic letters
- Use letter beads to make words on a string, placing a blank between the words
Other Fun Ways to Practice Spelling
– Have children type all of their spelling words into a Word document (This is great typing practice as well!)
– Painting Words (Instead of writing out the words, they actually paint them out to write them)
– Write words with fingers in things like sand, shaving cream, rice, corn meal, finger paint, etc. (For a special needs child that may be more tactile defensive, this is great practice at learning to tolerate tactile stimulation. But, if it’s just too much for them, fill up a Ziploc bag with some finger paint and seal it up. Lay the bag flat and smooth out the paint throughout the bag. Then, your child can trace words in the paint without directly putting their fingers into the paint.)
– Workbook Pages (especially if these are provided by the curriculum that you may be using)
– Write or type words in a pyramid or stair step shape. For example, pretty might be written as stairs like this:
or like this…
(and then they can draw a triangle shape around that)
– Make flash cards that they can look at and study. (Maybe even stick them around the house where they can see them often!)
– Write each word 3 times, 4 times, 5 times…whatever your choice is. But, each time the word is written, have them write it in a different color. In the end, they will have a rainbow of spelling words.
– If possible, have siblings work on quizzing each other. My kids LOVE doing that, and give each other awards for each word spelled correctly. “Wow — great job, Jack! That’s two thumbs up, a crown, and 22 points!” (It’s actually pretty funny to listen to their progression as prizes get more and more complicated. This, of course, adds a lot of time to their practice, but they actually ask if they can quiz each other because they have so much fun.)
– Help your child find if there is a pattern to the words, and if there is, help them to recognize it and discuss how it might help them, if they are unsure while trying to spell a word. For example, if they know that all of the words this week have an “ou” in them, they know they are going be watching for that in each word.
– Make “snakes” out of Playdoh and then use the snakes to form letters — spell out all words (one at a time) in the dough.
– Write the words in sentences. But, to jazz this up, maybe make up another rule with that. You know, maybe they need to write silly sentences. Or, perhaps tell them that they can write as few sentences as possible, if they can write good sentences with as many of the words in them as possible. (I know when I was in fifth grade, this was a highlight of our week. Why write ten sentences when you can get all ten words into just three rich, detail-laden sentences?)
– If you have letter cookie cutters, grab out that Playdoh again, and cut out all of the letters in a word.
– Allow the kids to spell words to you aloud while doing some physical activity. Perhaps they can skip rope or bounce a ball to give themselves a rhythm for spelling. Plus, it’s great for those wiggly kids!
– If your kids still enjoy a bath from time to time, pick up some tub crayons and let them write out their spelling words on the shower wall.
– Try recording either yourself or your child spelling the words aloud. Then, have them listen to it later, maybe while doing an activity they think is really fun, like painting or playing ball.
– Sidewalk chalk!
How do you practice your spelling words?
This post was written by Melissa of HopeSprouts and Angie of Real Life at Home.