Many of us remember hanging the weekly spelling list on the refrigerator as a reminder to study for the test on Friday. We also probably remember the old “drill and kill” studying methods of yesteryear. But is there a better way? Put this research-based study method to the test! Have your child:
- Look at the word.
- Say the word aloud and listen carefully to the word parts.
- Visualize the way the word looks: are there tall and short letters? How many letters are in the word? Is the word long or short?
- Write the word 5–10 times while sounding the word out. If the word is “cake,” say, “k-ay-k.”
- Sound out the syllables in each word.
- Pronounce each segment of the word, even if that segment is not normally pronounced in common speech (e.g., for government, think “gov-er-n-ment”).
Easy enough, right? To mix it up a little and add some fun to the study sessions, use a few of the following, teacher-approved ideas:
- Spell the words using magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.
- Buy foam board letters from a craft store.
- Use pieces of alphabet cereal or alphabet pasta for an edible lesson.
- Create a word search using an online puzzle maker, such as Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker.com. (As a note, this particular puzzle maker should only be used for more advanced spellers; the random groupings of letters can confuse beginners).
- Cover the table surface with shaving cream, or use finger paints or sand trays.