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Fun Ways to Practice Spelling

Fun Ways to Practice Spelling - Grown Ups Magazine
Spelling doesn't have to be a chore! New research gives us insight as to how to encourage good spelling study habits without rote memorization.

Fun Ways to Practice Spelling - Grown Ups Magazine

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 (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.

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  • Katie

    We absolutely stand by breaking a word down by sounding out syllables and parts. That and finger paint. Finger paint and shaving cream are great for practicing in. Anything that makes it fun! Great tips!

  • Taylor Speikers

    Totally random but I won the spelling bee in third grade so I love spelling! My daughter is only 8 months old but we’ll definitely be practicing using some of these methods! Great tips.

  • I love to read and spelling has always been one of my strong points. Great tips!

  • We aren’t quite into spelling yet (my oldest is almost 4) but I know it will be here soon. I am going to use these ideas to make it easier for us!!

  • These are great tools to teach spelling!

  • notageek4u

    Great tools and ideas. These are also great for helping those with mental disabilities, like my sister. Thanks a lot!

  • Sadie

    Teaching my older two girls how to spell was easy as pie. My youngest daughter isn’t a visual learner, though, so we have to do stuff like sing songs, watch videos, etc and it’s much more difficult because that is not how *I* learn… great tips!

  • Christine T

    My daughter breezes through spelling and I am so glad for that. She loves to read and is only 11 but reads at a high school level. It’s one of the areas I am so proud of her in. I love all your ideas here and I think they are very useful. I really think kids learn at different rates and through different ways and it is important we recognize that.

  • Tatanisha Worthey

    Oh great ideas! I’m always looking for ways to help the boys get more into spelling. Thank you!

  • These are some great ideas! I definitely need to save this post because these will come in handy when my daughter is older!

  • Jen Leeman

    Great ideas for making learning fun! Pinned to share with other moms too.

  • Such fun ideas! I love spelling!

  • Alea Milham

    Great ways to make spelling fun!

  • Katie Hale

    We’ve also started creating fun stories using all the words on our lists. It helps use imagination and creativity as well as reinforce the words and their spelling.

  • Tatanisha Worthey

    Great ideas! We have weekly spelling tests around here and I’m always looking for new tips to help the boys memorize their words.

  • Taylor Speikers

    I totally won the 3rd grade spelling bee! I can’t wait to teach my daughter my spelling ways 😉

  • Sadie

    I’m a spelling freak! 🙂 Taylor, I won spelling bees, too!

  • notageek4u

    Another spelling freak here! lol. Great tips on Spelling, especially with writing the word down a lot of times.

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