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Teaching spelling words should be an easy task, since good spelling programs follow specific patterns for each lesson. For example, one wee might focus on words containing ing:
In addition, spelling words should be approximately a year below a normal child's grade placement. Therefore, it is perfectly normal for a child in 3rd grade to be reading materials at a 3rd grade level, and spelling at a 2nd grade level.
Unfortunately, spelling words are often randomly selected from a child's reading book or some other source, and this can create learning issues for the majority of students.
Productive spelling practice does not involve writing each word 25+ times. In fact, all a student has to do is practice each word once a day. Here is my secret recipe for spelling success:
STEP 1: Group words with similar patterns. If there aren't any, add 2 additional words for each assigned word. Also provide a short line for each letter on a sheet of paper for your child to write on. Multisyllabic words should have a hyphen separating the syllables. All of these lists should be right aligned so patterns are easy to see. This should be prepared in advance. See example below.
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ (walk)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ (talk)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ (chalk)
___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ (battle)
___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ (cattle)
___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ (rattle)
Always try to have 3 rhyming words for each pattern.
STEP 2: Orally break up the word into parts. Single syllable words should be broken up by letter sounds / blends; multisyllabic words should be broken into syllables. Do NOT say letter names or the entire word. Meanwhile, your child acts like a tape recorder and "stretches" the sounds out as he / she simultaneously writes out the word on paper.
STEP 3: Discuss special features of a word if applicable:
- Magic e at the end of a word creates long vowels. (make)
- When 2 vowels appear together, the first vowel usually has a long sound. (gain)