As a teacher, I need to teach spellings; as for sending them home to learn, I have mixed feelings! I send groups of words home for learning but do not necessarily test children on the same words; I just focus on the same sound! My reason… Children can learn words for a spelling test, but the real test is can they apply them in their writing! Instead, I am focusing on them taking home all those words they frequently spell wrong in their independent writing! These differ for all children and learning them will make a real difference. I have children in my class focusing on ‘when’, ‘with’, ‘found’, ‘suddenly’ etc . Every child in my class could tell an adult what spellings they need to learn and why, and that keeps it real.
My daughter gets spellings every week (she is a year two); finding time to practice as regularly as we would like was a nightmare initially (with us working full time) but now she can independently practise for some of the time! This has had a massive impact on her confidence, enthusiasm and success!
We bought an app for about £1.49, it is amazing and there are similar wonderful apps available!
The children type the spelling, record it and practise, kiddiewink three loves taking ownership, and eagerly puts them in on the day she gets her new words. The addition of anagrams, practices and tests, keeps it varied and since we started using it, she has had 10/10 every week!
Another good way, is the tried and tested look, say, cover, write check sheet- just search in Google and there is lots of templates. Kiddiewink’s school have just started sending them out, so now we do a mixture of ipad and written. Spellings are no longer a chore in our house, and as she can practice independently for some of the time, and enjoys doing it; time is no longer an issue either.
Another fun way of helping them at home, is
- mnemonics such as because- big elephants can’t always understand small elephant
saw- smiling aliens win
anything they will remember will work…
- flash cards- these can be as simple as a piece of scrap paper with the word written boldly. Display them in lots of prominent places around the house.
- writing words in flour or sand
- Writing it in lots of pretty colours
- little rhymes and phrasing – eg there is a hen in when.
- Having fun in a no pressure environment -little and often
This is the key (well I think so anyway)
Even better, is that younger siblings want to get in on the action and experiment with letters!