Spelling Study Ideas   

Give your child a pre-test. When your child brings home his/her list of spelling words, sit her/him down with a pencil and paper for a practice quiz. Don't have him/her copy the words or sentences. Children learn how to spell words by visualizing them in their minds, not by copying them. Simply, say each word in a sentence out loud for your child to write down. Try to give the pre-test in exactly the same way the teacher would give the actual test. Have your daughter/son correct the pre-test. S/he should study only the words s/he has misspelled.

How your child will learn to spell the words spelled incorrectly on the pre-test:

1) Have her/him say the word while looking at it.

2) Tell him/her to close his/her eyes, try to see the word, and then spell the word out loud.

3) Have her/him look at the written word to see if he's spelled it out loud correctly.

4) Ask him/her to look at the word, then cover the word and have him/her write it.

5) Finally, your child should check to see if s/he's written the word correctly. If the word is misspelled, all four steps should be repeated before moving on to the next word.

Once your child has learned to use this technique, s/he will be able to study his spelling words independently. On the night before the test, give him/her a final test of all the words.

Poor spellers often try to memorize a spelling as if it were an arbitrary letter string. Arbitrary strings are terribly hard to remember – think how long it takes to learn a phone number and then imagine trying to learn 88,500 phone numbers, the estimated number of words in printed school English.

Spelling Practice Ideas: Here are some ways to study your spelling words! If you choose one night a week, you will be ready for Friday’s spelling test!

Comic Strip Use this handy blank comic strip form to create a comic strip using each of your spelling words (created by a Multiager).

Type ‘Em Type all of your spelling words on the computer or on a typewriter.

Sign Your Words Use sign language to sign your words! Here's a chart to help you.

Fancy Letters Use old magazines, catalogs, or newspapers to cut out letters and glue them down to spell your words.

Spelling Baseball Draw four bases on a piece of paper or set up four chairs to be the bases. Pitcher selects a word. If batter can spell it correctly, he moves forward one base. If batter cannot spell word, he remains where he is. Child receives point every time he passes home base.

Spelling Bingo

Each player folds a piece of paper 4 times so you have 16 boxes. Each person makes his own game board and chooses 16 words from the current list and past lists (or use the same words more than once). Write one word in each box. The caller says a spelling word. If a player has the word on his bingo card, he traces over it with a pen or colored pencil. If the player does not have the word, he turns his paper over and writes it on the back. For a real challenge, play black-out bingo.

Snowman (Hangman) Snowman is a nonviolent version of Hangman. On a wipe-off board or chalkboard, draw a snowman with hat and three buttons. Play like hangman (don't forget to draw the lines to show how many letters the chosen word has), but erase a part of the snowman for each guess. The object is to guess the word before the snowman melts.

Water Wash (Warm day required!) Use a paintbrush and water to write your words on the sidewalk.

Trace Around Print one of your spelling words neatly. Take a colored pen and draw an outline around the word, closely following the shapes of the letters. Close your eyes and remember the shape. Now try to write the word.

ABC Order Write your words in alphabetical order. Then write them in reverse alphabetical order.

Riddle Me Write a riddle for each word.

Connect the Dots Make a square of 4 rows of dots with 4 dots in each row. Before taking a turn, the player must spell a spelling word. If the word is correct, he connects two dots. When a player forms a square, he can write his initials in the box. Player with most squares at the end wins.

Story, Story Write a story using ALL of your spelling words.

Sentence Please Write a sentence for each spelling word.

Colorful Words Use two different color pens to write your spelling words. Use one color to write the consonants and the other for the vowels. Do this one more time. Close your eyes and picture the word in your mind. Now try and write the word with just one color.

Wordsearch Make a wordsearch puzzle. Do it online here.

Memory Game Make pairs of word cards. Flip them over and try to match the pairs.

Finger Tracing Use your finger to spell out each of your words one letter at a time on your Mom or Dad’s back. Then it’s YOUR turn to feel and spell.

Practice Test Take a practice test (this is especially good on Thursday night before the REAL test).

Scrabble Use Scrabble tiles to spell your words.

Sing Them Loud, Sing Them Soft Have your Mom or Dad sing the letters of a spelling word to you in a loud voice. You echo the spelling and then sing it again softly. Now BOTH of you sing the word in the voice you choose.

Swat Words Write out your spelling words in big letters on a big sheet of paper. Give your parents clues like we do during Morning Meeting. ("The first letter is _ and the last letter is _.") See if they can "swat it" with a fly swatter.

Alliterations Do any of your spelling words begin with the same sound? Even if they don't, you can write alliterations for them! Try to use as many words as you can within the sentence that have the same beginning sound -- BUT it has to make sense to be a sentence. Now try saying them quickly. Got your tongue tied?

Stairsteps Write words as if they are stairs, adding one letter each time. (If you are using lined paper, begin up against the left margin line. If you are using graph paper, begin on the left.)

Rainbow Words Write a spelling word with your pencil. Now trace around the outside with a crayon, hugging the same but not touching the letters. Pick two other crayons to continue tracing outward.