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Curricula and Learning Links - Language Arts

How to Teach Spelling

by My3Sons

From her post on the message board in August, 2005.

Choose a list of spelling words. Give your child a word to spell. Say the word in isolation, use it in a sentence, and then say the word again. Have your child attempt to spell the word. Once he has written the word on paper, you correctly spell the word to him. Be sure to say each letter slowly while he touches each letter of the attempted spelling with his finger. If he has made a mistake, have him self-correct the attempt by copying the correct spelling from your sample (written on a white board). Then have him complete the following steps:

  1. See the word on paper. Look at it! Try to focus on any unusual characteristics of the word (ie: double consonants, silent e, r-controlled vowels, roots, affixes, etc.)
  2. Say the word. Say each letter out loud to yourself while tapping each letter with your pencil.
  3. Cover the word and audibly spell it. For example, say "c-a-t".
  4. Uncover the word and see if you nailed it!
  5. Cover the word again and see if you can spell it, not just audibly, but on paper.
  6. Uncover the word and see if you spelled the word correctly.
  7. If you did...yippee! If not, go back to step one!
  8. Once he has achieved the correct spelling, have him write the word in a sentence.

The entire process usually takes 1-2 minutes per word. Never give the child more than 3 misspelled words daily. It is too overwhelming.