How To Teach Spelling2022-04-06T14:42:31-04:00
how to teach spelling

Posted by: Alesia Netuk

Updated: April 6th, 2022

How To Teach Spelling

How To Teach Spelling

As young children explore literacy, they may begin writing letters and string a few letters together to look like words. As they progress in their learning, they begin recognizing the sounds letters make and, in particular, may use beginning sounds correctly to write words. Children start to correctly spell words of personal significance, such as their name, and common sight words with further experience and instruction. There are many strategies educators can use to support children as they increase the bank of words they can write independently.

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The Link Between Reading and Writing

One of the most authentic ways to teach students how to spell is through the reading and writing connection. It allows them to learn how to spell words in context instead of learning them in isolation. For example, beginning readers may be learning new sight words, such as “the” and “it.”

Educators lead them in guided reading sessions using texts that contain these words. This is an ideal time also to have the students begin writing the words. Reading the words in print, paired with writing them, helps strengthen their memory of how the words look. Educators can take cues from their students to determine how frequently to introduce new words.

Roll, read, and trace activity is a great tool to link reading and writing:

Writing Activities

There are many ways students can practice learning to spell words. They may take a word and write it in a sentence. For beginning writers, they could write two or three sentences using a prescribed pattern.

For example, when learning the word “like,” students could use the sentence stem, “I like…” then complete the sentence with a picture or word. Having students create these patterned sentences in a book format allows them to read their book to others. This is another way to strengthen their recognition of the word “like.”

Students may enjoy spelling words using different modalities. They can write words using salt or sand trays. They can use paintbrushes and water to make words outside, on brick walls or pavement. They may enjoy using sidewalk chalk to create words. Markers and mini-whiteboards or chalk and mini-chalkboards are other ways to practice words. Students can also build words using magnetic letters or letter tiles.

Combine learning irregular words and sensory play with play dough mats: