Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Spelling Word Practice

We are always struggling with fun ways to practice spelling. My son really dreads homework (so unlike my daughter, but even she gets over writing words over and over again). Here are a few ways that have worked for us :)

1. Spelling Baseball.

I made a baseball board and each child gets a player. When one is "up to bat" I "pitch" words to them. They spell the word and if they get it correct they can advance to the next base. If they get through all the bases, they score. If they misspell the word, they get a strike. 3 strikes and they are out and the other child is "up to bat." They get to use this chance to study their words again to hopefully get better the next inning.

2. Shaving Cream.

This is a messier way to practice, but can feel more fun than writing all the words out. Using a cookie sheet and shaving cream, it can reduce the mess, but I have used the whole table before :)

3. Mystery Letters.

This takes more prep time, but cutting letters from magazines can make spelling the words out more fun. They can pick out the letters and glue them in order to spell their words on a piece of paper. This isn't limited to spelling words, I still remember writing ransom "notes" with a friend (they we really jokes, like "Why didn't the lion eat the clown" "It tasted funny.").

4. Cheer letters.

Make your body into the letters needed to spell the word (think the motions for YMCA). This is a good way to get some movement into spelling and sometimes can even lead to a song to help with remembering the spelling.

5. Rainbow words.

Pick a different color for each word and make it into a rainbow. This was more popular with my daughter than my son though :) He saw right through it and felt like it was more writing.

6. Clap the letters.

This is good for when you're in the car or unable to write the words. Say the word, then clap as you spell the word (for each letter), then say the word again. Sometimes the repetition helps keep the words in their heads, and it works really well when trying to study on the go.

7. Send an email.

My kids love any chance they can get on the computer, and sending email is one my my daughter's favorite things. So letting her type out her spelling words and email them to me is not only good practice in using the computer- but she gets to work on homework at the same time.

8. Felt Letters.

There are different felt sets that have letters precut or you can cut your own from felt to help practice spelling words (you may need to as the words get more complex). This idea isn't limited to felt, you can use magnet letters, flash card letters, anything that allows them to manipulate the letters and spell out words.

9. Glitter Glue.

Even Dollar Tree has little bottles of glitter glue, so this isn't too expensive (though it's one we save for days when bribery is the only way to get them to do extra work). As a bonus, squeezing the tube can help develop more fine motor control as well as spell the words, so you can remind yourself of that as you clean glitter glue off your dining room chairs ;)

10.  Spell it in sand.

This is a messy one, that I limit for outdoor play or if I'm really feeling like being the best mom ever (if doing inside, a table cloth on the floor works well to catch the runaway sand). Spell out the words in sand or moon sand to get some sensory play in while working with the words.

How do you work on spelling words? I'd love to have more ideas!

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