Helping your child with spelling during writing can get tricky. How do I help them without making them become completely dependent on me to spell word for them? Here are some tip to help!
Word Walls – a word wall can be a great resource for your student! They often have these in brick and mortar classrooms and you can create your own at home! You can use a wall, poster board, folder, the side of the refrigerator, or even the back of a door! This alphabetical list of words will provide a constant resource for your student. As your child masters sight words, they can be added to the wall. As they learn and explore new vocabulary, it can be added.
Personal Student Dictionary – your student can create their very own dictionary! When they need a word spelled for them, help them look the word up in a kid-friendly dictionary. Or, this may be a time to spell the word for them. Have the student write the word in their own dictionary. They will now have another resource to turn to when they are struggling to spell!
Help Sound Stretch – encourage your student’s use of phonetic spelling. When a student asks you to spell the word for them, tell them that you will help them sound stretch it. Slowly stretch out the sounds in the word and have the student write down whatever sounds they hear.
Weekly Spelling List – give your student a weekly spelling list. You can get these words from the writing or vocabulary units on the OLS. Have your student write the words in fun ways (rainbow write with markers, sidewalk chalk, letter tiles, shaving cream, etc.) and use the words in sentences. They can add these words to their word wall or dictionary.
Word Banks – when your student is going to have to write on a topic, have them tell you 4-5 words they think they will need to know how to spell while writing. Write the words out for them (maybe even add a picture) and then make them refer to the word bank. They need to phonetically spell all other words (or use their other resources). You can also do this while you are reading – have your student pick words out of the text that they know are important.
Sight Words – your student should work to memorize sight words. They should be able to spell sight words by locating them on a word wall or by automatically knowing them. Practice, practice, practice! I used to play a mystery game in my classroom where I would give them letter tiles to spell a sight word and they had to unscramble the letters and figure out which word the letters spelled. Sight word games can be as easy as shooting a ball or paper wad into a trash can. Have your student read or spell a sight word and if they read / spell it correctly, they get to shoot a basket!