Do you have questions about how to teach spelling? Today I’m sharing Teaching Kids to Spell, a valuable ebook that will equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to teach spelling well.
How did you learn to spell?
Most of us learned with weekly spelling lists. The words may or may not have been related to each other. We memorized the class list, did workbook pages during the week, and spelled the words as best we could on Friday.
Let’s look at a more thoughtful approach.
Becky Spence, the talented reading specialist and writer behind This Reading Mama, has written a valuable ebook for homeschooling parents, classroom teachers, and even parents who are helping their children master the weekly list sent home from school.
Teaching Kids to Spell is not a curriculum or a how-to manual. It’s a compilation of the best information out there about what it means to teach spelling well. This book will help you understand how kids learn to spell, why they make spelling mistakes, and what you can do to equip them to be better spellers.
When our kids ace their spelling tests and spell the same words wrong the next week, the natural conclusion is: “They’re just lazy.” Why else would they know the word last week and get it wrong today?
Here’s the thing.
Spelling is actually more demanding than talking or reading. When kids learn to spell with a focus on rules (which are often broken) and with the goal to pass a test rather than to use words correctly in their writing — it’s not surprising that they don’t remember their spellings.
In chapter one, Becky explains just why kids misspell words. And she’s just some good news, too. Our kids’ misspellings actually give us insight into how to teach them.
When we analyze our kids’ misspellings, we can discover their spelling level. When we know their spelling level, we can determine which lists to teach.
In my post about how kids learn to spell, I provided spelling samples and described each spelling level. Check out that post to get you started. In a follow-up post, I shared how to determine your child’s spelling level.
Teaching Kids to Spell will take you further. Not only does Becky give a thorough description of each stage – plus tools for finding your child’s – she has also has a full chapter devoted to teaching strategies for each stage. What a useful resource!
Okay. So once you know your child’s spelling level and what words to teach, what about the times when he wants to write a word he hasn’t learned yet? Does he really need to look up every single word in a dictionary? (And how does that work, anyway, if he can’t spell it?)
Enter “invented spelling,” one of the most controversial concepts in education. Teaching Kids To Spell has you covered with an entire chapter on invented spelling.
It answers these questions:
- How do you know when to ask your child to attempt a better spelling?
- When should you correct a child’s invented spellings/ misspellings?
- Should inventend spelling be allowed with older writers… ever?
- Will allowing a child to invent a spelling hinder correct spelling?
You might also be interested in my Invented Spelling Do’s and Don’ts and This Reading Mama’s Invented Spelling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Okay. Teaching Kids to Spell gives you a guideline for how and when to teach phonics patterns. But what about those tricky words you can’t sound out? You know, words like enough and because.
That’s chapter six. You’ll find links to which sight words to teach, tips for helping kids learn those tricky ones, and how to keep kids accountable for the spellings they’ve learned.
One of my favorite parts of the ebook is the chapter about making spelling hands-on. Teaching Kids to Spell has 50 hands-on ideas for teaching letters and their sounds… and 50 more hands-on ideas for teaching kids how to spell.
Have you ever wished you had someone to help you sort through all the spelling resources out there and tell you which ones are worth your time?
You’ll find a list of the best spelling resources and where to purchase them – plus a giant list of hands-on products for teaching spelling (from letter stickers to Wikki Sticks).
You’ll also find a set of printable spelling resources in the back of the e-book… colorful spelling charts, dictionary pages, assessment tools, and more!
Be sure to get your own copy of Teaching Kids to Spell!
OUR VERY FAVORITE PRINTABLE SPELLING GAMES
If you’re looking for printable games that you can use with any word list, we highly recommend this collection from This Reading Mama. Many of the games are editable! Purchase below using my affiliate link.