Every month Kelly Challis, a freelance literacy specialist with 15 years experience in SEND and literacy difficulties, will be providing tips on how to help parents support their children with literacy, study skills, focus and attention and some maths.
Spelling is a tough nut to crack. It can remain a difficulty when all other literacy skills improve.
As a specialist teacher I am constantly looking for new ways to make spelling interesting and I have to admit, it is not my favourite thing to teach as I believe reading and comprehension is more important (ooh controversial).
Adult life is full of cheats to get round the tricky task of writing words correctly. However, the curriculum values spelling and even up to GCSE there is an emphasis on accurate spelling and punctuation.
So where do you start with pupils that find spelling rules impossible to remember and can learn their list of spellings but can’t consistently spell them in context?
One more truth coming up… there is no one way to teach spelling and not all approaches suit every child.
Here is my top 5 ways to teach spelling
1. Make a mnemonic up for tricky words, like Big Elephants Can Always Use Small Exits and Never Eat Crisps Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young
2. Find spelling list words in context in reading books and spell them together in the air. Make sure your child knows the meaning of the words they are learning to spell
3. Use post it notes, stick them around one room and make it a race to spell them all in another room on a piece of paper. Then remove them all and replace with blank post its for your child to try and remember where they were and how to spell them.
4. Little and often is key. Limit spelling activities to five to ten minutes a day
5. Try an app such as Squeeble Spelling from Key Stage Fun. You can add your own lists or use the Key Stage lists on the app. You can even record your child saying the words out loud to spell.
If you would like to get in touch with Kelly, visit her website www.think-plan-do.co.uk and twitter, @ThinkPlanDo3.