If you are a student that struggles with spelling or a parent with a student that is in this boat we have a few quick tricks for you! Keep reading to see how you can make studying spelling words F-U-N!
Junior High/High School Principal
Graphic design by Hayley Carbone
Oct 20, 2021 ~ 5 MIN READ
The dreaded weekly spelling test – in my household studying for the spelling test can become a knock-down drag-out-free-for-all. So when one of my sons began struggling with spelling in the first grade, this mama/teacher had to reach deep and get creative. Our resource teacher was super helpful and gave me some great hints for creative studying practices and now I share her ideas and some of my own with you.
1. Play Hangman
This can be a fun new way to sit down and study with your child. The way you play is: Your child chooses a word from his or her spelling list and you try to guess before the man hangs. This helps them to focus on letter placement and they are looking at the word every time you guess a letter. You can also switch places and see if they can recognize the word with only a few letters in it.
2. White Board
I don’t know why, but my son loves to write his spelling words on the whiteboard. If you ask him to write it on a white paper, there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, but put a dry erase marker in his hand and he is ready to work. Change the paper to board and life is exquisite. I prefer the little handheld ones so he can have his one workspace and it wont do any damage to my walls!
3. Alphabet Blocks
This one works better for the little ones, but can be effective for any age. Use the old fashioned alphabet blocks and have your child build the word. This can also take the form with the magnetic letters you put on the fridge. Don’t have either of those? Make your own letters with scrap-booking stickers or markers.
Have your child write a story, but they have to include 10 of their spelling words. Once they are done jointing down their ideas, you can go through and highlight the words so that they can remember how to word looks among other words, as well as study them in context.
Write the words on index cards and cut them into puzzle pieces. Have your child put their spelling word puzzles together for extra practice. If your child has longer words that have multiple syllables cut the words up by syllable. This helps with them understanding how syllables work and sound. It also helps them to focus on smaller parts of the word at a time so they can picture it later when they are taking the test.
My son loves using the computer. So I open up the “Paint” program and he creates the words with special colors. Print them out and hang the masterpieces around the house – every time he looks at them, he’s studying.
7. Love Notes
One week, try sending a new note in the lunchbox. Try to use as many spelling words as possible. Or leave a message in the bathroom for her to find. Some students who are very visual will benefit from seeing the word over and over.
Have your child test YOU. They are hearing and seeing the word at the same time. Be sure to make some intentional errors to make sure they are paying attention.