It’s doesn’t have to be difficult to teach spelling to elementary students! These simple tips can help accomplish those goals!
Spelling and reading go hand-in-hand when your child starts to feel more comfortable with one, the other will start to fall into place. Once your child’s spelling improves, they’ll be better equipped to sound out words, recognize more sight words, and figure out complicated sounds.
Some kids are great spellers but don’t read well, other kids might be great readers but struggle with spelling. Working through these two activities together can help your child strengthen their weaker skill.
There are some easy ways you can teach spelling to elementary students that will help them improve both their reading and spelling skills.
How To Teach Spelling To Elementary Students
Phonetic spelling is an easy way for beginners to start learning how to spell. They can spell out words based on what sounds they hear. Then they can put these sounds together to figure out the correct spelling of a word.
One of the easy ways to teach phonetic spelling is through manipulation. Create a letter board for your kids to work with. The easiest way is to create a print out of different letters, consonant teams, and vowel teams. Laminate them, then cut out each one. Use different color paper for the consonants and vowels to make it easier for your kids to distinguish them.
Consonant teams might look like: “ck,” “kn,” “gn,” “wh,” “th,” etc.
Vowel teams might look like: “ai,” “au,”, “ie,”, “ou,” “ei,” etc.
Once your kids have some letters to work with, give them some easy words that sound like their spelled and have them sound them out while placing the letters in the right spot.
Once your child is feeling comfortable with phonetic spelling, it’s time to add spelling rules for some harder to spell words. Your child will also start to learn that some sounds can be made with different letters – such as the letter “j.” It can be spelled with “j,” “g,” or “dge.”
It’s now time to start teaching some of the basic spelling rules, like which letters go together and when. This is also a good time to start pointing out that some words sound the same, but are spelled differently based on their meaning. For instance, “witch” and “which” or “tale” and “tail.”
Reading and vocabulary lessons will need to go hand-in-hand with spelling lessons once your child gets to spelling rules so that they’re more easily able to decipher which word to use and how it’s spelled.
This is where the sight words you started teaching your child early on start to come into play. In learning their sight words, they’re also learning how different sounds work together to create a word. They’re also learning about some of the spelling rules as their sight word vocabulary starts to grow.
Their visual memory comes into play and they’ll start to notice if a word “looks” right. They may try spelling it a few different ways to test out their spelling rules, phonetic spelling, and what they’ve picked up in their sight words.
The more they practice, the more they’ll build their visual memory, making it easier to read and spell new words.
Extensive reading, word games, and phonetic spelling will help your child build strong spelling skills. By the time they’re ready to start spelling on their own, they’ll have a great foundation of understanding to work with.
Start with easy words, ones that aren’t too long and are spelled just how they sound. Once your child has mastered those, you’re ready to move on to more challenging words and homophones. Continue using your spelling board to help your child understand spelling rules, different sounds, homophones, and build their visual memory.
Helping your child improve their spelling will allow them to enjoy reading more as they’ll feel more confident about their skills.