ABC’s are how it all starts, first in songs and then drawing over dotted lines. But soon, the alphabets start coming together to make words that are not easy to learn. And, there is no escaping the words.
They are an integral part of a language and define communication skills in the long run. Hence, spellings must get the spotlight they deserve in the early years.
But it’s easier said than done. While writing a spelling 5 times may be an effective method of learning it, the process might make children unhappy and reluctant to learn. So, the best way out for everyone is to make spellings fun. Here are some spelling tricks that are used by educators and parents worldwide.
1. Teach Phonics
Phonics is the first step towards getting spelling rights. This is not a trick but rather a universally accepted solution for making spellings easy. Phonics is the process of relating sounds to alphabets. It introduces children to different sounds that an alphabet or group of alphabets can make.
For example, ‘A’ in Apple and ‘A’ in Rain sound different. Children don’t have this kind of information. This is where Phonics steps in and teaches them that ‘A’ makes a different sound when a word starts with it and it makes a completely different sound when it comes with an ‘I’. Profound, right! Phonics dives right to the bottom of the matter and builds from there.
2. Break Down the Spellings
Breaking down the spelling is one of the oldest spelling tricks. It involves, breaking a spelling into small parts. The broken parts may or may not make a word of their own but they must be read as they are spelled.
For example, let’s consider the word innovative. This word can be broken into many small parts like – in+no+va+tive or just two parts like inno+vative. The key here is to focus on pronunciations so that a child can understand which word has to be repeated, where to use ‘a’ and where to put in ‘i’.
3. Use Picture Cards
Picture cards are a popular method of teaching children basic spellings. These cards come in different formats. Some may have a picture on one side and the spelling on the other. Some picture cards have both the word and the picture on the same side.
Both styles can be used to teach and test children’s spelling effectively. Picture cards work better than other formats because their trigger visual memory and most children respond better to colorful pictures than oral repetitions.
4. Say the Spelling
This trick works like magic when it comes to words that have a surprisingly different spelling as compared to their pronunciation. The trick is to read the spelling like it is written.
Let’s take an example to understand this trick. Cream – kids may spell it as creem or crim. To help them, you can break down the word into two parts, cre and am pronouncing them as they are to make the spelling clear.
Similarly, Castle – it has a silent ‘t’ ‘n the middle of it. You can help children by making an association by following the actual pronunciation with a pronunciation that has an audible ‘t’. Or they can break the spelling into Cast+le and remember that way.
5.Stick Posters at Eye Level
An easy and fun way to teach spellings is to make big posters of the problematic spellings or current grade spellings and stick them at children’s eye level. In this method, children look at the spelling even when they are engaged in other activities and memorize spellings without any stress.
If you plan to make the posters, make sure to make big ones with words spelled out in bright and favorite colors. Do not crowd the posters and if needed, write only one word on an A3 sheet. White is the best background to catch the attention. Also, this is the best way to make your kids learn your phone number (all parents must do this).
Make Time for Spellings
Spellings (words) make up the foundation of a language. A child that cannot spell, may also face trouble with reading at grade and age-appropriate levels. This is why, spellings are important and they must be learned at the right age, all of them.
Dear parents, please go ahead and use the tricks mentioned above to help your child with big and small words. You can also devise your own methods, according to your child’s capabilities and skill level. There are many more methods such as sticking spellings of household items on them, singing spelling songs and playing spelling games.
eTutorWolrd’s English tutors use all the tricks listed above and even more to help Elementary Students with their spelling. Click here to learn more about customized English Tutoring at eTutorWorld.