"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats
Look on this page to find activities that will supplement your child's learning at school. Many students strive with traditional learning techniques, while other students benefit from using their other senses. I would try some of these activities for the few words that are frustrating. Experiment!
New words can be introduced by having your child become familiar with this five-step process. The child sees the word, says the word, chants the word, writes the word, and finally checks the word.
These words can be further reinforced by having your child fold a paper into 4 columns (they can fold a page in half and then in half again). You can then recite a word from a spelling list, which the child will write in the first column. Your child will say each word and notice the parts of the word as he hears it. Next he will look at the word as to notice what it looks like on the paper. After that, he will cover the word and think about how the word looks. Then he will write the word from memory. Next he will uncover the word and check it with the word written in the first column. Finally, he will cover the word and write it again. This brain-friendly activity is great for getting words into long-term memory.
Let's get creative!
•Write each spelling word without its vowels. Replace each vowel with a line.
•Write your words in flour on a cookie sheet.
•Write your spelling words in crayon. Write each consonant letter in red and each vowel in blue.
•Clap a chalkboard erasers on a chalkboard to make a white area. Dip a Q-tip in water and write your words on the board.
•Spell your words in Braille or Morse Code.
•Use pipe cleaners, rolled modeling clay, broken-up spaghetti noodles, or ice-pop sticks to spell out your words.
•Choose a partner. Cut index cards or drawing paper into 3-inch squares. Make 20 squares. Each of you must write the same ten spelling words on the squares, one word to a card. Then lay the cards face down and play a Concentration-like game.
•Create a secret code by assigning a number to each letter of the alphabet. Write your spelling words in code. Challenge a classmate to use that code to decode each word.
•Write a mnemonic sentence to help you remember each of your spelling words. Each letter of the word should start a word in the sentence. For example, an mnemonic sentence for the word throw might be "Ted has rented one wheelbarrow".
•Write each spelling word in a rainbow of colors. First, write the words with a red crayon. Trace over the words with a blue crayon. Finally, trace the words again with a green crayon.
•Write your words with all the letters mixed up. Then ask a friend to unscramble the words. Correct your friend’s paper.
•Write each spelling word. Next to each word, write two additional words of at least four letters that can be spelled using the letters in the word.
•Use plastic bags full of letters to spell out this week’s words. Spell them out on your desk or on a sheet of black paper. (Letters can be gathered from a number of sources: They might be old plastic/magnetic letters, letter tiles from board games, letters from a box of alphabet cereal, or letters from a box of “alphabet soup” pasta.)
•Spell your words into a tape recorder. Say each word, then use it in a sentence, then spell the word, then say it again.
•Spell out your spelling words using alphabet rubber stamps and an inkpad.
•Write your words with the hand you do not usually write with. (For example, if you are right-handed, write your words with your left hand.)
•Write each word in numbers. Find each letter on a telephone keypad and write the corresponding number for each letter.