Spelling Study Tips

First Night

  • Review all words (Is there a spelling pattern or emphasis?)
  • Know words by sight (make and use flashcards to practice the words, especially new or difficult words)
  • Choose half of the words, or words with the same pattern (e.g. all "ou" or all "ch" pattern words) to work on today
  • Write words in the air while spelling aloud ('sky-writing')
  • Spelling: look at the word, pronounce it, spell it orally, write the word while saying each letter aloud as you write it; then, read ('sound-out') the word aloud to check the spelling
  • Write while spelling aloud each word 3 to 5 times before going to the next word

Second Night

  • Review all words
  • Spell aloud and/or write the words from the first night
  • Then, focus on the rest of the words (the 2nd half)
  • Write words in the air while spelling aloud ('sky-writing')
  • Use "spelling pronunciation" for difficult words (e.g., say "Wed-nes-day" for Wednesday, "anti-cue" for antique)
  • Spelling: look at the word, pronounce it, spell it orally, write the word while saying each letter as you write it; then, read the word aloud to check spelling
  • Write and spell aloud each word 3 to 5 times before going to the next word

Third Night

  • Review all words
  • Concentrate on any words that continue to be difficult; write them on colored flash cards (refer to spelling/phonics rules)
  • Read the words aloud several times
  • Say each word by syllables; spell each syllable
  • Write the words (with your finger) on your leg and spell aloud
  • Write each word on paper; then, use the word in an oral sentence

Fourth Night

  • Trace over the words with your finger, saying each letter as you trace it
  • Close your eyes, visualize a word, and spell it aloud (do this for each word)
  • (Parent) Dictate words to be written on paper
  • Write the words on your paper 3 - 5 times and spell silently; check spelling by reading it
  • For words that continue to be difficult, try using mnemonic devices or associated links (e.g., He meant to be mean; There's a rat in separate; It's hard to lose your nose; Too many o's in 'too'.)

Remember that short periods of practice are far more effective than one long period of practice.

Each week's spelling goal is to add words to the student's permanent memory and to apply spelling pattern to their words with the same pattern.

A compilation of suggestions from Nancy Youree Duggin, Ed.S.; L.C. Moats ( Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction, 1995); J.A. Fitzgerald ( A Basic Life Spelling Vocabulary, 1951); D.B. Clark ( Dyslexia: Theory and Practice of Remedial Instruction, 1990); and Center Staff.