More Spelling Strategies

Child spelling the word 'rock' with letter tiles

I found these strategies & images from All About Learning Press

Phonetic Spelling Strategies: Students learn to sound out individual sounds in words and then moving up to combinations of letter sounds. If a student can identify individual sounds, they will be able to spell the word out more easily.

Rule-Based Spelling Strategies: In English, sounding out words can be difficult because there are so many rules. Teaching students specific rules like when to use ‘c’ and ‘k’ and knowing generalizations can help with correct spelling of words.

Visual Spelling Strategies: Often students might say “Does that look right?” when spelling out a word. Word banks can help build visual memory when it comes to spelling and it can be important to use homophones correctly too (ex. pray & prey). Reading and word games can be helpful for visual memory too!

Other helpful strategies:

  • Looking up words or using a spell checker to check proper spelling.
  • Look for unfamiliar words while reading and make a note of it. – After silent reading, teacher can gather students and have them read out the words they didn’t know and problem solve.
  • Using Mnemonics (a memory trick to remember rules). 
  • Give students resource lists to help them when they are stuck and can use while they are writing.


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                                                                                                              Big elephants can’t always understand small elephants

When we spell out a word, we usually sound it out right? Well in the case of some words like  “because”, it doesn’t really work. “Cause” can be spelled/sounded out as “Cos”, “Caws”  and in addition to that the last ‘e’ is silent! Spelfabet is a really cool memorization technique which uses sentences to help spell out words. If you haven’t realized it yet, the above sentence is the spelling of “because”.

Here are some activities, games, workbooks and even Free stuff related to Spelfabet that might be useful to you!

The article also highlighted some interesting points regarding spelling:

  • When looking for a job, 75% of employers would reconsider hiring someone due to bad spelling/ grammar.
  • Learners require teaching that includes manipulating phonemes, segmenting & blending, small group work to be successful. Feedback is also important.
  • Students who see word spelling learn the meanings easier.
  • Memorize sight words a few at a time. Also use the words in writing and using it correctly often.

I really like this strategy, especially for younger grades because I have noticed how well my K/1’s are at remembering ever movement and song lyric to Jolly Phonics. I think learning phrases to help them spell would be very beneficial and I would like to try this in my practicum class for sure.

image sourced by

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Dyslexia & Spelling

In this article I found an outline for teaching spelling to kids who have dyslexia. Here are a few points that stuck out to me:

  1. Lessons should be structured, have a progression and taught in sequence.
  2. Make sure the student has an understanding of phonological awareness.
  3. Get students to find patterns in words by dividing it up.
  4. New information isn’t always good. It can be a lot for a student to handle. Make sure the student has mastered one task before moving onto something new.
  5. Text-to-speech” programs can help dyslexic students so that they can follow the text while it is spoken aloud. Audio books are also good for students to hear the words while simultaneously reading.

                                                                 article: How Should Spelling Be Taught?


From this article I found that for students with dyslexia, things need to be broken down a lot in order for students to understand. It’s important that Teachers don’t rush them by introducing new concepts, rules and exceptions in English because it can be complicated. 

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Hello, Welcome to my inquiry blog!

If you are having difficulty teaching spelling to your primary class, then you and I have something in common. I was placed in a Kindergarten/Grade 1 practicum and noticed how hard spelling was for them. I haven’t had much practice in the subject so I thought I’d learn more about it so that I could (hopefully) implement it into my practicum. This blog is my learning journey into finding strategies, the challenges and methods to guide me when I am teaching spelling to my primary class.


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Spelling & English Language Learners

image sourced from publicdomainpics

This article has many good insights about how to teach and help English Language Learners to succeed in our classrooms. It has some helpful ideas that can easily be adapted to our practice. Here are a few key points I took from this article:

  • Teachers that mark mistakes on student’s work actually distracts them rather than helping them correct themselves. Student mistakes are a key part of developing language.
  • Instead of the standard spelling test, show students the pictures that indicate the meaning of the word and then write it. We could also give multiple-choice tests that has various ways of spelling a word and see if they can recognize the right spelling.
  • It can be difficult for students to develop fluency when they have to ask for help or look up a word in a dictionary because it stops their flow of thinking and it can be hard to continue their train of thought.


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Word Study


graphic sourced from pixabay

I found this resource online and it offers a different approach to teaching spelling in the classroom. Rather than giving students a list of words and testing them on it, students analyze words to find patterns, compare, and sort words into categories. They learn the different sounds of letters and recognize words in their reading that match what their current focus may be. I think it would be cool to implement a word wall in the classroom to add to their vocabulary. and it would help with learning proper sounds. I like this approach because it doesn’t focus on what students can memorize. Instead, students make connections by finding patterns, by learning through phonemic awareness and getting reinforcement that a spelling test doesn’t offer.

I think this resource would be great for all grades and it sounds much more meaningful and effective than the traditional ways of spelling tests and memorization.

Check out the Word Study Approach.

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Jolly Phonics

alphabet-1207048_960_720graphic sourced from pixabay

One of the most helpful strategies I’ve found for teaching students spelling is Jolly Phonics. I was given this resource by my sponsor teacher and learned about it more online here. In Jolly Phonics, students learn how to sound out letters accompanied by actions to help them remember. Not only does Jolly Phonics help with reading but it also helps with writing because students remember the actions to help them spell out words.

My sponsor teacher uses it in her class and the K/1 students have the alphabet sounds and song memorized. They use the phonics when they do writing prompts and it has proven to be a great resource. I plan on using Jolly Phonics when I am with my class and I would recommend this to my colleagues.


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