Monday, March 5, 2012

Learning to Spell is Fun and a Freebie

This year, my students are really enjoying the writing process. This group also LOVES to draw. I believe part of their love to write comes from the fact that I believe it is really important to motivate them and champion their efforts at phonetic spelling.
Here is an activity I made for them to show them they can spell and give them a chance to draw their picture. Drawing a depiction of a vocabulary word is a great technique for remembering what the word said. Students do this technique all the way up through junior high school.Word Work

As a kindergarten teacher, I LOVE seeing a student begin their spelling experience. Most children automatically assume they can not spell. A few know they can and do not seem daunted by the process. Those that think they can not though are the ones that I am talking about. At this point in the year, through Saxon phonics, we have introduced all letters except the letter Q and combination Qu. As a result, the students have been exposed to the sounds each of these letters make and can be expected to use them to make simple C-V-C words for writing. They struggle with things like the correct times to use a C versus a K, but they are slowly learning that process too. Here is a snippet of how fun it is to watch a child learn they actually can spell.

Child: "Can you help me spell a word?"
Me: "What word would you like help with?"
Child: "I need help with flip."
Me: "You can spell that."
Child: "No, I can not."
Me: "Let's sound it out together."

The child then sounds it out with me and LO AND BEHOLD!!!! They realize they CAN spell it and put it down on paper! Seeing the look on their face when they run off to show their friends what they did is like money in the bank to me.

What do YOU do when a child comes up to you with a written word that is not spelled correctly, but has all the correct sounds? I celebrate with that child! At this point in the year, if a child can phonetically get EVERY sound, but still misspell the word, I know that they have a sturdy phonemic understanding. Examples: ("hrt" for hurt or "fol" for fall.) They will do VERY well with the spelling mechanics in first grade.

I would love to hear what you do to encourage the spelling process with students! I love new ideas!


  1. Just stopping by to tell you I love your blog and I've passed on an award to you. Stop by my page to get the details!!

  2. I love the idea of phonemic spelling! My husband (and 1 year old daughter) made me a birthday card and he wrote it using phonemic spelling so that it would be like she wrote it. Super sweet!
    Daisy Days for Learning


I would love to know what you think!

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