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Senior Member
I teach 4th grade at a private school. I hate the way we have to teach spelling, but I have to do it. I have some kids in my class who really can't spell to save their lives. I'm grading work right now, and everything on this kid's paper is spelled phonetically (why I hate our program). I do take off points when kids misspell words, but I don't know how to help them. Any ideas?

Mrs. O

Senior Member
Here's a few ideas.

I teach second grade, and here are suggestions I give my students and their parents for Spelling and Bible Memory. If you are using a "traditional" curriculium, like I am, you have to find new ways to practice. You may already use these or they may be too corny for your big kids, but maybe you can adapt something.
  • Say spell say the words into a tape recorder and then listen to yourself. Could also video tape and watch.
  • Call a grandparent and say spell say some words for them.
  • Say spell say words into a mirror.
  • Write your words in a shallow pan of salt or cornmeal.
  • Write your words and then trace over using different colors
  • Write your words on top of a piece of sandpaper.
  • Do air punches, push-ups, toe touches ect. for each letter as you spell the word.
  • Write them on a dry erase board.
  • Sing 5 letter words to the tune of "Bingo". (I have heard of other tunes for different numbers, but I can't think of them right now.)
  • Tree spelling
  • Give each letter a value and have the children add up how much each word is worth.
  • Telephone numbers for each word.
Ask them to come up with some creative ways to practice. Honestly, I think spelling comes easier for some than others and in the end the only way to memorize is to write them over and over again. (Unless there is a genuine learning difficulty in that area, but that's another story.) I hope this helps.

Carrie in WV

Full Member
Private school here, too

I am wondering if we use the same curriculum. Our words (5th grade) are soooo hard. The kids can spell big words for a test that they would never use in their everyday writing or vocabulary, but they can't spell very, friend, etc. We use Abeka. I am trying to talk to our education committee about looking into something else. Our test scores in that area are not that great, either.