Recommendations to Develop Spelling Skills
A. Use the following procedure to teach spelling words:
- Be sure the student is looking at you.
- Pronounce the word clearly, then have the student pronounce it.
- Use the word in a sentence and have the student use it in a sentence.
- Write the word on the chalkboard in manuscript or printing, not cursive. When working with s single student, write the word on a piece of paper. Have the student wrote the word on a card.
- Have the student spell the word on her card by pointing to each letter with her pencil, marker, or finger while she says it.
- The student can use the card for further study. These cards should be kept in a file such as an old shoebox.
B. Increase the spelling vocabulary by adding previously missed words to new lists, as well as some words with which students are more familiar. Most students can learn more words than those normally assigned to them in a spelling book.
C. Teaching the following spelling rules will be helpful; however, keep in mind there will be numerous exceptions to rules in the English language. Whenever possible, teach spelling rules inductively. An example of teaching rules inductively would be to list a number of words that exemplify a particular generalization and then let students develop the rule for themselves. This will take time, but students are more likely to remember the rules. Also, it is better to show students certain exceptions to a rule when they learn it than to let them discover exceptions for themselves. At least make clear that there will be exceptions to nearly all of the rules.
- Write ie when the sound is /ee/, except after c, or when sounded as /a/ as in neighbor and weigh.
- When the prefixes il-, im-, in-, un-, dis-, mis-, and over- are added to a word, the spelling of the original word remains the same.
- When the suffixes -ness and -ly are added to a word, the spelling of the the word remains the same. Examples: mean + ness = meanness, final + ly = finally.
- When a word ends in a consonant + y, change the y to i before adding all suffixes except those beginnng with i. Do not change the y to i in suffixes beginning with i or those that begin with a vowel + y.
- Drop the final e before a suffix beginning with a vowel. Examples: care + ing = carrying, write + ing + writing. (Exceptions: noticeable, courageous, dyeing. Dyeing is spelled as it is to prevent confusion with dying).
- Keep the final e in a suffix beginning with a consonant. Examples: care + ful = careful, care + less = careless. (An exception is argue + ment = argument.)
- In words that are accented on the last syllable and the ending a single consonant + a single vowel, the final consonant should be doubled when adding a suffix beginning with a vowel. (examples: beginning, fanning.)
Note" Some of the rules noted here are very difficult fore even good spellers to comprehend. Keep in mind that not all students learn effectively by the use of rules.
D. Make lists of common prefixes and suffixes, as well as families of sounds.
E. Teach students how to use the dictionary in locating unfamiliar words. Practice this usage on difficult words that can be found by the sounds of the first few letters. Discuss possible spellings for certain words and sounds. Also teach the use of the diacritical markings in the dictionary.
F. Have students exchange papers and proofread each other’s written work. The habit of proofreading will carry over into their own writing.
G. Have students correct their own papers after taking a spelling test. Use steps 1 through 4 under recommendation A when students correct their spelling tests. Some students are much more adept than others at correcting their own work. You will need to make periodic checks to determine if students are having difficulty finding and correcting their own errors.
© ______ 2009, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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