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Tips to help children learn spelling

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homework-boy-sq.jpgHOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHILD'S SPELLING

We often get asked for advice on teaching good spelling habits. Spellings can be very difficult to retain, but there are lots of ways that you can help your child to improve. Here are a few ideas…

* Encourage them to check through their work carefully, especially for words they mis-spell regularly e.g. thay.

* When you check their work, circle the incorrect spelling and let them self-correct.

* To help them recall spellings, copy out the word and leave gaps for them to fill in the letters- ahe_d.

* Encourage the use of a spelling dictionary (Oxford-Spell It Yourself – by G.T.Hawker).

* Use the ‘does it look right’ strategy. Write out various possibilities and choose the best one.

* Split words into chunks for easier spelling; to/mor/row.

* Find words within words; to/get/her.

* Learn the many spelling rules e.g. double the last letter before adding –ed. At Kip McGrath we teach them all as part of our spelling programme.

* Recognise sound families; ight in night, sight, fight.

* Use the ‘magic e rule’ for making short vowels into long vowels e.g. mad-made.

* Learn that the same sound can be made with different combinations of letters e.g. long a = ay, ey, ai, a, ea, ey, eigh.

* Be aware of changes when making words plural; wife-wives, baby-babies.

* Look out for silent letters; knee, write, thumb, gnome.

* Encourage the use of mnemonics; said - six ants in homework-girl-sq.jpgdresses; because – big elephants can’t always understand small elephants.

* Learn, learn, learn. Use the look, cover, write, check method.

* Find a good spelling app for their tablet or phone, so they get into the habit of quickly checking any words they are unsure of.

* Use rhyme; rain, train, sprain (Blacks Rhyming and Spelling Dictionary by Pie Corbett is great for finding words which rhyme).

* Encourage joined-up handwriting to help learn how letters flow together. This will improve their recall too.

* Create a personal spelling dictionary of ‘difficult’ words. We all have them!

* Keep reading for maximum exposure to words. Try ‘First News’ a child’s newspaper, books, magazines, cereal packets – anything!

* Play word games like Scrabble and Hang-man. Do word searches, anagrams and crosswords.

FINALLY… we all learn at different rates so try to be patient with your child if they keep making the same mistakes. With practice they will improve.

If you would like a FREE assessment to check your child’s spelling age give Debbie a call at Kip McGrath Salisbury on 01722 332200.

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