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Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Interactives -- Spelling Bee Pick another interactive:


Parents & Teachers Useful Tips

Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Other Grades



Grade 1


Useful Tips

This activity is designed for you to do with your child. As you read the text aloud, help your child follow along by pointing to the words.

Playing "Spelling Bee" gives your child practice reading words and making connections to how they sound.

You may want to help your child by slowly repeating the spelling word, emphasizing each individual sound. This will help develop what reading experts call "phonological awareness," which is the knowledge that words are made up of individual sounds.

To continue the learning later, encourage your child to read words on everyday signs, as they appear on the TV and computer screen, and in books.

Before you type the word...

  • Say the word out loud.
  • Sound out each letter or sound.
  • Clap out the word and count how many sounds there are.
  • Think of a word that rhymes with the one you are spelling.

Strategies

To Help Your First Grader Become a Top-Notch Reader and Speller
  1. Read to your child.
    Devote a part of each day to reading stories. Also seek out ways to incorporate reading into other daily activities, such as going over food labels and other grocery store packages, reading lists and notes posted on the refrigerator, and having your child read street signs.

  2. Get in the habit of sounding out words and having your child sound them out, too.
    Remember to take turns.

  3. Don't rush in.
    Be patient when your child is sounding out a word, providing the wait time your child may need.

  4. Support rather than instruct.
    If your child mispronounces a word, say the word correctly aloud, but try not to detract from the flow of the story you are reading. If your child seems to be guessing, help out by asking, "Did that make sense?" Steer clear of drilling vocabulary words.

  5. Offer encouragement.
    Reading and learning to decode new words is hard work. Remember to offer praise and support.



Grade 2


Useful Tips

Before you type the word...
  • Say the word out loud.
  • Sound out each letter or sound.
  • Clap out the word and count how many sounds there are.
  • Think of a word that rhymes with the one you are spelling.

Strategies

To Help Your Second Grader Become a Top-Notch Reader and Speller
  1. Help your child pick out books that are appropriate.
    Help your child get in the habit of reading each day by helping select books that are the right reading level. Before you check out a book from the library or buy one, have your child read a page out loud. If your child is able to read smoothly with just a few errors, the book is probably a good choice.

  2. Support your child's fluency and vocabulary by reading aloud.
    One of the best ways to learn new words is to practice saying them. If your child stumbles on a word, try to avoid correcting and instead pause and ask, "Did that make sense?" or "Do you want to reread that part?"

  3. Don't rush in and remember to offer encouragement.
    Be patient when your child is sounding out a word, providing the wait time your child may need. Also, reading and learning to decode new words is hard work. Remember to offer praise and support.

  4. Give your child a dictionary and demonstrate how to use it.
    Introduce your child to good spelling and reading tools, like print and online dictionaries, as well as knowledgeable people, such as school and branch librarians.

  5. Read yourself.
    Show your child you enjoy books, too. Read on your own and take time to share sentences, words, and ideas that interest you.



Other Grades


Useful Tips

Before you type the word...
  • Say the word out loud, stretching it out slowly. Did you remember each sound?
  • Visualize how the word is spelled in your mind. Can you write it with your finger in the air?
  • Think about the words you know. Is the word you're trying to spell similar?
  • Keep paper next to the computer, writing down different spelling possibilities. Which one looks right?
  • Remember how different letters can make the same sound (f, ph, and gh; c and s). Have you tried different options?
  • Listen to the line from the story where the word appears. What can the meaning of the sentence tell you about the word?

Strategies

To Become a Top-Notch Speller
  1. Read often and read a lot.
    Reading will expand your vocabulary and let you see how words are spelled. Also, reading is a great way to learn about new places, people, and ideas. Though it's great to know how to spell new words, their real power is communication. Words tell stories and help you say exactly what you want to say.

  2. If you don't know how to spell a word, ask.
    If you are unfamiliar with a word's correct spelling, look it up in a dictionary or ask somebody -- a friend, a teacher, or a family member.

  3. Start a personal dictionary -- and make it your own.
    If you have trouble spelling the same words over and over again, add them to your list. You can include drawings or rhymes, whatever helps you learn best. It's your list, so feel free to devise your own technique for remembering each word.

  4. Study lyrics.
    Don't just sing the songs you like. Take a look at how the lyrics are written and how the words are spelled.

  5. Sign up for a spelling bee.
    This interactive is just a teaser. Check out real spelling bees that will give you a chance to compete against other students in your school -- and well beyond.

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