Fun Spelling?

Updated on March 04, 2010
B.K. asks from Farmington, NM
20 answers

I've been trying to find a few different ways for my daughter to study her spelling words that she might actually enjoy. She's very bright but spelling is her hardest subject and she dreads studying her words every day. Any ideas on this would be great.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the ideas! I'm going to buy a large white board and let her write her spelling list on it at the beginning of the week to leave on her bedroom wall for the week, and then spell them out on letter flash cards, take a pre test and either write them each three times if she does good on the previous weeks test or go on to spellingcity.com or play hangman with us, if she does well the week before.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

Try this website: http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/lookcover/lookco...

I tutor students, and they seem to like this site for practicing their spelling words.

I also like the white board idea. You can have her use a different colored marker to make the spelling pattern stand out. For example, if the list contains words spelled with "ou" and "ow", use a different color to write those letters, or sort each pattern into a different list. Just using markers on a white board will make it more fun than paper/pencil.

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D.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I bought my daughter a huge "white board" at Office Max and she loved when I gave her spelling tests over and over on it. Colored markers were fun.... You can give her the words to spell while she is in a bathtub and she can write them with finger paints on the side of the tub....bath paints...whatever they are (its been a while!).

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K.P.

answers from Phoenix on

You have already received several good answers but her are too of my daughters favorites. We play scrabble using her spelling words. If I am busy she just trys spelling all her words with the tiles by herself. The other is typing them on the computer. She LOVES playing on the computer and is learning to type a the same time. Also I have a deal with my daughter, if she gets 100% on her tests for a whole month she gets a manicure and every month after that she continues to get 100% she gets pedicures from the salon. This helps motivate her to study more.
Hope this helps.

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S.

answers from Phoenix on

Leap Frog makes a game system called the Diji that is completely customizable. You can download the spelling words that they are working on that week into the game system for you child to practice. It incorporates learning and fun with being rewarded with game play when you get enough spelling words right.

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L.Y.

answers from Tucson on

Try having your daughter give you the spelling test. Spell some works wrong on purpose. Have her grade it and then you test her.

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

I do a talk in Abq sometimes on signing with kids to improve their literacy skills. If she knows the manual alphabet, spell the words with hands! It might help her remember and retain the spellings. It can be helpful to kids of all learning styles.

I also second SpellingCity.com. We use it to supplement our homeschooling. Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

On Monday, I have the words typed on cards and I hold up the word, she says the word, spells it aloud, then closes her eyes and spells it aloud again. Tell your daughter to visualize the words like she is typing them on the computer as she closes her eyes and spells them. Then we write the spelling words three times each and the longer words, I show my daughter how to break it up into sections (for example; different: diff-er-ent). We always use word association to try and remember the word. This week she had "American" and couldn't remember the last section, "can", so I said to remember that she "can" spell American. Monday's practice is a little boring, but it helps her remember the words. Then Tues. - Thurs. we use a white board with different colored markers and my daughter loves to write on this. We also use a board that is magnetic and comes with a pen, which writes black attracting the magnets inside (I forgot what it is called and they have been around forever). In the evenings, after a shower when the steam has collected on the mirror, I will have her write a few of the more challenging words on the mirror - she loves that! Every week, I type of the words on the computer and print them out and cut them into little cards. At the end of the week, cut the letters apart on some words and she has to put the letters together in the correct order to form the word. usually Wed. & Thurs. we will concentrate on the words she is having the most difficulty with. Friday morning, I always get her up early enough where we can have a spelling test before her test at school so that the words are fresh on her mind for the test. If she gets one wrong, we go over how to remember it and then she writes only the words she got wrong 3 times each, saying aloud each letter as she writes the word and each time she writes the next word, she tries not to look at the previous one. These are similiar things I would do with my students when I was a teacher and it worked pretty well! I hope this helps.
K.

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L.B.

answers from Phoenix on

My son hates spelling homework too. I let him type them out on the computer as opposed to writing them on paper. Sometimes we have him write silly sentences using at least 2 or 3 of his spelling words in each sentence. You can also have her make a picture with her words (i.e. she can make a house but instead of straight lines for the walls, she can write her words in the shape of the house). Instead of writing on regular white lines paper, we give my son a sheet of to-do list type of paper. She can write them on the shower wall with a bar of soap....

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B.W.

answers from Phoenix on

make homemade playdough and shape letters to form words.
Buy colorful dry erase markers and white boards. Matching parts of words would be written in matching colors to notice the patterns in the lists of words.
Focus on only half of the words instead of the whole list.

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K.P.

answers from Phoenix on

my daughter (8 yrs old) is the same way. Last weekend we happened to rent the movie "Akeelah and the Bee". It is a fictional story about an 11 yr old girl who lives in LA who ends up in the National Spelling Bee. It is a really good movie. My daughter and I watched it together. She has since started practicing being in a spelling bee. This week of spelling practice was a lot easier than before. All my kids wanted to be in it as well, so we used my 6 yr old spelling list for him, the 5 yr old got short familiar words and our 2 yr old just got up and recited the same 5 letters no matter what word we asked her.

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M.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Cook spaghetti & let her spell them using spaghetti noodles.

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D.T.

answers from Phoenix on

I taught 4th grade for many years and always gave my students options for studying their words. They had a notebook and a list of fun activities and they could choose a different one each night. If you take a look at
http://sd5.k12.mt.us/elrod/multiage/Spelling.html
you will see many ideas that your child may enjoy. Just do a google search for spelling games and you will come up with many more ideas and also sites where you enter your list for the week and they have interactive games to play for free. One of those sites is Funbrain.com.

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M.C.

answers from Phoenix on

www.spellingcity.com is a game my son uses on the computer. You can make your own lists and it makes games with the words. I also make him write the words 3-5 times each. He also uses the didj from leapster and really likes it.

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A.H.

answers from Washington DC on

http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/

I used to make printable word puzzles at the website with my daughter's spelling words. She really loved doing them.

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C.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Have her e-mail the family (Grandparents. Aunts ,Uncles etc. )her spelling list.It is working with my grandson.

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M.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

I homeschool my kids and they use puzzlemaker.com too.
They make word finds then print out three copies and we have races to see which one of us can find all the words first. My 12 year old can beat me now.

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

My daughter and I sing everything. Putting words to music a la m-i-c-k-e-y m-o-u-s-e and o-k-l-a-h-o-m-a. Or, stomping out the letters. Movement seems to do it. Or sky drawing with your finger. Or making up silly stories using the words if its vocabulary.

Jen

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J.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

One of my friends puts the spelling words on flash cards and posts them in her sons room so even if he is not actually sitting down and studying them, he still sees them and can learn from that. When my daughter first started school I wrote all the spelling words on flashcards and we would go through them everyday after school. We made it a part of homework. Not much fun though, but it did help her.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

There is learning it by:
repetition
drills
visually
auditorily
Kinesthetically (through motion)
Mnemonics (memorizing through association)

For young kids, through age 8 or so... they learn mostly via auditory and kinesthetic things... so, singing a song and doing a gesture WITH it.
Or, using visuals... for example: while spelling a word, SAYING it out loud.... at the same time. Or, looking at a picture of the word and then spelling/saying it... spelling it meaning they can do it written on paper... or saying/spelling it out loud... ."visualizing" it in their head.

Do whatever will be fun for your child... take her to the library or bookstore... peruse the books and see what she is interested in... then, get a marble notebook... and on each page designate an alphabet for each page. As she is reading the book she chose... have her keep the notebook next to her and write down any words that are new to her... or that she does not know how to spell or that she does not know the definition for. This marble notebook... will be her very own "dictionary" or "treasure book" of words. It will be a "fun" project and ongoing and can grow with her each year... by keep adding to it... and each year, she can see how far she has gotten and learned etc. AND, it will become a written keepsake/alphabet journal for her to keep... when she is a young lady/woman... and it will be treasured.

Or, have her write her own songs... telling her she can be a songwriter. Or have her write her own stories or plays... the words do NOT have to be spelled correctly at first....but then read it through together, when she completed her story/song/play... and then the words she mis-spelled can be written "correctly" in her Spelling "dictionary" or treasure book of words. ..ie: the marble notebook.

This is what my daughter does... we do it together, its fun. :) And, I as a child myself, used to do that. I would read even an entire dictionary!

All the best,
Susan

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

magnetic letters on the fridge?? (or, an old cookie sheet that's all rusty, paint it over and wa-la new lap tray for magnetic letters, games, or to color on!)