The weekly spelling test
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Syndicated column from The Parent
[OCT. 14, 2005]
Q: My daughter is in fourth grade and is still
having problems with spelling. Her weekly spelling tests come home
marked up with misspelled words. I'd like to be able to help her at
home. Do you have any suggestions?
A: There's no escaping
the weekly spelling test in elementary school. Learning to spell
correctly is an important step toward successful reading and
writing. There's no one best way for students to learn spelling
words, but you can help your daughter learn to spell better. Here
are some suggestions:
Encourage lots of reading. Help
your daughter find books on her favorite topics.
Help her pay attention to how
words are spelled. Keep a spelling notebook of new or difficult
words she encounters.
Give your daughter writing tasks,
such as letters, thank-you notes, invitations, your shopping
list and labeling objects.
Encourage her to proofread her
schoolwork for spelling errors. Praise her when she finds
Play spelling games together.
Scrabble, Boggle, UpWords or even an old favorite like hangman
can give your daughter practice in spelling correctly.
Make sure your daughter studies spelling regularly. Here are some
ideas for studying her weekly spelling lists at home. Have your
daughter do the following:
Be aware of different spelling
patterns, such as prefixes and suffixes, "i" before "e" except
after "c," and so on.
Look at each word. Then have her
"see" the word with her eyes closed.
Write the words from her spelling
list in alphabetical order. List them first from "A" to "Z" and
then from "Z" to "A."
[to top of second column in this article]
Use all the assigned words to
write five to 10 silly sentences.
Cut out letters from a newspaper
or magazine. Glue them on paper to create the words on her
Eat her words! Write the words
using letters from alphabet pasta or cereal.
Find and circle the spelling
words in newspapers or magazines.
Write two or more words so they
cross where they have common letters.
Make a recording. Have her say
"digital," then wait 10 seconds or so. (The pause will allow her
time to spell the word when she plays it back.) Then have her
say, "Digital, d-i-g-i-t-a-l." Making a recording is a good way
to help her review the words.
Some kids are born spellers. Others have to work harder at it.
But your daughter can learn to be a better speller. Remember to
focus on test improvements rather than the total score. Celebrate
each time your daughter gets more words correct.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright © 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.