Throughout the year, we teach a range of strategies to support the learning of tricky words:
Try a tray of cheap shaving foam or play sand - write the word in that (using the correct handwriting style)
Play dough can be made cheaply using flour, oil and water and can be rolled into a sausage to shape the words in the cursive/joined handwriting style. Or try the Roman wax tablet method - squash your play dough flat and write in it with a sharp pencil/stylus.
s h o
s h o u
s h o u l
s h o u l d
Look, Cover, Write, Check
(also known as Look - Say - Cover - Write - Check). Photos to follow. Videos are available on Youtube that help explain.
The spelling strategy Look Say Cover Write Check really improves your spelling if you use it a little bit every day - just a few minutes every day.
This strategy is very good because it’s about writing and using your spelling – visualizing it, saying it, writing it, checking it, correcting mistakes and doing it again. Remember the only way to improve your spelling is to use it and that means writing it.
1.Under the first flap of card the correct spelling is written in the school handwriting style - e.g. Wednesday.
2. Look at the word – really see the word, look at the shape, visualize it.
3. Say the word /wensday/– saying/pronouncing a word and spelling the word is sometimes very different – usually because of silent letters.
4. Cover it over by putting down the flap– no peeking, visualize the word – can you remember how it looks.
5. Say it again as you write it in your home-learning journal under the next flap of card.
6. Now lift up the first flap and check it from the original.
7. Correct your practice version if you need to. Try and figure out why you made the mistake. Then only keep the correct spelling on your page so it sinks into our visual memory.
Oops! I forgot the silent ‘d’ – a classic mistake. It’s a good idea to break Wednesday into syllables which are small chunks of the word – with the vowel in it. Wed/nes/day. Or use whatever memory tricks that help you with spelling a word. Wed/nes/day.
8. Now next time you sit down to practice your spelling you repeat but write your efforts under the next flap of card.
Repeat over the following days - little and often!
Handwriting practise builds muscle memory.
In school we use the cursive handwriting style. Practising your spellings using this style helps to build muscle memory which helps your brain and hand write the next letter. This is particularly good if children struggle with learning spellings.
The following sheets can be printed and used to practise your spellings in the school's cursive handwriting style: