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How do you teach spelling??

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jscarter, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. jscarter

    jscarter New commenter


    across our 6 schools (im in a MAT) we need to drastically rethink our teaching of spelling.

    How does your school successfully teach spelling? do you have weekly tests, do you teach discrete spelling lesson rules weekly, do the children have tasks to complete weekly during guided reading/carousel time, do they rote learn NC words/commonly mispelt/hfw?

    I'm interested in the idea of a spelling book where children record unknown words rather than just having them written on a whiteboard for them and rubbed off. what do you think? I'm not interested in any type of scheme (we currently use ****** planning which is great) as we have enough in school. I just want to know about good old fashioned teaching!

    TIA x
  2. mrcooldude

    mrcooldude Occasional commenter

    We use No Nonsense Spelling. It's dry but does a good job. It's meant to be done 3 times a week, however the advice is to do it everyday if spelling is an issue. This way you can cover two years worth of spelling in a year, which is good revision.
  3. 20drew01

    20drew01 New commenter

    What hasn't been fixed in primary school is the massive leap between phonics and spelling. Year 3 hold the key here and many children are left behind as they still are in the phonic stage rather than knowing the spelling families. Only when you 'know' a range of ai words for example can you go on to making positive spelling choices.
    Many schools/teachers assume children are sophisticated spellers after phonics and can move onto spelling complex and varied spelling in Y3... they can't.

    Nelson Spelling is a good scheme, I use spelling strategies and do lessons from this at the end of Y2 but imho should be carried on in Y3. Avoid Rising Stars, too hard currently..
  4. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    First 10-15 minutes after assembly, every day. No flunking it to accommodate other things, it's done unless it physically can't be on that day. Straight off the national curriculum. Old fashioned chalk and talk. Rules explained and explored thoroughly and practised to death until they are automatic. Spellings recorded in individual books and they stay in trays. Regular application and revision.

    More broadly, a no-nonsense approach to accurate spelling in the wider curriculum. Dictionaries out on desks permanently, lists of words that they must not spell wrong through carelessness e.g. High/Medium frequency, homophones for were/where etc. teachers like dogs with bones not accepting lazy spellings and constantly challenging them to have high standards. Little class competitions going on to motivate them. Essentially just making it important.

    Kids who are really struggling - get into them early and give them the intervention, no leaving it until Year 6.

    It's worked and standards have definitely risen in spelling.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Spelling rules taught during English starters / SPAG lessons. Weaker children to have and use their own personal dictionary, which words can be added to, to support them. Weekly spelling tests and class work which enables children to use new words, if possible. Homework could include children finding definitions and using the words. I am always surprised at how many children don't know the meaning of words which they are supposed to spell. Spellings could be practised in handwriting session time. Also, I always give the children a variety of ways in which to practice their words, like bubble writing, using different colours, doing kick ups with football etc... lots of inspiration on pinterest.

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