Teaching kids to spell is a vitally important piece of literacy instruction. Like I mention in my new ebook, Teaching Kids to Spell, in order for spelling instruction to be effective, it needs to be developmentally appropriate, explicit, and hands-on. In the appendix of my ebook, I have several resources that can help you do just that!
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Free Printable Resource Pack for Teaching Kids to Spell
1. Beginning Letter Sounds Chart– As your child learns her letter sounds, this chart can help her pinpoint the sounds she hears as she stretches out words. For example, if your child wants to write the word map, you can guide her to look for the letters on this chart. You can say something like, “Map begins with the /m/ sound, like in the word mitten. Let’s write an M.” You can guide your child through each letter sound in the word to write the entire word. (This chart works best with Emergent and Letter Name-Alphabetic Spellers, as referenced in Chapter 2 of my ebook.)
2. Consonant Blends and Digraphs Chart– As spellers learn more about phonics and grow in their abilities to hear more sounds in words (phonemic awareness), we want to hold them accountable to what they know. We begin to expect them to listen for and spell blends and digraphs conventionally. This chart is a great reference chart for them to use, just this as they write, much like the Beginning Letter Sounds Chart is, as mentioned above. (This chart works best with kids in the late Letter Name-Alphabetic spelling stage to Within Word Pattern stage of spelling, as mentioned in Chapter 2 of my ebook.)
3. Common Single Syllable Vowel Pattern Chart– This chart is offered for free on my blog already here (I also explain how to use it in my post.) It works best for spellers in the Within Word Pattern stage of spelling as well as those who still struggle to remember those more ambiguous vowel patterns as they move into the Syllable and Affix Speller stage.)
4. Word Feature Charts for Each Developmental Stage– For each developmental stage of spelling, you’ll find some common word feature charts that list some of the phonics patterns you will want to teach your child in each developmental stage of spelling. These lists are not meant to be exhaustive. For a more exhaustive lists and word examples to go with each feature, refer to the lists in the back of Words Their Way.
5. Spelling Checklist for Evaluating Spellings Within Written Products– This chart can be used as you look at your child’s writing. If she does any independent writing, you can check through her spellings and misspellings with this chart. It can help you locate the developmental spelling stage of your child.
6. My Word Family Dictionary– Last week, I posted about this one over at The Measured Mom. The chart in my ebook is a little bit different, but it works exactly the same.
7. My Word Pattern Dictionary– When studying a particular word pattern (also called a phonogram or word chunk) such as oa, write down the pattern in the box. As you and your child come across words that contain this word pattern, ask him to jot it down on the paper. As you study different word patterns, make a page for each one. Staple them together or place in a 3-ring binder to make your own Word Pattern Dictionary.
8. My Spelling Dictionary– This is a dictionary made specifically for sight words, but it can be adapted for use any way you’d like. My suggestion is to copy off a page for every letter of the alphabet (although letters like x and y could share a page). After your child has been introduced to certain sight words, jot them down on the appropriate page, based on their beginning letters. For example, the would be spelled on the t page. When your child writes, you he can use it as a dictionary. If you need suggestions, you can find two very common sight words lists here and here.
9. Try It! Page– As spellers begin to read more independently, we want them to begin to recognize when they have misspelled a word. You know that feeling after you’ve spelled a word of, “Oh, that doesn’t look quite right.” The Try It! Page gives spellers a chance to spell the word two times independently before she asks you for help. The Try It! page gives you another window to see what your child does or does not understand. The Try It! Pages can also be kept for the child to use as a resource later in writing.
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