Two Keys to Quick Spelling Fluency
Secondly, many words that rhyme are spelled similarly, like light, fight, night, tight, etc. If a student can learn -ight, they can spell a bunch of words that use that ending. If you teach your student words in rhyming/spelling groups, they have the added help of remembering one word then triggers their memory for another word.
Ways to Practice the Common Words
- My standard present and practice spelling exercise: the, th_, t_ _, _ _ _. To help my audio learner, she also has to say the letters as she writes them.
- If after several days, my child still cannot spell the common word without the scaffold, then I isolate the missing letter(s) and draw or doodle on them to make them stand out (add a smiley face, for example). Then we practice the scaffold exercise with the extra doodle. Or if it is a group of letters that go together, I will write the word with those letters missing for my student to fill in multiple times with the drawing. In my resources section below, I will include a link to a resource that teaches this concept well.
- Another way to make the missing letters stand out better is to always say the spelling of the word in same sing-song way, emphasizing the missing letters with a deep voice or high voice, for example.
- When mastery is achieved, instead of quizzes or isolated exercises, we continue to review our mastered spelling words in the penpal letters we write to friends. I write my child's dictated letter putting blanks where the target spelling words go.
How to Practice Rhyming Words
- Have the student write several times the common ending shared by the group of words: -ight, -ight, -ight, -ight.
- As with the common words, create blanks to fill in for each letter: -ight, -igh_, -ig_ _, -i_ _ _, - _ _ _ _.
- Then add in the beginning letter sound option: light, fight, sight, bright, night, etc. Always start with the same word when writing the group down, so that word becomes the leader word for the group. For example, this is the "light" group. This creates a trigger if a student forgets. For example, you can remind the student that bright is spelled like light.
- For any of these exercises, if a student doesn't like or struggles with the physical act of writing, then trace in sand or use a word processor (my son had to learn how to type early on).
** For all of these exercises, remember your 5-Minute Homeschool rule, don't spend more than 5 minutes on spelling. Don't work on more than 3 new words at a time. Divide that 5 minutes up into new words and review words.
My Favorite Spelling Resources in the 5-Minute Homeschool
1000 Instant Words: The Most Common Words for Teaching Reading, Writing, and Spelling
by Edward Fry
I See, I Spell, I Learn® - Picture Sight Words Flashcards & Sight Words Readers Combo