Spelling matters. Here are four super strategies to help you learn your spellings:
Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check
There are five steps to learning your spellings:
1. Look at the word you’re trying to spell
2. Say it out loud
3. Cover up the word so you can’t see it
4. Write the word yourself
5. Check your attempt – did you get it right?
I’d advise you to look, say, cover, write, check your weekly spelling words – and any words you’ve spelt incorrectly in your work – five times, remembering to ‘look, say and cover’ every time.
A mnemonic is a rhyme, sentence or picture that helps you remember something. Here is one of the most famous spelling mnemonics. In order to remember that the word “cemetery” is spelled with three e's, for example, imagine Rose Tyler screaming 'e-e-e' as a Dalek jumps out at her.
One of the most common mistakes I read is confusing hear/here, as in the sentence ‘I live hear.’ As simple way to remember the difference is to remember ‘You HEAR with your EAR.’
Say ‘Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants’ to help you remember how to spell ‘because’!
Repeating A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream will help you remember how to spell ‘arithmetic’
Use first letter of each word ‘Never Eat Crisps, Eat Salad Sandwiches, And Remain Young’ to spell necessary, as this video will show you:
Try coming up with your own mnemonics to help you with tricky spellings!
Breaking Down a Word
Breaking down long words into their syllables is a great way to remember them. Here is a long word – punctuation. I can break it down into its syllables –
Punc – tu – ation
When I write it, I will say to myself ‘punc...tu...ation’.
Another cool strategy is to invent a sentence with another word that contains the same problem letters:
Tell that mosquito to quit biting me
The use of ‘quit’ in the sentence reminds us that there is a ‘quit’ in mosquito
Got the idea? Why not try inventing a rap to help you remember these tricky spellings?
I remember sitting a spelling test and being really annoyed because I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to spell ‘government.’ The problem with ‘government’ is that we tend to pronounce it ‘goverment’ – missing out the ‘n’.
There are other words which are easier to spell if you say (or pronounce) it incorrectly. We say ‘choclate’. To spell it correctly, try saying ‘choc – o – late’ under your breath!
This is really important for words with 'silent letters' like knife. Try pronouncing it 'k - nife', or write a little song, like this:
What strategies do you use to learn your spellings? Add your ideas by clicking on 'comment' below!