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Exemplary Spelling Strategies for Every Classroom

By Patrick Lashmar September 28, 2015

Teachers need to build a large collection of strategies to teach spelling that are rich, practical and that can be used in a wide variety of situations. Below are some that have stood the test of time.

Exemplary spelling strategies to use:

  • Exaggerate pronunciation; say word as spelled. (e.g., Wed-nes-day, k-now)
  • Cluster look-alike words. (e.g., elect, select)
  • Follow generalized rules for adding suffixes. (e.g., hope-hoping, slam-slammed)
  • Use memory aids (e.g., mnemonics (twin is two), visualization, word shape, word pictures)
  • Spell words out loud.
  • Segment (say by syllable) words. (e.g., re-move, motor-cade)
  • Identify root words in related words. (e.g., explored, explorer, exploration)
  • Highlight differences between similar words. (e.g., pitcher, picture)
  • Use study steps. (e.g., print, look, close my eyes and picture, spell check)
  • Slowly say, listen, and picture the word.
  • Finger print.
  • Underline, circle, or otherwise highlight the hard part.
  • Use word families. (e.g., care, hare, fare, rare)
  • Fold paper between syllables.
  • Tap syllables.
  • Think of other words that rhyme.
  • Listen to hear a smaller word within the word.
  • Use a dictionary.
  • Add words to my personal spelling list.
  • Picture the word in my mind.

Learn more about spelling strategies on a grade-specific level by clicking below.

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