Ways To Learn My Spellings

Foundation Year 2 - Our journey starts with learning the first 45 Sight words. The first 45 sight words make up 80% of the words use in daily life. 

Underpinning this is the importance of learning the base alphabet sounds and the names of the letters. Using the Alphabet Chart consists of singing or say the name of the letter and a phonetic sound for the letter each day, such as; "a is for apple a,a,a". Once a younger student is starting to gain condifence on the Alphabet they should start working through the consonant blends chart "cl is for clock, cl,cl,cl".

Why we sing through the name of the letter once and repeat the sound of the letter three times is due to the importance of the sound over the name of the letter. Have children point to each letter as you sing through the chart together.

Word Focus:
Younger children also learn to read their through and then later spell 3 to 5 per week. Keeping it fun and encouraging. Faith CSDE will supply you with these Sight Word cards. To pick your first words, think about which ones are the highes frequency and then consider words that make an important sentence.

For Example, "I, Love, Mum" or "I love Dad." or "The (topic word) is big." ...  

Activities for younger students:

  • Five Times.  -Write each word five times using a different colour each time. Or overwrite each word 5 times.
  • Card Sort. -Write the letters of a word on cards and spread on the table of floor randomly then organise the letters back into the word. 
  • Word Find. -Find little words in your spelling words, for example, his – is.
  • Word Families.  -Make a word family for each spelling word, for example, an - fan, man, can, ran, etc.
  • Silly Sentences. -Write silly sentences using a spelling word in each sentence. e.g. Bobby wore his raincoat when he went for a swim in the pool.
  • Handball Words.  -Bounce a ball to your sibling/ parent and say a letter each time the ball hits the ground.
  • Memory Find.  -Write your words on two cards and lay out in a random order within a matrix. then play the memory game taking turns to turn two over at a time to find the pair. Say the words as you find the pair.
  • Large Write.  -Write the word out with a stick in mud or sand or on concrete with chalk.
  • Coloured Fridge Letters.  -Make your words up using magnetic plastic letter on the fridge...

Middle and Upper Primary - Building strengths

You will usually find students in primary schools learning their unrelated words within spelling lists, day after day, week after week. At the end of the year the good spellers are still good spellers and the poor spellers at the start of the year are generally still poor spellers at the end of the year, despite getting high scores in their weekly spelling test.

That is unless the poor speller has:

  • become a keen reader during the year
  • been given phonetic strategies they are able to remember -many are not retained
  • been working on words that they are using in their draft writing
  • and working on groupings of words in families.

In other words if you want to help you child with their spelling, focus on the reading and working on words that they are using. Time spent learning unrelated words that are not relevant to the student at that time in their lives is often a waste of time.

Our Principal suggests having a spelling list of approximately 10 to 15 words that the student is learning well each week. This is better than learning 20 per week and not knowing them a month later. These words are taken from the student's draft copies where words at their level have been spelt incorrectly. They are also taken from the most common words list. When selecting from this generic list, pre-test a set of words so that you only choose words that the student needs to work on.
Here is a link to the most commonly used 500 words list.
Then move on to the 100 Most commonly miss-spelt words list.
For those wanting to increase their vocabulary here is a great site: Vocabulary Extension