I am sure most of us remember having to learn our spellings for the weekly spelling test when we were at school. Oh how I hated them. It was so dull and boring having to learn them. I sit here now on the receiving end of these weekly spellings as a parent. I acknowledge the importance of learning to spell and improving a child’s literacy skills as they develop however there has to be a better way to learn them.
I try really hard not to but I find it really frustrating when we get them right one day and then wrong the next day. Additionally I think that for some children the spellings being sent home are on the hard side.
I have tried making up worksheets. We tried learning them the traditional way – reading them, writing them down – correcting ourselves and trying again the next day. We also tried a spelling wall with the weeks spellings written on the wall. All of which have had a varying degree of success. We both liked the worksheets as they placed the word in context with pictures, but I found this really time consuming putting together worksheets for 13 different words each week. Also as the term progresses and Amelie becomes more tired it is a lot of additional work for her too.
I started an internet search on ideas for teaching spellings. One of my favorite ideas I came across was spelling with Lego. So I thought we would give it ago. I followed the instructions given over at This Reading Mama
Whilst Amelie was at school the other morning I sorted out the lego bricks we would need. I used blocks of 4 for the small letters, a,c,e,i,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x,z and blocks of 6 for tall letters and tails with tails b,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t,y. Armed with a permanent pen I then wrote the letters on the corresponding blocks. (For all you Lego lovers out there – never fear a cotton pad and some acetone free nail varnish should remove the pen.)
Following the ideas of This Reading Mama I decided separateout the vowels as being white. Amelie always gets her p & q’s and b & d’s round the wrong way so I made sure that they were very specifically different colours. Some of Amelies spellings have had capital letters so I did these with blocks of 8.
Basically she had to build the words using the lego. Using the shape/size of the bricks to help her.
She totally LOVED learning her spellings this way and has been asking me to do them. I think I am going to add an extension onto the worksheet next week – where she has to write the word down after she has built them.
The girls have fought over the bag and the lego letters/bricks since I made them. I am thinking of putting another set together for Harriet.
Here is Harriet playing with the Lego Letters whilst Amelie is at school.
I would love to hear what methods you use to help your little ones with their spellings. You can find some of the other ideas I have come across on my pinterest board.