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4 Spelling Strategies You Won’t Want to Miss

Some kids are just naturally “good spellers.” And then there are those who need all the help they can get.

If spelling doesn’t come easily to your child—or if you want to get your child started on the right foot—this post is for you! Read along to learn about four powerful spelling strategies to help your student, including free resources to get you started.

Quick guide for spelling strategies printable
  1. Phonetic Spelling Strategies

    Phonics is the perfect place to start. When done correctly, phonics teaches a child how to listen for each sound in a word and then how to represent each sound with a letter or combination of letters.

    The ability to hear the individual sounds in words is called segmenting. You can see how we teach segmenting in the video below, or find out more in our Segmenting blog post.

    Would you like to give it a try with your student? Download this free segmenting activity.

    After learning how to segment, your student will represent each sound in a word with a letter or letter combination, also known as phonograms. Phonograms include the letters of the alphabet A to Z, as well as combinations such as CK (for the sound of /k/), SH (for the sound of /sh/), and OW (for the sound of /ow/).

    Image depicting how cow is split up in to two phonograms

    If you are new to phonograms, be sure to check out our comprehensive article on How to Teach the Phonograms, including free printable activities and a free app.

  2. Rule-Based Spelling Strategies

    Though hundreds of words can be spelled phonetically, there are often several possible spellings for the same sound—the sound of /j/ can be spelled J, G, or DGE, for example—and that’s when knowing some rules comes in handy.

    The Kids’ Club Rule™ is a great example of a reliable spelling rule.

    This rule helps you determine whether to use C or K for the sound of /k/ at the beginning of words such as kitchen and camp. You can download the rule poster here.

    Spelling rules are easy to demonstrate with the Letter Tiles app  or the physical tiles. Here are some more ideas for incorporating spelling rules into your teaching:

  3. Visual Spelling Strategies

    Sometimes phonics and spelling rules aren’t enough. This is where visual spelling strategies come in. Does the word look right? Good spellers often try spelling a word several ways to see which way looks correct.

    This is why we use word banks in the All About Spelling program. Each word bank focuses on one concept, such as the sound of /er/ spelled UR, and helps build the student’s visual memory of words related to that particular concept.

    Word Banks for words with UR

    After becoming familiar with UR words, the word nurse spelled nerse will look wrong, prompting your child to correct her own work. Visual memory is important when it comes to correctly using homophones, too, like pray and prey or tale and tail.

    Extensive reading and word games are a huge help in building visual memory. Be sure to check out some of these resources:

    Download image for free Drag Race game

    Rev up your review with Drag Race, a fun reading and spelling review activity. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

    Download image for free Pirate Ship game

    Your young swashbucklers can turn up the fun on spelling review with our Pirate Ship file folder game. Ahoy there, matey!

    Download image for free Popcorn Party game

    Reviewing spelling words can be easy and delicious when you have a Popcorn Party! Don’t forget the butter and salt!

    Download image for free Bingo Smash-Up game

    When two words get “smashed up” to form a new one, you get a portmanteau! Make a few of your own with Bingo Smash-Up!

    Find even more fun with words here!

  4. Morphemic Spelling Strategies

    Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning. Morphemes include roots and base words, prefixes, and suffixes, as in the word invisible.

    Image depicting the morphemes of the word "invisible"

    An understanding of morphology helps kids spell words like knowledge and action even though the base words know and act change pronunciation. That’s why All About Spelling teaches words with Greek and Latin roots, how to add prefixes and suffixes to base words, and how to form compound words and abbreviations.

    For a taste of how understanding morphemes can help your student, check out this 30-second Word Tree demo and download your free Word Tree printables.

So there you have it: the top spelling strategies that good spellers use. If your child is a struggling speller—or if you want to help your child reach the next level—be sure to incorporate these strategies in your lessons. That’s exactly what we’ve done in the All About Spelling program!

Where does your child fall in the continuum from natural speller to struggling speller?

Be sure to download our free spelling rules posters for extra reinforcement!

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Laila

says:

Perfect ideas my son will get Aplus in his spelling test tomorrow after this

Anne

says:

I love how you have segmented the different the four basic steps. The spelling rules are easy for both parents and students. The printable pages are great.

J.R. Ovuchi

says:

Thumbs up!

shini

says:

very informative. Thank

Sharon Smith

says:

I like it very informative nice tip

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Sharon!

Sharon Smith

says:

Your are welcome thanks
I do enjoy

Thulisile khoza

says:

Thanks this has helped me and my child a lot.it has made things easier for me. I was struggling a lot I didn’t Know where to start helping her.

N. Plaatjies

says:

Thank you so much, these strategies have assisted a lot with my assignment

MIchelle Hillier

says:

Is this an American based spelling program? I’m a teacher in Australia and I’ve noticed the American way of spelling can be different from the UK spelling.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
Yes, All About Spelling is an American curriculum that uses American spelling. However, there are fewer differences between the two English spelling systems than there seems to be and we have a lot of families and even schools using our materials all over the world, including in Australia. We even have an Australian distributor for our products, Educational Warehouse.

We have a document that details the changes you will make to the earlier levels of All About Spelling to adapt it for British spelling. You can email us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com if you are interested or would like more information.

We have a blog post that you may find helpful too, 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Bella

says:

I’m a grade 6 English teacher and some of my learners are struggling with spelling

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bella,
Yes, spelling is difficult for many students. You may find our 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling blog post helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information.

Willinton

says:

I learnt so many thanks for this class

Eugene

says:

Thanks a lot , very helpful

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Eugene!

Caroline

says:

Thank you so much. The information I got here will help my kids improve slot.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Caroline.

Olivia Donovan

says:

Can you download and print the word banks?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Olivia,
The word banks are included in the Student Packets of our All About Spelling program levels 2 through 7. We don’t have them available as printables generally, but let me know if you are missing one from a specific level.

Brittney meynard

says:

How do I purchase packets?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brittney,
Our Student Packets are available for each level through our website. Let me know if you need more information or are looking for a specific level.

Ashokkumar Bora

says:

It’s helpful material for remembering spelling for kids as well as elders . It needs regular practise .

Susan

says:

Dear Ashokkumar
It’s a crazy language, English but I think you mean p r a c t i C e :)

Carole Gallp

says:

I love all of the tips you give!

Nancy Parkinson

says:

Thanks for providing materials that are so appealing to kids while following the explicit instruction, scope and sequence of O-G programs. I love interweaving your materials with my Wilson program in tutoring my K-3 kids. In many cases your materials are more motivating than those included in the designated program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Nancy! I’m pleased to hear these resources are helpful for your tutoring.

Mohamed Samunn

says:

This is simply wonderful!

Kathleen Lanfear

says:

Hi,
The website is using a digital board that moves letters around. Do you sell it? Thanks,

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathleen,
What you saw was a tablet and our Letter Tiles for Learning App. The app is available for most iPad, Android, and Kindle tablets.

Beatwell Munankopa

says:

I love what I am reading

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

That’s great to hear, Beatwell! Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Beatwell Munankopa

says:

I have learnt a lot

Karyn Ashley-Smith

says:

So many amazing resources! My daughter struggles with spelling, so we are looking for a way to loop around and take another trip through phonics, hoping that the second trip will plug some holes.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karyn,
Yes, we have lots and lots of resources and printables on our blog. If you need anything specific, just ask!

Sarah

says:

I love this post. The best help (comprehensive and content based) I have gotten so far.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so pleased to hear this was so helpful for you, Sarah! If you have questions or ever need anything, just let me know.

Teresa Bogle

says:

Very helpful. Was able to better help my grandchildren. Thanks

Crystal

says:

Love this curriculum. It turned things around for my struggling speller and gave her so much confidence!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
I love when students develop confidence! 😊

Usha U Rao

says:

A wonderful source of information, resources and techniques to teach spelling to my students. Thank you so much.

ANGELA PEPPERS

says:

awesome ideas! thank you

Sarah

says:

Such helpful tips! Thank you.

Jen

says:

Spelling can be a little bit intimidating to teach, but I love how this curriculum makes it seem so manageable and logical!

Dena

says:

I love the Latin word tree and am excited to try it with my son.

Tori

says:

Great tips!

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