Spelling Tips and Tricks: Using Letter Tiles
In All About Spelling, color-coded letter tiles are used to demonstrate new concepts and to practice spelling new words.
Letter tiles are small magnetic tiles that provide a visual and kinesthetic way for children to practice spelling concepts.
Have you ever used letter tiles?
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of teaching spelling concepts with letter tiles. That’s because letter tiles make it easier for kids to learn to spell.
Here’s why letter tiles make spelling easy:
Letter tiles help you explain spelling concepts very clearly.
- These concrete examples “stick” with the student. This is a HUGE benefit.
- Your child can actually “see” the abstract concepts.
- The different colors help the student visualize the different roles that letters have. For example, students learn that each syllable has a vowel, a concept they can easily internalize with the red vowel tiles.
They hold your child’s attention.
- Since letter tiles give students a concrete place to focus, they hold a child’s attention better and make it less likely that his mind will wander.
- Letter tiles also make a lasting impression. When students practice with letter tiles, the lessons learned are easier for them to recall later.
Mistakes are no big deal.
- Many students have had their share of failures with other spelling programs and are hesitant to make more mistakes. Using letter tiles allows them to quickly try out a word several ways to see what works rather than commit a wrong word to paper.
- It’s much easier to exchange tiles than to erase and rewrite a word.
Letter tiles are easier for young kids.
- For younger students who are still developing fine motor skills and for whom writing is more tiresome, the tiles make it easier to stay on task for longer periods of time.
You can squeeze in more spelling practice.
- Your child gets more spelling practice in each lesson because he first spells the words with the tiles and then spells them with paper and pencil.
Concepts and ideas become something your child can see and manipulate.
- Children can have a hard time understanding abstract ideas and concepts. But if you can demonstrate a concept in a visual way, it makes much more sense.
- “Building” words with letter tiles is a more concrete exercise than building them with sounds.
Letter tiles lay the groundwork for the accomplishment of bigger goals.
- Letter tiles don’t take the place of spelling words with paper and pencil; rather, they act as a fantastic learning tool that will enable your student to learn to spell more quickly and accurately, helping him get to the real goal: writing.
So, is it time for spelling? Don’t forget the letter tiles!
Photo credits: Michelle at Delightful Learning