Endless research studies have been conducted on phonics instruction. Apart from highlighting that phonics instruction can help all children to read, it also improves spelling ability.
Generally, spelling development lags behind reading development. What this means is that often our kids are able to read a word before being able to spell it. In order to spell a word, the child needs to have the visual attention to see the word, store the word in his or her memory and retrieve the word out of the memory when asked to spell it.
While my child has a strong visual memory, he tends to be able to read more than spell. As such, I believe that phonics becomes an invaluable tool to improve spelling because it emphasizes on spelling patterns, which become similar to reading.
I come from a time when learning the spelling of words meant writing one full page of the same word over and over again. It is mundane and not necessary useful in teaching our kids (or many others) who tend to learn in more kine-static ways.
- Assessing the child’s ability to decode and spell c-v-c (consonant-vowel-consonant)or cc-v-c words (e.g., hot or frog)
- Training of motor skills through the use of the Teaching tools_Match It! Sequencing and Spelling sets
- Training the child’s listening skill to hear the individual sounds and spelling of the words
- laminated sheets of letters a to z printed on A4 paper
- I have chosen to print vowels on yellow paper, letters with multiple sounds/spelling rules in blue paper and the ‘crazy’ letter ‘y’ in orange paper
- Teaching tools_Match It! Sequencing and Spelling (this is optional but I think it adds to the fun in the lesson) You can always just write the words down on paper.
Instructions for Spelling Hopscotch
- On the floor, place the A4 cards on the floor. I have placed a blue tack on the back of each letter to create fiction.
- Pass the child one set of the spelling words.
- Instruct the child to piece together the word. (You might want to put a completed set to show the child the end result)
- When completed, sound the word out with the child.
- Move towards the spelling hopscotch floor board
- Sound the spelling word out by word or by letter, one letter at a time, depending on the ability of the child.
- When completed, move on to the next set of word.
C enjoyed this game a lot compared to the pen and paper way of learning (who wouldn’t :p). On hindsight, I should have placed more blue tacks as the letters would move about if C jumped too hard on the letters which is a safety hazard. Other than that, I wish I had more of the spelling sets in c-v-c or -cc-v-v for C to play with. He kept asking for more but the remaining ones in the set were diphthong words (words with two vowels in them such as bird, boat) or long vowel words such as cake, kite) which he has not learnt yet.
Do note that although C recognises words such as cake, kite or even boat, I do not get him to spell them as I have not taught him the phonetic sounds. I think if it is for fun, we can use all the words in the set.