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:: spelling ::

September 20, 2010

Since the reading began to emerge a few weeks ago, the writing has been in hot pursuit.  This year, grade two, comes with a new formidable challenge (and a useful one at that!) – the spelling test.

It’s somewhat nice that she actually wants to write right now, as it makes practicing spelling a teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy, itty bitty less torturous on the two of us.

So, given that I have not yet purchased Peggy Kaye’s (whom I love dearly) book about games for writing I decided to work on a couple of my own (and I’ll share a couple of cool ones I’ve found from the ever-reliable Scholastic).

Since Ava has some sensory issues I’ve included a lot of tactile, hands-on type of spelling activities.  This keeps it interesting for her.

~ Cornmeal words.  All that I do is pour some cornmeal onto a plate and drill Ava on her spelling words.  She writes the words on the plate with her finger.

~ Fridge magnets are another cheap and easy way to practice spelling.  Given her list of spelling words Ava will create a list on the fridge with the magnets.  The list stays up for the week

~ Snap! This is a simple card game to make and what’s great about it is that you can continue to review previous units’ words.  Snap is essentially a matching game where a deck of cards is divided between two players.  Each player takes turns laying a card down.  If the last card played matches the next card the first player to yell “Snap!” wins the bundle.  As you complete units, keep adding cards to the deck.  Granted, this isn’t so much a ‘drill and practice’ type of spelling exercise, but it allows her to see the words repetitively, helping her to recognize the words for spelling and reading.

~ Pen pals are another great way to get kids writing.  Recently Ava has taken to writing little letters.  The first few were just to her dad, who was sitting across the kitchen table from her.

"Dad, I like your hat" and the second note says "Dad, why do you need glasses?"

The most recent ones have been to my grandmother, Isabelle, who is staying in an assisted living facility.  Both of them love getting mail and it’s a great way for Ava to keep in touch with her great-grandmother.

The next few activities come from Scholastic’s Sight Word Manipulatives for Reading Success:

Salty Word Colour Bursts: On a piece of heavy paper spell out the word by squeezing thin lines of glue.  Next, shake a large amount of salt over the word and then tilt the paper to remove the excess. Before the glue dries, dip a very wet paintbrush into watercolour paint.  Lightly touch the tip of the brush to the salt.  The colour will bloom over the letter touched.    Allow to dry thoroughly.  Salt will begin to crumble off unless ‘preserved’ with hairspray.

Magic Ink: Prepare two magic ink solutions as listed below

#1: 1 Tbsp baking soda in 3 Tbsp water

#2: Vinegar

Using index cards, write out each spelling word onto a card with a Q-tip or paintbrush dipped in grape juice.  Let the index cards dry overnight.

The next day, refresh the spelling words with your child.  Have them trace over the words using one of the two magic ink solutions.  Depending on the solution, the words will change colour !

As a last little note, I was able to order Peggy Kaye’s Games for Writing from our local library!  I’m hoping that it will get here within the week.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
~Buddha

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