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Teaching Methods for Spelling

Every child develops differently when learning to read and spell. The following teaching methods use the Test-Study-Test Method to help a child learn how to spell words correctly.

Spelling Tests

The Test-Study-Test Method administers 2 spelling tests to identify the words a child misspells and a word study session to remedy any spelling errors.

Take a Spelling Test

On Monday, perform a spelling test. For example, you may administer a test of 10 words for a first grader. If your child is in fourth grade, double the number of words and give a spelling test using 20 words.

Child Corrects Spelling Test

Let your child or student correct their own paper. If a word is misspelled, write the word again using the correct spelling. It is important to make sure they identify the words that are misspelled and rewrite them using the correct spelling. Many children can self-correct their work so offer assistance when needed but let them correct their work. If your child requires supervision, help guide them through this exercise.

Careful Study the Misspelled Words

Your child should study the words she did not spell correctly. Writing the word several times from memory helps a child learn to correctly spell it. When you write something down, you print it on the brain. See below for additional information on word study techniques.

Take Another Spelling Test

On Wednesday, administer another spelling test. If your child spells all the words correct, he does not need to take the test again on Friday. Since he has mastered these words, he should read or write a story in lieu of taking a spelling test. Use your professional judgment to determine the cutoff as to whether or not a child needs to take another test, e.g. 90% or 1-2 errors. The goal is to learn how to spell these words correctly not to torture a child with spelling tests. If your child needs to take another test, carefully study the misspelled words again. Look at each word and help your child identify spelling patterns, syllabication, suffixes or irregularities to help them spell it correctly the next time.

Final Spelling Test

On Friday, if applicable give another spelling test to your child if she misspelled words on the Wednesday test. Let your child chart their final scores.

Word Study

The following 5-step word study can help a child learn how to spell a word correctly.

  1. Look at the word.
  2. Say the word out loud.
  3. Spell the word. Say each letter out loud or to yourself.
  4. Write the word several times. Using your memory, write the word.
  5. Check the spelling of your words written from memory.

If you misspell a word, repeat the process and begin with step 1. The above teaching tips and word study are great tools to assist a child when learning how to spell new words.

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