Teacher Worksheets
7 Easy and Fun Tips for Teaching Spelling [with FREE Spelling Workbooks]

7 Easy and Fun Tips for Teaching Spelling

One of the best things about spelling in the classroom is that it's something students come to expect every week. It becomes a predictable part of their day, helping them feel more secure. This frees up their working memory so that they can use their cognitive skills on curiosity, creativity, and learning.

Predictability can be a great thing in the classroom, but it can also be boring! Students are less likely to pay attention and more likely to get bored as they practice the same spelling activities day in and day out, which means they are less likely to learn the words you're teaching.

Whether spelling is starting to feel boring and stale in your classroom, you notice students aren't learning their weekly spelling words, or you're simply looking for new spelling activities that are a little different, these teaching tips really work-and they're fun, too!

#1 - Let Students Spell Phonetically

The ultimate goal of teaching students how to spell is teaching them how to spell correctly, but that doesn't mean you should discourage them from spelling incorrectly.

Phonetic spelling, also known as invented spelling, should be encouraged as students learn to spell new words. This type of spelling can improve a child's writing and reading when done in the right ways.

Before students see the new spelling words for the week, encourage them to stretch out the words and spell them the way they sound. It gives them practice sounding out words slowly and allows you to discuss spelling rules. For example, if young students often use K or C interchangeably, you can introduce the spelling rule that says the letter C makes an S sound before E, I, and Y.

You can then ask students to write each word the correct way. They can compare and contrast the two spellings of each word, making sense of why the words are spelled the way they are. That can make spelling feel a little less confusing to them.

#2 - Create Weekly Spelling Workbooks

Writing is one of the best ways for students to learn new words. Asking students to write each word at least five times is one way to facilitate that, and there are so many other more enjoyable ways for students to practice writing their spelling words!

From crosswords to word finds, word scrambles, fill in the blanks, and more, tons of fun spelling worksheet ideas will help your students practice their spelling words.

Worried about how much time it's going to take to create and assemble unique spelling workbook pages every week? Don't be! EdHelper's spelling workbooks are created using your spelling words!

FREE Spelling Workbooks

Second Grade Spelling Workbooks

2nd Grade - Book 1

2nd Grade - Book 2

2nd Grade - Book 3

2nd Grade - Book 4

Third Grade Spelling Workbooks

3rd Grade - Book 1

3rd Grade - Book 2

3rd Grade - Book 3

3rd Grade - Book 4

Fourth Grade Spelling Workbooks

4th Grade - Book 1

4th Grade - Book 2

4th Grade - Book 3

4th Grade - Book 4

Fifth Grade Spelling Workbooks

5th Grade - Book 1

5th Grade - Book 2

5th Grade - Book 3

5th Grade - Book 4

Sixth Grade Spelling Workbooks

6th Grade - Book 1

6th Grade - Book 2

6th Grade - Book 3

6th Grade - Book 4

Middle School Spelling Workbooks

Middle School - Book 1

Middle School - Book 2

Middle School - Book 3

High School Spelling Workbooks

High School - Book 1

High School - Book 2

High School - Book 3

#3 - Incorporate Technology

Nothing can replace writing spelling words by hand, but incorporating technology can help students learn their spelling words too, not to mention that your kids are likely to appreciate it. Most kids love technology!

Using spelling apps is among the quickest and easiest ways of combining spelling and technology in the classroom. A few popular and effective spelling apps for kids include the following:

* #1 - Freefall Spelling allows you to customize lists for young learners.

* #2 - Word Wizard for Kids has a free-play word-building option.

* #3 - Spelling Shed offers a more drill-based approach to learning words.

* #4 - MasterSwords allows students to choose their own adventure.

* #5 - Scribblenauts Remix encourages students to problem-solve while learning new words.

* #6 - The edHelper games app also now includes spelling practice.

Incorporating technology doesn't have to include using spelling apps in the classroom. Simply typing the words can be great practice for kids! Very young kids will be excited to print off the lists that they typed, while older kids may have fun typing each word in a different font.

#4 - Share Real-World Examples of Spelling Words

It's always a challenge for teachers to connect what they're teaching to the real world. It can be especially hard when it comes to spelling, but it doesn't have to be. With a sharp eye, you can get students thinking about the words on their spelling list throughout the school day.

Looking for spelling words as you read is the easiest way to look for real-world examples from their spelling list. Keep your eyes open for current and previous spelling words as you're reading aloud. You can also find spelling words in math and science books, on worksheets, and other places. Get your students in on the act, and they can tell you when they find their spelling words, too. Create a homework assignment titled "Spelling Words Out in the Wild" in which students list both words they found and where they found them, whether they be in books, on the internet, on billboards, or somewhere else.

If you're looking for a more structured activity, consider having students create a story using as many spelling words as they can, or have them use their spelling words to fill in a Mad Lib. Not only are there Mad Lib books geared toward specific ages, but you can also find Mad Lib workbook pages that support spelling.

Do you want kids to find their spelling words on their own? Create your own Mad Lib using current spelling words. Retype it so that the students don't know which words have been filled in and make copies. Then, students can read the story and highlight the spelling words they find as they are reading.

#5 - Play Spelling Games

Playing games in the classroom is always a lot of fun for students, but that's not all. It can actually encourage students to learn their spelling words. When competition is involved, you'll find some of your students who didn't seem to care about spelling before suddenly trying harder because they want to win!

Games are also great when it comes to spelling because they give your students a chance to interact with their spelling words in different ways. Students spend a lot of time seeing and writing their spelling words. Playing a game gives them a chance to say the words and hear them spoken aloud.

Hangman is a classic spelling game that can be played as a class, in small groups, or in pairs, but there are tons of fun spelling games out there to choose from, like the following:

* #1 - Sink and Spell is like the game Battleship, where students write spelling words in a grid and the other player has to uncover all the letters in a spelling word to sink the ship.

* #2 - Spelling Squares is modeled after tic-tac-toe, where students can mark an X or an O if they spell a word correctly.

* #3 - Word Jump is a game that requires students to write each spelling word on a piece of paper that is placed on the floor. Then, the teacher says a word out loud, and students jump on that word.

#6 - Students Check Their Own Spelling Words

The more chances students have to interact with their spelling words, the more likely they are to remember them. Have students check their own spelling words, and you can give them time to practice right up to the final test on Friday.

For example, students can correct their own pretests. When checking their test, you can read aloud each letter in each word, write the words on the board, or ask students to look up each word in a dictionary.

Ask students to put their pencils away and get out a red pen so they can check their own posttest. If students are comfortable and confident with their classmates, you can ask them to exchange tests. Just make sure you look over the tests yourself to catch any mistakes.

Students can grade their own homework throughout the week, too! Ask them to turn in their homework; then, you can hand it back to them with the answer key. If you want to give this strategy a try, it's important to give scores based on completion, not accuracy, so they don't try to get a higher score by changing their answers after they receive the key.

#7 - Get Creative

Spelling can seem like the least creative subject in school, but it doesn't have to be. There are some fun ways you can get the creative juices flowing when it comes to getting your students to practice their spelling words.

Kids who like to draw might enjoy creating illustrations for every word on their list. Some students may appreciate being able to write their spelling words on construction paper with markers, especially if they can write the words creatively, like writing them in the shape of a spiral. Students can also cut out individual letters from magazines and catalogs, spelling out their words in the style of a Hollywood ransom letter.

It can be very helpful for students to get creative by choosing one new way to practice spelling each week, which means teachers have to be a little creative, too! You'll learn a lot about which activities the kids like best, and you can make each spelling unit unique and fun.

Spelling doesn't have to be boring. With a little creativity, an openness to trying new things, and the ideas on this list, you may discover that spelling becomes your students' favorite subject!