Posts Tagged ‘spelling’
Word families are groups of words that share the same ending combination of letters (word chunk) and the same ending sound. Early elementary spelling lists are often organized in this way. You can find common word families and examples fairly easily online. Early spelling lists for kids will likely start with word families that can be sounded out such as -at or -an. Later, the lists will progress to more difficult word chunks such as -ight or -ink.
To practice word families with your child, first make sure she understands that there is a pattern in the spelling words. Point out that all the words have the same ending letters. Learn those letters first. I like to compare the words to brothers and sisters that all have the same “last name.” The only difference is the “first name” part and almost always this can be sounded out.
Word families rhyme so this is a natural way to practice the words. Have children write rhyming sentences or make up poetry. You can also read nursery rhymes or rhyming books that incorporate the word families you are working on. Cover up the spelling list words, have your child guess them as you read along, and then spell the words to you.
Children can draw pictures that incorporate as many of the words as they can and then label their pictures.
- a fat cat on a mat with a rat
- a man with a tan can and a pan
If drawing is not interesting to your child, simply making up and writing down sentences using the spelling list can be a good practice.
Have kids use magnets on a fridge to spell the word chunk and then practice the spelling words by adding on the letters for the initial sound. This reinforces the pattern concept of word families. You can also use letter flashcards on the table or floor if you don’t have magnets. Have your child make the card for the word chunk.
Of course, all the other suggestions for studying spelling words still apply. Make sure to study every day for a short time and to incorporate as many senses as you can to increase memory and improve the effectiveness of study time. And you’ll probably find that your child will need to take at least one practice test during the week with you. This allows you talk about and practice test-taking strategies like listening carefully, writing slowly and neatly and checking your work.
How does your family study for spelling tests? Share what works for you and leave a comment.
More Ideas for Using Shaving Cream
Mix shaving cream with washable paints or washable finger paints and let children play with it in the bathtub. This is particularly helpful for children who may have trouble with feeling messy or difficulty tolerating textures. Children should always be monitored in the bathtub to prevent accidents.
If you have a plastic children’s picnic table, you can easily spray shaving cream directly on that surface and let kids play outside in the shade. Clean up is simple with a garden hose.
Allowing children to simply draw and experiment with designs and patterns will develop fine motor skills and coordination.
Early elementary age children can use shaving cream to practice:
- Spelling words
- Math facts
- Sight words
- Word families (-ock words, -ate words, etc.)
Preschool children can work on skills such as:
- Drawing shapes
- Learning letter names and sounds
- Recognizing numbers
- Name writing