Who Loves Spelling Lists?

Some children love doing worksheets and ticking off wordlists but for many spelling is confusing and a very boring and meaningless activity and makes no sense at all.

As a teacher and parent I’ve seen many children dutifully (or not) copying their words 3 times, writing them in different colours, bubble writing, tracing word shapes etc etc but they often have no idea of what their list words actually mean. For a 7 year old child the word ‘office’ for example means absolutely nothing out of context, (I’ve seen this)! Sure they might be able to ‘chop’ the word into 2 syllables, or write it down over and over and then replicate it in the end of week spelling test. However a quick glance of their day to day writing will show you that they would not even think of including such a word. It’s not a word that means anything to them plus the spelling is decidedly odd and difficult.

So what is the point of spelling lists?

spelling is confusing

Which witch is which?

At best they have a theme, (either a word family or technical focus) and are differentiated to the appropriate learning level of the student. At worst they are endless, overwhelming, dry, seemingly random and have no clear learning outcome.

Beginning the day with spelling, (as is often the case), sets the tone for learning. If spelling is confusing for children so early in the day it can set the tone for reluctance. Why not try something completely different!

Ditch the spelling list and read a story full of words with a focus sound…see what happens!