Learning to spell can be quite tricky at times. The following tips can help by using colour, pattern and rhymes, which are often stronger means of memorising and recalling information than looking at a set of letters alone.
Writing out spellings is key – it builds a motor memory too. Also writing them out in short sentences can also help to embed the spelling in the memory.
When checking spellings count the number of correct letters. This boosts self esteem and acknowledges the degree of success at the same time giving a target to beat on the next attempt.
WORDS and PATTERNS in WORDS
Looking for patterns using words and sound patterns can aid memory and recall.
- Spot a word(s) or sound pattern(s) in the focus word.
- Highlight or colour each of these in different colours eg: elephant
- Take a ‘brain photo’ of the word
- Close your eyes. Can you ‘see’ the word and colours?
- Now write down what you saw – use colours again if you like.
- How many letters did you get right? Well done!
- Try these steps again. Focus on the part you missed out on.
Creating a rhyme of phrase of words which start with each letter in your focus word can help recall.
because – big elephants can add up sums easily
said – Sally Anne is dancing
More examples can be found here. Or make up your own they may work better for you!
Playing with words and building up the focus word can be a more creative way that helps the memory recall it later. Colours can be used again if you like!
t o a
t o a s
t o a s t
Make a link between the word and the memory verse.
eg: their – it has an ‘i’ because it’s about people who have eyes!
there / where – these have ‘here‘ in them because they are about place. necessary – one coffee with two sugars is necessary.
island – is land
Put similarly spelt words together – such as ‘home / come/ some‘.
When you can spell one of them you know the others have the same pattern.
You could also put them into a memory image eg: a home to aid the link.
If you really want a challenge try spelling the word backwards after learning it. Don’t forget to say it the right way round again afterwards!
Please email if you would like more support ideas and help.